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How to Build Your Employer Brand in 8 Steps: Understanding Who’s Involved and What to Do

Employer branding is crucial for attracting and retaining the talent that drives the success of your brand. It involves cultivating a positive work culture, nurturing a supportive environment, and prioritizing the well-being of your employees.

In a previous article, we explained the precise meaning of employer branding.

This second article explores the following aspects of employer branding:

  • The practical steps of creating an employer brand strategy
  • Determining who is involved in the creation of an employer brand strategy

Part 1: Eight steps for creating an employer brand strategy

Every organization has a reputation as an employer brand, whether they have consciously developed it or not. This reputation is based on how people perceive the organization as a workplace, including potential employees, current staff, and those who have left the company.[1]

Creating a clear employer brand strategy allows organizations to take control of this perception. By intentionally shaping and communicating the desired image, they can influence how they are seen as an employer.

Here are the main steps for this process:

1. Conducting research and analyzing the situation

The initial step involves conducting a comprehensive analysis of the employer’s situation, both internally and externally. This entails defining the following key aspects:

  • Internal analysis of the organization as an employer:
    • What are the organizational strengths and weaknesses, culture, management style?
    • What is the current employment image?
    • What is the image of the overall brand?
    • What is the overall brand strategy?
  • External analysis:
    • Understand the organization’s perception amongst potential candidates, how it compares to other organizations, and what its competitors’ employment strategy is.
  • Identifying and analyzing the target audiences (current and potential employees)
    • Identify their needs, expectations, and motivations.
    • Collect feedback and impressions on the recruitment process, as well as on the level of satisfaction of current employees.
    • Ask for feedback from people leaving the organization.

2. Align the employer brand with the overall brand strategy

Developing an employer brand strategy begins with a comprehensive review of the product or corporate brand’s strategy. This involves understanding the brand’s purpose, vision, mission, values, and identity.

The goal is to define how the employer brand can be an extension of the product or corporate brand but specifically tailored toward employees. This alignment is crucial as it ensures consistency across all facets of the brand and reinforces its overall identity.

3. Crafting the ideal employment experience

Once the alignment with the corporate brand strategy is established, the next step is to design an ideal employment experience for your brand. This should be based on your organization’s capabilities, the overall brand strategy, and the needs of your potential and current employees.

To make a great workplace, finding out what makes employees happy, involved, and likely to stay is important. Key elements to consider include:

  • The recruitment process and candidate treatment
  • The prevailing organizational culture
  • Work-life balance initiatives
  • Employee well-being and health prevention
  • Creating a sense of meaning aligned with the brand’s purpose and values
  • The work environment (including physical space and technology)
  • Opportunities for career advancement
  • Leadership and management styles
  • Systems for recognition and rewards
  • Job security measures
  • Transparent communication practices
  • Mechanisms for employee feedback
  • The provision of additional benefits

4. Creating an employer brand value proposition:

The employer brand value proposition is a promise the brand makes to its current and potential employees. It pledges a distinct and enriching professional experience that sets the brand apart.

The value proposition should include the tangible benefits offered by the company and reflect the overall brand’s purpose, vision, mission, values, and identity. This ensures that the employer brand is not just about the perks and benefits but also about the larger purpose and vision of the company.

5. Aligning the organization with the employer brand strategy

The process of aligning the organization with the employer brand strategy is both essential and challenging. It requires a comprehensive approach that ensures the brand’s value proposition is reflected in every aspect of the organization, from leadership and management styles to daily operations.

Building on this, the Leadership and Human Resources teams serve as key players in executing this alignment. They not only embody the employer brand but also act as its champions. To fulfill this role effectively, it’s imperative that each manager and HR staff member receives proper training and support. This equips them to consistently deliver an experience that resonates with the brand’s promise, thereby enriching the professional lives of both potential and existing employees.

6. Communicating the value proposition internally and externally

During this phase, it is crucial to strategically identify and utilize key communication channels to effectively market the value proposition to both potential candidates and existing employees.

Some examples include:

  • Creating an engaging and user-friendly career site
  • Publishing information about the employment benefits on social media
  • Showcasing video testimonials from current employees
  • Regular and transparent communication with current employees
  • Organizing events to foster personal connections among employees
  • Actively managing employer review sites like Glassdoor

7. Ensuring the value proposition is delivered at all times

The value proposition as an employer is like a promise to the current and potential employees. Ensuring the value proposition is delivered at all times is, therefore, vital for maintaining trust and credibility.

This means that the promises made in the value proposition, such as a flexible work environment or an inclusive workplace, should be consistently sustained in the candidate’s recruitment experience and the employees’ day-to-day experience.

8. Adjusting the employer brand strategy over time

Adjusting the employer brand strategy along the way allows the company to stay relevant and competitive. This involves regularly reviewing the plan based on employee feedback, changes in the market, and the evolving needs and expectations of the workforce.

Part 2: Who should own employer branding? Decoding the roles of Management, HR, and Marketing teams

When it comes to employer branding, the question of ownership arises: who should take the lead? The answer is not limited to a single team. In fact, each of the Management, HR, and Marketing teams has a crucial role in shaping the employer brand.

While it is true that the HR team usually takes the lead in designing an employer brand strategy, it is essential to emphasize the significance of collaboration and involvement from both the management and marketing teams throughout the process.

Now, let’s delve into the distinct responsibilities of Management, HR, and Marketing teams in developing a compelling employer brand.

  • Management team:
    The management team has a critical role in building the employer brand. They set the strategic direction, provide managerial support, and ensure the implementation of the brand strategy throughout the organization. Additionally, they contribute to shaping the internal image and organizational culture through their management style, internal policies, and other practices that influence the overall work environment.
  • Human Resources (HR) team:
    The HR team is at the heart of the employer’s brand strategy. They focus on attracting, recruiting, engaging, and retaining talent. They possess valuable insights about potential and current employees, represent the brand to potential candidates, and interact with current employees to safeguard their career goals and well-being. Their invaluable insights and efforts contribute significantly to analyzing and implementing the employer brand strategy, making them indispensable in shaping a successful and appealing employer brand.
  • Marketing team:
    To ensure alignment, the marketing team can offer guidance and insights on the overall marketing and brand strategies. The marketing team is also responsible for providing technical support for branding assisting in developing the employer brand’s value proposition, identity, positioning, and internal and external communication efforts.

Key takeaways

  • Employer branding is crucial for attracting and retaining talent and creating a positive work culture.
  • Creating an impactful employer brand strategy requires a holistic approach, encompassing various steps and fostering collaboration among different teams.
  • By diligently following the eight strategic steps highlighted in this article, organizations can assume command over their employer brand perception and cultivate a favorable image as an employer.

  • [1] Sokro, E. (2012). Impact of Employer Branding on Employee Attraction and Retention. European Journal of Business and Management, [online] 4(18). Available at: https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/234624436.pdf.
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