Power Up Your Employer Brand

Branding is a popular business buzz word, but improved branding can make a big difference in how current and potential employees view your organization. How can you

One of the most popular business 'buzz words' of recent times is branding. I admit it - I am a strong proponent of this concept and am pleased to see it play an increasingly important role in the way Human Resources programs do business. Traditionally, branding applied only to products like Tide and Caramilk. Now it means so much more: companies of all sizes can be a brand; programs can be a brand; heck, even we, ourselves, can be a brand! This will become all the more important as we pull out the downturn into another knowledge-driven recruitment increase.

For some people, this growth in branding is seen as a daunting concept or a difficult process during a struggling economy. Nothing is further from the truth if the plan is well thought out and you are creative with your tactics. An organization may have a poor brand in the marketplace, have no real brand in its target market, or may not be aware of its market perception or reputation. The fact is that opportunities are plentiful if branding is allowed to flourish. My advice is this: Make a brand plan. Talk to a marketer. You won't regret it!

Noted author and speaker, Peter Urs Bender has been a real inspiration to me. He took great pains in building his brand as a speaker and management consultant. I clearly remember the first experience I had with Peter: I had heard about his keynotes and I was organizing a learning event for staff. I found his information on a website and sent an e-mail to him requesting more information. That same day I received a personal voicemail that thanked me for my interest and suggested a one-on-one discussion. Less than two days later I received copies of two of his books, autographed and with a special note thanking me for being in discussions, along with his cell phone number to call if I had more questions. Of course that positively swayed my decision to hire Peter for my event. Peter was an awesome speaker, so I did not regret it (he delivered his brand promise!), but it was his effort that opened the door wide, and handed him his opportunity. Peter literally managed my perception of his personal brand in a very positive way. What do you think - Can the same impact take place with personal notes to a candidate or customer, a small token or a card? You bet it can! Personalize where you can! A strong employment brand can mean the difference between wasted effort and a sustainable recruitment campaign.

Here are 6 key reasons to build your employer brand so your business can benefit from strong recognition in the talent market:
  1. Become a Magnet - A strong brand "pulls" employees to an organization. Branding is a cheap, and ultimately effective, way for an organization to turn the tables from seeking, to receiving applicants. Some organizations have a strong enough reputation through methodical branding practices that potential candidates feel honored when approached or recruited by one of these organizations. The perception is that the "best" (often determined through carefully managed reputation-building practices) seek the best talent.
  2. Save Effort and Time By Targeting - By clearly identifying what it represents and looks for in employees, a business can attract key target candidates; unqualified or inappropriate candidates will "self-select" themselves out of the process. A sustained, targeted program can reach key markets in a cost- effective manner, and can find as a reward, very positive results.
  3. Level the Playing Field - Regardless of the size of an organization, a clearly articulated and appealing brand can actually provide success at the same levels of much larger or more affluent organizations. This is an easy way to create a competitive advantage - and a level playing field for smaller players.
  4. More Resumes, Qualified Applicants & Faster Recruitment - As more people are drawn to an organization, the more internal processes benefit from an increase in qualified candidates. This means it is easier to get the right person, in a much faster process, through a shorter recruitment cycle.
  5. Sense of Engagement - Employee engagement can drive positive company results. Branding is important in this way, as it can enhance engagement by defining a proper fit for both the organization and potential employees. In the long run, branding can also lead to improved selection processes, internal people practices, and employee retention.
  6. Earn The Right - When top candidates are consistently drawn to an organization, that business "earns the right" to be more and more selective during hiring. They have, in essence, earned the reputation of an employer of choice. Arthur Soler, a former CEO of Cadbury Trebor Allan (CTAI), used Proctor & Gamble as an example when he said "they have earned the right" to put candidates through one of the most rigorous student recruitment processes he knew of by consistently working to be the employer of choice for marketing students.
So, it is easy to recognize that there is value in creating a strong employment brand. The big question is how you get there. You need to treat it like a journey, step by step. Start your process at the beginning by identifying where you are today with your brand. Honestly acknowledge that as your starting point. Next you plan the route and execute..
Excerpt from the book Jackpot! A Step-by-Step Guide to a Winning On-Campus Recruitment Campaign by James C Allison
Buy the book at Chapters Click Here
or Amazon.com Click Here


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