• Creating a Strong Employer Brand

    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals
    July 24, 2013

    An employer brand is an organization’s reputation as an employer and the image of the company as a great place to work, says Rob Kessler, assistant vice president of employee communications and employer brand for Enterprise Holdings.

    “When an organization undertakes employer branding, the ‘product’ it is selling is the employment experience it offers,” Kessler explains. “It is not focused solely on recruitment, but throughout the entire employee life cycle.”

    A strong employer brand allows you to connect with more of the candidate market by:

    • Allowing new employees to arrive with higher levels of commitment and maintain that commitment the entire first year.
    • Providing new and existing employees with a resonant message that promotes engagement.
    • Creating a unified voice for your organization that brings clarity to recruitment and internal communications efforts.

    To create a strong employer brand, you must differentiate yourself from your talent and industry competition, Kessler says.

    “If you don’t differentiate yourself, then the candidate’s decision would come down to merely pay and benefits,” he explains. “Your brand needs to have a deeper connection than that, and help explain why your company is different from all its other talent competitors. Focus on what makes you stand out and provokes an emotional response.”

    To do so, sell your employee experience. For example, Kessler recommends showing how your company helps people’s lives.

    “Stand-alone facts are boring and can be confusing,” he says. “Let employees share stories, show the workplace, and highlight employee events, rewards, and volunteerism.”

    Beyond this differentiation, Kessler explains that, to be effective, your employer brand must:

    • Align with your organization’s overall business objectives.
    • Be authentic. Employees should see it and say, “Yeah, that’s us.” Your efforts should yield engaging, informative, and transparent branding that gives the world a view into what it’s like to work for your company.
    • Focus on strategy first. With so much opinion and discussion around social media, mobile recruitment, and more, it’s easy to get caught up in the delivery of your employer brand and not spend enough time on its strategy.
    • Be adopted internally and externally.
    • Create a unified voice throughout the employee life cycle, from recruitment to retirement (and beyond).
    • Lead to greater levels of candidate attraction and employee engagement.
    • Inspire leadership to embrace your organization’s employee value proposition.

    Finally, your employer brand must be adaptable, flexible, and sustainable.

    “Who you are as an employer doesn’t change unless your culture changes,” Kessler notes. “However, how you explain it and bring it to life does evolve since your candidates’ and employees’ wants and needs change over time.”