From working with organisations around the world, here are 4 areas of focus that stand out to me if you want to make an impact on your organisation’s progress with Employer Branding (EB).
1. Strategy first, shiny tools second.
There has been a proliferation of excellent tools and technologies coming into the market in the last year. And it’s fantastic to see organisations experimenting with new channels, often with limited budget. However, what we see shaping up for 2020 is a bit of a ‘re-set’ – with organisations taking stock of performance from previous tactics and acknowledging that we can do better at focusing on strategy first, before deciding on the enablers to execute on that. In itself, this talks to the maturity and credibility of Employer Brand practices within a business – being able to point to the link between the Employer Brand and an Organisation’s Brand, People and Business goals is where you need to be.
2. Business cases backed by data.
It’s a bit chicken and egg but for organisations with limited investment to date or with unsophisticated platforms, their access to data impacts their ability to secure further investment. Face. Palm. The classic case for EB is typically built on things like; increasing Direct Hiring and reducing agency spend or shifting the dial on hiring, engagement and retention metrics. An area we have found to be increasingly powerful (often in addition to the above) are the metrics from the attraction and talent engagement ecosystem. If you’re struggling to draw the data together, have a look at something like Talentegy which can be plugged into Sourcing and Candidate Journey touchpoints and bring together some really compelling insights.
3. Look outside, not just at your own navel.
With so much written about ‘how to develop an EVP’, there is often a compelling case for organisations to consider building their own strategy. A DIY approach certainly appeals to the wallet, and it’s not rocket science, right? True, it isn’t. But I have seen organisations spend months (and hundreds of hidden hours/costs) to create something of little value because the core capabilities just aren’t there to avoid common pitfalls. A lack of ROI follows, trust in your team erodes and momentum is lost. So what can you do to manage the risks involved in home-grown approaches?
– Educate, educate, educate the business on why you are doing this, the strategic value, the support you will need to research, build and sustain your approach. Or you will become an island.
– Research – what talent thinks of your career offering – is the big one. Strategies based on what your most vocal employees/advocates say is really dangerous. Engage with people that turned down your job offers, speak to your external target audience, what do they think, what would they find valuable from your organisation, why wouldn’t they join?
– Objectively, test your findings at all milestones – do these EVP pillars resonate, what does your creative say to job seekers, what content are they engaging with and what experiences did people have during onboarding, for example? Your strategy will be refined over time, it’s not something that’s ticked and done – you can only do that by connecting with external, as well as internal audiences.
4. Get creative.
At its heart, Employer Branding is so much about great storytelling – taking the inside of your organisation and sharing externally. Something like TheMuse is a treasure trove of examples of how companies go about this. Video tools such as VideoMyJob are letting candidates see their potential new bosses on film speaking about the role; everyone can be a content creator. A key challenge many organisations face here is making sure their stories and approaches stand out from the crowd though – if we’re not careful we’ll be known for Employer Blanding. Getting attention and inspiring people to act is hard…so no matter how ‘authentic’, if content is dull it will not get close to inspiring the best possible talent to join, stay and achieve amazing things.
Tips for success here include;
– Training. VideoMyJob as an example, provide a LOT of training, tips, guides and inspiration – I could do with using them more myself, I admit – so having the tool is not enough, define your strategy overall, then develop a training and support framework so that Francis from Finance is set up to dazzle your candidates instead of sending them to sleep. It takes practice, and a bit of imagination, so build that in.
– Differentiation. Give real thought and due diligence to ensuring your propositions are going to create white space around them compared to competitors. ‘Make an impact, be passionate, people are the difference’ we’ve seen them all, and so have candidates/employees.
– Lean on Marketing. A little bit of finesse goes a long way! Getting access to a designer’s time or some digital smarts to sharpen your recruitment marketing will make all the difference. Employer Branding done well takes a village, so get good at playing to people’s strengths. And buy lots of coffees.
– Be useful. No one likes a cold or hard sell, which is kind of what a job advert can be if that’s the first thing someone sees about your company. Wooing precious candidates takes time and effort, the focus is on relationships not process. The best way is to think about how your experience can be useful to candidates. Rather than spraying your EB content out into the market, what about proving career coaching tips or insights from the team they might be joining. Be useful. Be different to your competitors. See your efforts rewarded.
If you work in Employer Branding, like me you probably believe deeply in its value and you find it inspirational to think of the impact you can have. Hopefully, focusing on some of these areas will mean you get the rewards you deserve in this fascinating space. Good luck!
TQSolutions (TQ) is regarded as Australia’s leading Advisory and Solutions firm for Talent Acquisition, Recruitment and Careers related projects – this is the world of organisational Joiners, Movers and Leavers. We do this through:
Partnering with organisations about to embark upon significant change or transformation programmes. Our advisory services cover areas such as independent technology, capability and operating model reviews, deep market intelligence, employer brand and candidate experience.
Our scalable, on-demand model delivers exceptional results for our clients. With a national team of experts, all with at least 15 years’ experience, we deploy brilliant people on an ongoing basis or to support key projects and spikes in activity.
We curate insights, provide thought leadership, community and training – all geared to help you cut through the noise with the informed perspective you need to make smart decisions.