In the current highly competitive job market, where the very best candidates are in great demand, it has never been more important for employers to appeal to new and existing talent. Employer branding has become a crucial part of employee attraction and retention, as highlighted by the Public Relations Consultants Association (reported by the CIPD, 18th June) which found that ‘company reputation’ is the third most important factor to British jobseekers when looking for a new role, after ‘pay’ and ‘the level of stimulating work’.
An encouraging 64% of workers in the study said that their employer’s reputation was ‘good’ and cited companies such as John Lewis, Virgin and Apple as fantastic employer brands. However, a fifth said that they were ’embarrassed’ or ‘ashamed’ of the company or industry their work for and 10% said their employer’s reputation was ‘poor’. Key factors that create a poor employer brand include 35% treating employees badly and 22% being untrustworthy.
So what is employer branding?
Employer branding focuses on how current and potential employees and stakeholders perceive an organisation to be. An effective employer brand will present itself in a very positive way which in turn leads to higher staff retention and attraction, whilst creating a good image for the company overall in the marketplace.
Like many challenges in business and life, the key to success is clear communication. An effective employer brand will have specific unique values and communicate clearly what it is like to work for the company and to be part of its culture. By investing in a positive employee experience and communicating this well externally, potential employees will be attracted to join the organisation. They are also more likely to fit well into the company because they have already bought into the employee experience and decided its right for them.
- Increased engagement from employees
- Higher motivation and productivity
- Higher staff retention rates and loyalty
- Reduced recruitment costs
- Increase in the bottom line
How to deliver employer branding in practice
This all makes sense but delivering it across the board can be very challenging, especially in a larger organisation that needs to make a cultural shift, or in a small organisation that is unclear on what it wants to be. An organisation needs to ask itself:
- What are the strongest attributes of the organisation to appeal to employees?
- What is missing? In what areas do we want to change?
- How do existing employees perceive us currently? If there are negatives, how can these be changed?
- Assess current employees and consider their attributes and personalities and how these fit within the culture you want to create
From this, they can devise a structured employer branding strategy, covering where you are currently, where you want to be and what you need to do to get there
Getting senior level buy-in and alignment
Obtaining the full buy-in of all departments, in particular the senior management team, are vital to success. There is no point in the HR and marketing teams working together to deliver an employer branding strategy that is sold into all employees, if in reality the leaders throughout the organisation have not bought into it nor are delivering it.
It is essential that the employer brand and external company brand are aligned and that the time and energy given to building a loyal customer base is also applied to employees; there is again no point in creating an external image of a modern, caring, forward thinking and flexible organisation if the employee experience is of slow decision-making and an old fashioned, unfriendly and inflexible approach to HR.
How can Aspire Cambridge HR Services improve your employer branding?
All aspects of HR form part of effective employer branding, including the recruitment process, training and development, career planning, HR policies, staff benefits and how employees are treated even if they decide to leave the organisation. Aspire Cambridge HR Services offer consultancy support on an adhoc or ongoing basis on all aspects of HR and by ensuring these are handled well within an organisation this in turn drives the employer brand.
The HR Services consultancy team specialise in gaining a greater understanding of employee perceptions; from this we develop strategies and techniques to ensure the most effective marketing of an organisation to potential and existing employees, growing a strong and healthy culture and improving the message conveyed internally and externally on why the company is such a great place to work.
Factors such as concerns over getting paid on time or an inaccuracy with pay can have a very demotivating effect and lead to doubts and rumours. Our HR experts at Aspire Cambridge can offer support on introducing a new pay system, calculating pay, salaries, overtime, terms of contract and so on.
Contact Aspire Cambridge
To find out more about our services, please call our HR specialists today on 01223 855441. Or if you are looking for a new role or candidate to join your team call us on 01223 855440.
Team image courtesy of Flickr