Talent Management

Four Steps to Improving Your Employer Brand

You know about personal branding—what makes you unique to the workplace and how to leverage that for the best career opportunities; you also know about company branding and trying to create a corporate identity that attracts the most positive light. However, in your own company, are you paying attention to employer branding? Employer branding is the reputation that companies have with regards to the attracting talent and when you’re serious about working with talented people, you want to entice the best people who can succeed in your company, not just anyone looking for a paycheck.

So what are the key steps to building and improving your brand?

1. Build your community

As the old saying goes, “It isn’t what you know, it’s who you know.” In our globalized world, the group of whom you know can get larger by leveraging social media. Social media can allow you to connect more personally to people whose talent and insight outshines others. It also allows your employees and potential employees a way to get to know you better, so make sure you use this opportunity to make a good impression.

2. Develop employee loyalty

Each of your employees is a brand ambassador; with each employee you have the opportunity to improve your ability to retain talent and acquire new talent. Paul Maxin, Global Resourcing Director of Unilever says, “Ensure brand authenticity: don’t promise externally what you can’t deliver internally.” If you are trying to attract talent by offering a great work-life balance, then don’t create an environment where your employees are tweeting complaints about their unpaid overtime.

3. Find examples of good employer branding

There are companies that have such great reputations that even people who aren’t looking for new jobs talk longingly about being employed there—you probably know someone who would happily quit their job just to work for Apple or Google. So what do these companies have? A company culture that offers a good lifestyle to employees, claims Greg Moran, CEO of Chequed.com, including “intangibles for all of its employees, not merely senior positions.” Another outstanding company is Zappos, which boasts call centers with unusually low turnover (39% in 2008, compared with the average 150%). How do they do it? Employee engagement that encourages employees to be themselves, rather than creating an atmosphere where employees are afraid of how they appear to others.

4. Utilize metrics to maintain high standards

It’s hard to ensure success without a standard by which to measure success. A number of scales exist to judge how effectively your employer branding is working. The Employee Value Proposition (EVP), a balance of the benefits received by employees for their performance at work, is one way to make sure that what you offer as an employer is worth the time of the skilled people you’re trying to attract and retain. Another way to check how effective you’re branding is to use surveys to determine if people have an understanding of your company. Essentially, qualify specifically what you want people to be attracted to in your company, and then find out if people actually are attracted to that.

What steps do you plan on taking build your employer brand?

Category: Talent Management

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About the Author: Beth Miller

Beth Armknecht Miller, CMC, of Atlanta, Georgia, is a Vistage Chair and President of Executive Velocity, a leadership development and coaching firm accelerating the leadership success of CEOs and business leaders from emerging to midsize com…

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  1. Chuck Smith

    March 18, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Beth, good points. A strong Employee Value Proposition is critical. One additional important point: make sure that you give all employment candidates a good experience. You have to measure this from their initial expression of interest through the final rejection and/or offer. Unfortunately in the world of employment for every job filled there’s one happy winner and all the rest lost out. So even those who don’t get the job should feel like their time has not been wasted.

  2. “I heartily agree. One of companies’ biggest missed opportunities is to coach and support employees in becoming helpful, pro-active, articulate ambassadors of the company brand and their own. They can strengthen relationships with customers and other key stakeholders, hasten apt innovation, boost esprit de corps with colleagues and hone their best talents. Companies may even keep top talent by supporting this approach. That’s why, as a former journalist who speaks and writes about connective behavior and quotability I am passionate about supporting such training.”

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