I love employer branding. It is one of my favourites areas of HR and most of the time we pay less attention than we should.
Many think that employer branding is a brochure of a benefits with a nice (and corporate) look and feel, but is not. In today's digital age, winning attraction and engagement is all about getting an audience to connect with our brand – and the best way to do that is with a story. Humans are naturally drawn to stories.
Employer branding is about telling your story and promoting what your employees, candidates and clients will find enticing about your organisation. Tell the story that makes your firm different from others in your sector. In other words employer branding is how to be the Queen of the Ball: how to be the most beautiful and popular firm for your target candidates.
Companies need a unique narrative and write a story that explains our purpose - something more than just money. However, for a company to be attractive on the outside, it has to start with being attractive on the inside, like the queen of the ball. In this way, storytelling has to describe how your company can make employees' lives better. Human psychology and how it affects candidates’ and employees’ behaviour acts as a foundation for this. What do candidates look for? What drives them to actually take action and apply for a position? The key words here are 'needs' and 'actions'. The best way to know more about what candidates desire is to understand the human motivations. We use cognitive achievement and positive psychology to motivate employees and allows our employee branding to thrive. If our candidates and employees connect with our story on an emotional level, they’ll want to be a part of it.
So, employer branding comes down to what it's like to work with your company. The most important part of this story, however, is honesty. To attract the right candidates and avoid later frustrations you must accurately portray your company's story. Recent research shows that organisational attractiveness, identification and personality characteristics impact potential new recruits and is linked to the psychological contract. So, if you lie you are going to generate the opposite: emotional disconnection and disengagement.
Employer branding should illustrate how employees thrive in your company and how candidates could too. An example of this is a US law firm who included their art collections as a reason to work for them (Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin). This says a lot about the company and conveys their attitude.
Employer branding has to describe the culture, environment, career development opportunities, the company mission (and not just numbers), the vision for the future and more in order to create an emotional connection with candidates.
This emotional connection could be portrayed through websites, social networks, specific campaigns, etc. to establish relations with potential candidates even before you need them. Communication is not just a matter of what you say, but the channel you use to say it. Each generation has their own preferences and social media is the best example of this. In the case of Gen X or Millennials, they prefer Facebook, whereas Gen Z, who are digital natives, tend to open to YouTube or Instagram.
Defining an employer brand requires a good diagnosis and a clear strategy. At everis, from the first point of contact with candidates and throughout the talent lifecycle within the company, we make sure that our unique branding is at the epicentre of what we do. For the diagnosis, we ran several focus groups with employees, candidates, clients and executive team in order to identify why everis is different from other consultancy firms. We then used this to define our storytelling and the everis Magic formula. This enabled the UK Culture & Talent team to enable and implement an employer branding strategy that has duplicated our application rate, increased social media engagement by 16% and increased our UK-based audience by 46%. And this, is the magic of employer branding!
Recent research shows that organisational attractiveness as well as organisational identification and organisational personality characteristics impact in potential new recruits and is linked to the psychological contract.