Why do some organisations find it easier to attract and retain the best talent? Why do they seem more attractive than others?
The answer is quite simple... There is no simple answer. There is however an image of the organisation as a 'great place to work', that has been developed and cultivated over time. This is what we now refer to as employer branding.
What is employer branding?
Firstly it is important to note that employer branding is not recruiting. Recruiting starts and stops, whereas employer branding is a long-term, constant process.
Employer branding is not about describing job vacancies but about describing what it is like to work with the organisation: how they treat people, learning opportunities, career growth, etc.
The stronger your employer brand, the more attractive you become to the best talent!
So why are some organisations more attractive than others?
There are a variety of reasons why some organisation may seem more attractive than others, including:
- Interest Value: Some people are attracted to an organisation based on the intrinsic motivation that the work environment provides.
- Social Value: Some people are attracted to an organisation based on the cooperative level of work and positive team atmosphere.
- Economic Value: Some people are attracted to an organisation based on salary and benefits.
- Career Value: Some people are attracted to an organisation based on it's reputation and ability to act as a career stepping stone.
- Personal Value: Some people are attracted to an organisation based on the ability to apply what they have learned and give back to society.
Google, Goldman Sachs, Apple, Coca-Cola, P&G, BMW and L’Oreal are continually voted as the best places to work. They do this by providing potential employees with a mixture of the five dimensions. They have an exciting and creative work environment, they foster teamwork and collaboration, they recognize and reward performance, and they do a lot for their community. They are also very good at communicating these points!
What can you do to develop and cultivate an employer brand?
- Define your employer brand: Ensure the company’s strengths, weaknesses and value proposition are clearly defined and articulated from the perspective of an employee. What is your brand promise?
- Communicate your employer brand: Share it internally and externally. A clearly defined and articulated employer brand can help to motivate and retain existing personnel.
- Improve Selection: Hire the right people in the first place. Can they do the job? Do they want to do the job? Do they fit the organisation? If you can't answer yes to all 3 questions you shouldn't hire them.
- Define career progression: How will good performance drive your career progression? What are the various career stages in the organisation? Show what success in the organisation looks like.
- Compensation & Benefits: Pay the appropriate amount and provide as many benefits as reasonably possible. Seek advice from C&B experts to identify industry benchmarks and standards.
- Cooperative Work Environment: Develop a cooperative work environment where employees at all levels get the opportunity to interact and engage in positive discourse.
- Training and Development: Define training and development pathways for employees to develop, grow and progress through the organisation. This is an important element of employee engagement!
- Improved Interview Standards: Conduct properly structured behavioral interviews to improve the chances of hiring the right person. Ensure that job descriptions are clear and concise.
- Warm and Welcome: Make interview candidates feel warm and welcome. Introduce them to current employees. Remember, we are not just interviewing them. They are also interviewing us!
- Measure Employer Brand: Develop standards to measure the fulfillment of your brand promise. Are we walking the talk or just talking the talk? If you can't measure it you will never improve it.
- Share the Love: Show a passion for what you do. Irrespective of what industry you are in, you need to show that you love what you do and that you do what you love!
- CSR Commitment: Demonstrate a commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility. Be genuine and proud of all the good you do in your community. Do it for the right reasons, not so that you can tick a marketing box.
The benefits of having a clearly defined and communicated employer brand clearly outweigh the investment of time into building one.