how to make employer branding strategy sustainable

December 18, 2017 James Foley

As companies around the world plan for 2018, employer brand is top of mind according to our own Talent Trends research. We’re seeing larger investments in employer branding and growing demand from the C-Suite to see employer brand in action. With that increased interest and investment, however, comes a more rigorous expectation for results. Leadership want to know how your brand stands out against competitors and what impact employer brand will have on acquiring talent in this very competitive landscape.

A wave of activities that improve reputation, career websites and technologies that facilitate candidate interactions have paved the way for employer brand initiatives. We have a better understanding of candidate expectations and behaviors, and, in turn, what elements should be included in employer brand strategy.

But I’m often asked, “What’s next?” or “How do you transform a set of activities into a sustainable employer branding strategy?” In fact, just recently in Singapore at a meeting with our regional clients, the question came up again. You aren’t alone, no matter where in the world you sit.

So, where do you start? How can you build an employer brand program that delivers results over time and is sustainable?

  1. Selectively identify advocates - Seek out a mix of key employees, team leaders and executives to work with you. Collaborate to mutually identify key opportunities, challenges and success benchmarks to create shared ownership. Schedule regular meetings (perhaps bi-monthly) to connect with these stakeholders, share best practices, review benchmarks and showcase progress. Most importantly, build accountability and ownership.
  2. Provide easy-to-use technology - At Randstad Sourceright, we use a tool called PostBeyond to support employee social media engagement. The platform, dubbed “RSR Amplify” within our organization, makes it easy to post and share company thought leadership and research with our networks. Find tools that can help your team track and score activity so you can effectively incentivize and use gamification tactics to drive participation.
  3. Measure, assess, refine - Employer brand activation isn’t one size fits all, and what works for one organization may not fit your own culture and strategy. Don’t implement your program based on other people’s recommendations. Begin every initiative with specific goals in mind. Share those with the team and make sure they’re SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-focused and Time-bound.

When it comes to building a sustainable employer brand, know that it doesn’t happen overnight. While data and insights play a part in strategy, there’s no perfect science to building adoption, but the return on investment can be enormous. Compelling stories told with authenticity that change and evolve just like the company culture have the power to improve time to fill, retention and referrals — and that’s just the beginning.

Check out more employer branding insights here.

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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