The concept of employer branding seems a real challenge, which does not belong essentially to HR issues, contrary to popular belief. Initially, I was interested in the brand from a BtoC view, then I considered the brand from a BtoE view after my last internship as Internal Communication and Corporate Responsibility Executive at AXA . I discovered through social networks, the existence of « employer brand » – strongly highlighted in the U.S. for example – which tends to expand into France (Example: Deloitte).
Over time, the brand has been exploited by marketers and advertisers to be completely virtualized in everyday life. It does not appear anymore like a source of social identification. In the coming years, the Employer Brand Director will face different challenges….
Today there are three targets on the employment market: the “baby boomers” (1946-1964), the “Gen X” (1962-1976) and the “Gen Y” (1977-1989). These “consumer of jobs”, with different expectations, are looking for the best « product » that best meet their expectations. Features of this product are jobs and different career possibilities, and must be supported by objective proofs such as testimonials, representative examples of career paths. If I say “join us, it’s very interesting” you do not have to believe me and you probably will not do. However if it is employees who tell you why they found what they were looking for within the company, then you start to gain credibility. The Employer Brand Director as Marketing Director must constantly keep an eye on the job market to understand the expectations, ensure flexibility and maintain consistency between demand and supply.
To attract the “future employees”, companies must work in a logic way of proximity and transparency by promoting dialogue. To reach this goal, there are various communication channels such as event (job fairs, interventions in schools, establishment of business game, etc.) and virtual communications (social media, blogs, serious games, web TV, etc.).
Reducing Turnover & Motivating Employees
The current “drama” seems to be the loss of understanding of the employees’ role within the company. The Employer Brand adopts the same role as the brand on a football shirt. For example, when you practice football, certainly you practice the same sport as an opponent during a game but do not belong to the same club – and therefore do not adhere to the same values. While distrust and disengagement increase, the Employer Brand as the true “soul of the company”, must strengthen corporate culture and give a social and existential dimension to individual utility – thus regaining a true human dignity. The more the company will mobilize and engage their employees, the more they will be more motivated to deliver the employer promise and contribute to the success of the company in terms of brand and performance. Which is not negligible as a competitive advantage. The Manager must coordinate and monitor the initiatives – based on internal investigations – to align practices with the employer promise.
In terms of visibility and information, it comes to internal communication: internal forum, collaborative intranet, poster, conference, etc. Other actions of mankind can be set up as mentorship, coaching, integration management, etc. to support staff, answer questions, identify “Best Practices” and establish a local management.
Developing The Reputation Of The Company
Through internal and external actions, the Employer Brand Manager role is to strengthen (or build) the Employer Brand and it attractiveness potential in the long term. Her/His speech should be fully consistent with the employer promises made but also with the history of the company. Thus, if the firm is an old firm and owns a long history, she/he shall draw from the values of its causes (the phenomenon of « Family Success Stories »). On the contrary if the firm is newer, she/he shall base her/his speech on factors such as innovation for instance. In fact, it means for the company to take what has always existed, accept imperfection and be consistent, because any fake promise or perceived gap will be punished. Companies must maintain visibility with talent (externally and internally), accepting the risk of paying dearly for their winning back.
Watch the interview of Jean Marc Mickeler, Employer Brand Director at Deloitte (FR)
Watch an interesting animation made by the Australian group The Strategist Group (EN)