Employer Brand – An Organization Journey Lost in Translation!
Employer brand is a commitment by an organization to the existing talent and prospective talent to create a workplace with a strong brand reputation and unique practices that builds pride, love, and trust in people for the Organization. Employer branding enhances this commitment by sharing the information about the organization ecosystem and people (customers, stakeholders, existing talent) associated with it. Lets ponder on how one can enhance, build, & achieve one’s best.
The widening gap between Marketing and HR collaboration in creating employer brand & branding has made the Organization’s journey story lost in translation. There is an essential need for marketing and hr teams to collaborate and take a serious look at their focus and strategy for co-creating an employer brand & branding journey that’s not sales oriented instead it’s driven by market research & behaviour and a people-centric approach.
How can Organizations build a Meaningful Story of their Journey?
The HR and marketing team together have to go back to the storyboard and visualize Employer Brand as product marketing, to segment the TG (Target Group market) to help them position the story. TG primarily for Organizations, in this case, will be in-house talent and external potential talent. The key here is ‘Active Listening’ in direct conversations and feedback of their perception about your organization and competition. Apply the principles of product market research (both Quantitative and Qualitative). How few organizations have applied this principle:
- Engage with Potential Talent from their TG segment through interviews and feedback on what they care about and don’t care about their Organization’s brand and their subsequent branding story.
- Conduct continuous focus Group Discussions/workshops with the in-house talent to help them understand what’s Employer Brand, how Employer branding impacts it, and the importance of both. Followed with their feedback on the current Employer Brand and branding.
- Research Competition and Audit the authenticity of the findings/data to analyze their market positioning as Employer brand and branding.
To achieve this, HR must play the role of marketing and vice-versa. An effective Employer branding works on the 80:20 Pareto principle where 80% is Execution and 20% is strategy. Low risk Experimenting with ideas to gather learning and then revisiting the strategy for changes is essential for small, quick achievable milestones.
‘Execution creates strategy’ ~ Nate Guggia
Why Does the Employer Brand Need a Human Element – Talent Brand?
Employer Brand in India, especially in the case of the start-ups has been built on the pillars of revenue, product and services offering, and market share. What it misses is the human elements- psychological safety, connectedness, and belongingness of its in-house talent to the organization. That is why the Talent brand becomes an essential element as part of the Employer brand with the key focus to:
- Build Talent: in-house and external talent experience,
- Align values: mission, and aspirations of the in-house talent and organization with the overall brand philosophy.
- Use Design Thinking Principles: to build the storyboard of your branding content. Think about what the talent will need from you to know your organization more instead of thinking about only your organization.
- Flaunt In-house Talent: Let your in-house talent design and create a social media story for branding. The authenticity brings to the organization’s brand is priceless. Eg: Intuit’s in-house talent designed their social media branding storyboard and executed it. The positive impact on the organization’s reputation was phenomenal.
These will build the customer experience, admiration, and advocacy for the brand because of enhanced performance and commitment of the talent towards the Organization. Read more on: How to digitally enhance Employee Experience
6 Hacks To Design Employer Branding
I have worked across Global and Indian organizations (including early and high-growth start-ups), it’s interesting to see the attitude and approach of business leaders/entrepreneurs to Employer Brand / Branding. While the Global organizations are committed and deeply involved in co-creating employer brand as the outcome of talent brand, the start-ups (early stage and high growth stage) are focused on employer brand as the outcome of revenue, products, and services, and market share. There is a priority for Entrepreneurs to go through a mindset shift about their understanding of talent. Employer brand and branding aren’t built on pillars of perks, fancy titles, insane compensation offers, or freebies. It’s about people, built by:
- Positioning talent acquisition on par with customer acquisition
- Bringing In-house and external talent experience on par with customer experience
- Focusing on talent retention on par with customer retention
- Investing in people’s growth is on par with investment in building products and services. ROI from both is interconnected organization brand and reputation
- Co-designing culture value on par with product and services value
- Building a People-centered focus which will create revenue, market share, and shareholder value.
Employer & Talent brand and branding is a long-term investment that an organization has to commit to and continually evolve in collaboration with the in-house and external talent for desired growth in ROI and ROC. It has to be flexible to address the dynamic shifts in the business environment and sustain the fast growth journey of the organization. Know more about: The Corporate Style of New Normal
The Inspirit Way
Building a strong story for Employer Brand Journey is a wonderful insight shared by Natasha. It is very important to look into not just the monetary gain from an organisation’s business model, it is about weaving together work culture, employees, internal stakeholders, & of course the brand story that dyes this all in one. The motivation to build a journey, through positive experiences at various touchpoints has been a great strategy followed globally.