Rolls Royce may no longer be manufacturing the cars that made the company a well-known name, today it says ‘We create power’ as the group continues to be one of the world’s leading power system companies providing power for aircraft, ships and land applications. It employees nearly 54,000 people worldwide and is committed to nurturing talent. This commitment is reflected in the fact that today about 30 per cent of the company’s senior management once started out as apprentices (WOW!!!). The company felt that though they always had an employer brand yet needed an active employer brand strategy to convey who they were and what they offered in the most effective way.
After conducting interviews with employees to find out whether their experience lived up to the promise made by the marketing team, an ambitious branding strategy and multi-channel communications campaign to reach out to prospective and current candidates was designed. Rolls-Royce very often makes it to the list of awards as a preferred place to work, especially for people in the age group of 18-29 years, who are more interested in career opportunities and working for a global leader and less bothered with pay and job security.
The Rolls-Royce example suggests that in these times of war of talent, even though a company may be sitting on a huge and famous brand name to propel it in the minds of candidates, it still needs to innovate and implementation strategies through active management of its employee value proposition (EVP) to be able to make its mark today.
If you want employees to be active advocates of your organisation and ensure that they deliver what you promise to the customer, then as an organisation you first need to bridge the gap between promising and delivering what your EVP offers them at the onset.
It is important to keep into account who makes up your work force and what do they want. Such important insights will help you innovate and plan as well as implement strategies for easy brand recall. Millennials who are gradually taking over as more than 60 per cent of world’s working population are extremely focussed on learning and development.
Singapore Airlines is a prime example to consider if you want to look at an organisation that believes and puts its own people first. Singapore Airlines demands exacting standards from its employees but also invests in helping the employees meet them. This help and investment is not only limited to their selection and training the staff but also in helping them run their lives smoothly so that they can focus unhindered on work. It must be this deliverance of the promised goods that makes roughly 18,000 people apply for the 600-900 cabin crew slots that open up annually within the company.
Brand loyalty, commitment and recognition- all kind of brand attitudes result from when the promises made to the employees are delivered with minimum fuss. Ultimately these promises influence the manner in which they deliver their services to the brand’s customers.
At The Cheesecake Factory restaurants all-staff meals and impromptu menu tastings are a regular feature. This is done with 2 things in mind.
- To acquaint the staff with what’s on the menu and
- To get their feedback on the restaurant’s fresh offerings
It will not take an expert to see the multiple ways in which this tactic works in favour of the very popular restaurant chain but maybe the most important thing that they gain from this is utilizing their employees as their brand ambassadors. Knowing what the restaurants are offering and being convinced about how good it is inspires and motivates the employees to go the extra mile for the customer and in turn for the company.
When taken into confidence, the employees turn into brand ambassadors. This gives your company a successful image as an employer, attracting the right kind of people and giving them plenty of reasons to stick around- a sign that the company is a preferred place of work. About 49 per cent of companies look at this employee engagement as a sign of good employer branding.
Let us look at another company Civitas Learning. It uses its mission statement- Use Your Power For Good- right at the top of its career page, leaving no doubt about what it is that they are working to achieve. Doing this helps in communicating what lies at the heart of the company to anybody new coming there looking for a job as well as communicating the company’s ethos wide across.
A poll from CR Magazine and Cielo Talent shows that 50 per cent of employees would not want to work with a company that does not enjoy a good reputation as an employer brand. So much so that even a bigger salary would not take them there or make them stay.
Both these examples also go on to show that employer branding- how you are viewed as an employer, an image that lives in the hearts and heads of your past, present and future employees- can help you turn your employees into your advocates. This keeps them motivated and inspired to give their best to the company. Recognizing your employees for their efforts can again lead to word of mouth branding for your business as well as improving performances.
So, you see, once you begin in investing your employer brand, your employees turn into your brand ambassadors going the extra mile for you and the company.
Research shows that the top 10 per cent of employable workforce are snatched away from the marketplace within 10 days. If you are an employer and are looking for the right kind of talent for your company then you need to up your recruitment and retention game.
Don’t look distressed if this is news to you because the solution to this query is something that combines the best of both worlds- Marketing and Human Resources or HR. This is the magical world of employer branding.
Read on to find the 3 ways in which Employer Branding is a crossover between marketing and HR and combines the best of the two worlds to help your company grow:
- EMPLOYER BRANDING focuses on creating a lasting brand image: Marketing guys have always known that “customer is king”. HR has also realized that retention is less costlier than hiring new people. Companies with a strong sense of EMPLOYER BRANDING, invest in their recruitment process and ensure that an interview is a complete brand experience for the job seeker. This image is also an impression that the customer carries in their head and heart. You must have seen the images of Google’s campus style work-space. Without saying much else, the company promotes, ‘work hard, play harder’, and becomes an aspirational work place for millions around the globe.
- EMPLOYER BRANDING focuses on attracting talent and customers: Southwest Airlines is probably the best example to make this point. Their career page starts with explaining that they care for their employees just like they do for their customers. It also tells you the company’s vision and purpose which is to become the most loved, most flown and most profitable airline. The benefit of having an EMPLOYER BRANDING strategy in place is that it works both ways- in attracting talent as well as ensuring that the customer sticks to your brand- by knowing what the company means and stands for.
- EMPLOYER BRANDING focuses on social media “greatly”- Lulu lemon Athletica is a company that has through various efforts via social media made itself known as a desirable place of work. Hashtags like #ThisisLululife and #thesweatlife tell a story of happy employees and customers. EMPLOYER BRANDING realizes the importance of using social media judiciously for company’s growth and includes testimonials from current employees among other thing.
Employer Branding is important for all kinds of businesses irrespective of their size. It has gained new levels of importance, more so for businesses belonging to small and medium scale because of its multiple benefits.
Let us look at a few reasons why it is so crucial for SMEs in this day and time.
- You need to attract the best talent in town: Employer branding is a concept that came to be focused upon massively to attract prospective employees about two decades ago. Brands like Google and Microsoft have invested both time and money to attract the right kind of talent and create clear paths of progression for their employers. We all have seen this paying off in terms of employee loyalty, haven’t we? So, if you are an SME and dream of making it big then you need to have the right kind of people on board with you, hence the need for employer branding. Also, LinkedIn suggests that employer branding ensures that you save some 43 per cent on cost per hire by not spending on platforms that might not gel with your search goals.
- A strong employer brand means lasting impression: If you equate branding with only marketing your products and services then it is time for you to wake up and take note of the winds. As an SME, you need to brand yourself as a chosen employer as well with the understanding that your employers are as important (if not more) as your customers. Your employer brand image should be able to communicate to people what it is to work with you, what is the company’s work culture, what can a candidate expect from working there and so on.
- Gives your employees a sense of direction: Defining your employer brand not only helps prospective employees understand the company better and know what it stands for, it also gradually and repeatedly helps your current employees feel proud and stay motivated to work in alignment with the bigger picture beyond their immediate roles.
Employer branding is an emerging topic that has been gaining greater importance with every passing day. If you are already aware of how your company and business stand to gain from this, well, give yourself a pat on the back.
If you are gearing up for Employer Branding then here are the top 4 things that you must do:
Use technology to your advantage: How, you may ask. Just take a look at this- about 89 per cent of job seekers use mobile as a primary tool for job hunting. But how many businesses do you think have invested in making their career-sites mobile friendly? Just 60 per cent. Now if that is not an opportunity then you tell us what is.
Use your current employees: Employer branding stands to benefit from the happy stories of your current staff, so use them. Job seekers use social media as a primary tool for job search and check company profiles. You can use this platform to tell engaging stories from your staff about job satisfaction and life-work balance, among other things to let prospective employees know what they can expect if they choose to work with you.
Another tip, use your employees’ photos rather than stock images or using models for your ad campaigns as well.
Focus on maximizing candidate experience: About 80 per cent of the people in a study agreed that they would take up a job over another based on the personal relationship formed during the interview process. From this you can easily understand how important is the applicant experience part of the Employer Brand journey. Therefore, you need to make it seamless and more enriching for the candidate.
Align your values with company’s working: According to Recruiting Daily, over 14 per cent of candidates have expressed that they were influenced to a great extent by what they could perceive as a company’s values and mores rather than awards like Best Place to Work. You can choose to base your social media campaign or your ad campaigns on the values that the company stands and strives for sharing a brand image consistently.
Are you still waiting to be convinced that Employer Brand needs to be your game now?