does your employer brand keep you ahead in the hunt for top talent?

May 11, 2015 James Foley

 

five critical tips for building a stand-out employer brand

If the annual Randstad Award research can teach all employers one lesson, it’s that the rules of talent engagement have changed. Take a look: high-performing organizations tracked by our research demonstrate that they successfully stand out from competitors by establishing a clear employee value proposition (EVP) and effectively communicating it in each of their markets. This year’s top five Randstad Award leaders – Microsoft, Sony, Samsung, GE, and Philips – all have done an outstanding job presenting themselves as employers of choice around the world. So what can you learn from these brand leaders?

Just like their corporate brands, their employer brands are well-recognized and respected around the world, showing that brand familiarity provides a driving force when trying to win the competition for talent. But beyond that, these companies have all committed enormous efforts and resources reaching out to workers and consumers alike, actively publicizing their businesses, culture, and people.

As you look to the global winners of the 2015 Randstad Award for inspiration, here are five great tips to stand head and shoulders above the competition:

  1. Be clear and consistent when communicating your EVP. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? Unfortunately, no. Many companies stumble at the starting blocks because they can’t define their value proposition well or are unable to differentiate it from competitors. This is often caused by not fully understanding the true dimensions of their culture, failing to gain clarity of their vision, and not striking the right balance with the needs and motivations of today’s talent. Even when they can define it, many companies lack the marketing skills and knowledge to create the right messaging to reach their intended audience.
  2. Be genuine in your message. Your employer brand lives from the inside out so pretending to be something you’re not is not the best way to attract talent. Inevitably, it leads to workforce dissatisfaction and a higher rate of turnover. Ensuring your employer brand efforts accurately reflect your organization should always be the prerequisite of any marketing and communications campaign. Identify your true strengths, and align them to the desires of your target talent audiences, but don’t artificially reinvent your brand.
  3. Be ready to take ownership. Defining your employer brand DNA and EVP framework can be centralized globally to achieve greater brand consistency and efficiencies. However, don’t deny the importance of segmenting your employer brand communication to reach talent in specific geographies. This should align with local business priorities, talent strategy, and cultural differences. That means every stakeholder from HR and employer brand specialists through to line managers need to know their role in the process and take ownership for his or her responsibility for brand building.
  4. Be a great marketer. Today you see HR and talent acquisition leaders actively marketing their employer brands to specific talent pools. They are making investments to connect their corporate brand to their employer brand and in many instances collaborating with corporate marketing to further build their brands. By doing this, they better influence the perception of their employer brand rather than leaving it to chance.
  5. Be thorough in your execution. In today’s uber-connected environment where candidates and employees are acting just like consumers, worker perception is influenced by a multitude of channels. The influence of social media can’t be understated as LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Facebook, and even Reddit give every prospect candidate an open-door view of your organization. And that’s without taking into account the growth of niche talent communities, online media, and even YouTube. Branding for talent means segmenting your key audiences, understanding what drives them, knowing where and how they do their research, and building a targeted marketing approach to best gain their attention.

Despite what many leaders can think, employer brand strategy is not a recruitment marketing campaign. There’s no shortcut to building a great employer brand. Like most strategy development, you’re in it for the long haul. Just know that it requires a commitment to follow through; there’s nothing worse than a half-hearted recruitment marketing campaign that fails to deliver the business impact you set out to achieve.

On the other hand, the benefits of your long-term commitment will be the pay off. Once you’ve developed a genuine EVP and brand strategy, supported by an integrated marketing and communications approach to target the right talent around the world, raising your attractiveness as an employer gets a lot easier. Much of the work is gathering the market intelligence on what drives and motivates today’s talent, and even there we’ve got you covered with in-depth insights collected from the global Randstad Award research across 23 countries. You just need to apply the elbow grease.

 

About the Author

James Foley

James is Global SVP, Employer Brand. Leveraging a 20-year career as an expert consultant, business executive and marketing strategist, James supports the employer brand strategy and EVP development of global and local organizations. He enjoys helping companies to develop differentiated EVP, communication and marketing approaches to attract, engage and retain top talent.

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