Whether you know about it or not, your company has an employer brand. Your employer brand will help to shape public perceptions about what the company is like to work for. Strong employer brands could experience benefits such as faster recruitment, at a lower cost, alongside lower employee turnover. There’s plenty of evidence available online to suggest that if you build a strong employer brand, you too could make your recruitment easier, and lower your employee turnover.
Research by TalentLyft tells us that “75% of candidates research a firm’s reputation and employer brand before applying”. To back this up Randstad state that “Most (86%) would not apply for or continue to work for a company that has a bad reputation with former employees or the general public, and 65 percent would likely leave if their employers were being negatively portrayed in the news or on social media because of a crisis or negative business practices.”
Employer brands should be extensions of your corporate brand
Employer brand should be an extension of your corporate brand – not a separate entity. Please note, employer branding is none of these things:
- A quick fix for a poor recruitment strategy. If your job adverts aren’t getting seen, no one will apply.
- A solution to all of your problems. Building a strong employer brand won’t mean that problem employee becomes your top performer
- A sales strategy. Being able to attract and retain top talent won’t mean customers buy your products/services
Hopefully you get the point that employer branding has a specific purpose, and is intended to work as part of a wider business strategy. HBR argues that employer branding won’t solve any problems – in fact HBR say your HR team leading an employer brand can lead to detachment from the corporate brand.
Quite honestly, I do mostly agree with HBR. Specifically, because the HR team aren’t always best positioned in the business to be running part of the brand. This isn’t to say that the HR team shouldn’t have a hand in decisions about the employer brand, after all, HR will most likely be the team delivering on any promises made to any current or future employees.
It should be the job of the c-suite to guide the employer brand. Like I said, employer branding is intended to work as part of a wider business strategy. Therefore, it should be the c-suite who are making the key decisions about the employer brand and not forced upon HR to deal with.
Why should HR care
As part of the HR team, you should be advocating that the senior management team take the employer brand seriously so they can develop an extension of the corporate brand that is specifically aimed at attracting and retaining top talent. Ultimately this should have a couple of main goals which could be:
- Increase employee retention by X months/years by 2020
- Increase applications from candidates by Y% in 2021
- Lower recruitment spend by Z% in 2022
- Reduce employee turnover by N% by 2023
All in all, you should care about the employer brand because it can help you make sure HR gets taken seriously as a driver for change in your business.