Your brand name is only as good as your reputation- Richard Branson
And the ‘reputation’ Branson referred to, is not only limited to the impression that you create on your stakeholders, but largely influences your workforce. In the recent years, the ongoing battle of sourcing the best talent in the industry, has made organisations to start caring about their corporate reputation or technically called the ‘employer brand’.
Typically, your employer brand encompasses the attributes and qualities that make your organisation distinctive and renders a certain experience to your employees. A well-defined employer brand helps attract the best talent, who can thrive and perform their best, thus contributing to the overall organisational growth. Too complicated a practice? Not really. However, in India, the execution of such branding strategy has stayed limited multinational giants. But the scenario is about to change and soon.
Here’s the precursor:
A 2017 report by Randstad Employer Brand Research defined Google (India) as ‘India’s top attractive employer brand’. And, Mercedez Benz, Amazon, ITC and Phillips India followed suit. Of 3500 respondents, about 75% voted for this global tech giant as the most preferred company they wish to work for.
What does this mean for the current HR landscape? Probably, a wake call for all thought leaders, managers and the senior members of the industry to start considering Employer Branding as a part of core HR practice.
Why do you need to care about Employer Branding anyway?
Though it all sounds rational, you might still contemplate if you (your organisation) really needs employer branding. The answer is, yes you do. And so does any employer today. If we have to successfully sync ourselves to the work culture of the future, then being ‘an employer that cares’ is the highest card in the game. The equation is simple. Employees seek beyond material incentives. And employer branding goes beyond the tangible motivations and thrives on providing experience. A brand experience you create for your employees will influence their efforts which can go a long way in fulfilling your organisational goals. Here’s 5 reasons why you need to build a powerful employer brand:
It impacts the quality of talent
Having difficulty finding that elusive unicorn? Maybe, you are missing the right employer brand.
With hiring manager vying for the same kind of quality talent pool, in this highly competitive market, what would the candidate base their preference on? The digitally dynamic, millennial job seeker is in a more powerful position than ever. They are well-informed, do their homework, and lay out their expectations from the prospective employer. Studies show that a candidate today would rather go unemployed than work for an organisation with a bad reputation. A strong employer brand not only helps attract talent but also a quality one.
It boosts employee engagement
An organisation is also a brand that is consumed by the people working for it. The stronger the employer brand value, the more connected the employees are to it. The more aware they are of what the company stands for and the goals they are working towards, the more positive they are about their work. This, needless to say, impacts their performances. And as they say, a workforce well-connected to an organisation is a recipe for success.
It increases employee acceptance
With the new generation workforce ruling the employment space, employee behaviour poses a big challenge. Their exposure and knowledge bring with them a certain level of expectations from their peers, which is a major driving factor for equal reciprocation. Employees today pay more attention to treatment, environment and acceptance at workplaces, irrespective of their role. Supporting those needs, companies like Google and Amazon have proven themselves as the most loved organisations to work for. But before love comes acceptance- something a good employer brand can offer.
It works as a long-term investment
Most organisations consider investing in employer branding only when they don’t have budget constraints. But let’s think about it this way- If you have a strong employer brand, that itself could work as a promotion for your organisation. At the same time, it is an investment which will help you save your recruitment costs. Studies show that companies with a sound reputation see a 43% decrease in cost per hire and are able to hire the right talent faster. Furthermore, such companies attract two and half times more applicants at any given point of time. On the other hand, ‘a bad reputation can cost companies 10% more per hire, affecting their bottom line’.
It gives you a competitive advantage
In a market landscape where quality talent is hard to find, every HR needs to grab the opportunity that provides a competitive advantage. A carefully designed employer branding strategy can become your most effective HR and marketing tool. When communicated using the right channels, your employer brand can reflect the right culture, values and drive awareness among your talent pool, thus giving you an edge over your competitors.
What does employer branding entail?
Building a successful employer brand is a process and largely entails:
• A healthy orgnisational culture and work practice
• Ensuring a positive image on social media
• Going beyond the ‘defined’ role of an HR and becoming a thought leader for the organisation
• Aligning with the marketing department to integrate brand strategy
• Highlighting your unique practice or operational distinctiveness
• Integrating a culture of diversity and inclusivity
• Restructuring/Improving your retention strategy
• Practicing transparency at all given time
• Encouraging innovative practices
To sum it up….
Changing times call for game-changing strategies. Over the recent years, HR leaders have realised the importance of employer branding as being one of the key components of HR strategy. Particularly so, in an economy driven by a diverse workforce of knowledge workers. By becoming a brand that the new generation employees can reckon with, employers can look at a winning side of the talent war.
Google India’s consecutive win as ‘the best employer brand’ is a standing proof of how far a robust branding strategy can go in understanding employee expectations and deal with the talent shortage. A comprehensive strategy, aligned with the evolving trends and changing needs of the ever-evolving workforce, can bring out the Employee Value Proposition (EVP) that your employees will seek.
At Yellow Spark, we develop internal communication strategies for our clients. Should you wish to develop an annual calendar for internal communication, write to us – firstname.lastname@example.org
Author Profile: Deepam Yogi is an adventurer at heart, socially conscious in her gut and professionally a strategic consultant. She co-founded Yellow Spark to support organisations to build workplaces that people love being a part of. Deepam describes herself as a shy yet opinionated writer, and firmly believes that most answers to complex issues lie in simple communication.