Employer Branding

In this era of good corporate governance, the emerging role of human resource is delivering effective governance and social responsibility. In order to achieve this, Simon Barrow (1996), a Consultant, coined a concept called 'Employer Branding'. 

What is Employer Branding?

Employer branding is the strategic process that involves creating a unique place of work that attracts the talent whose knowledge and skills are needed to meet the organization's goals and objectives.

Employer branding is about making sure that employees feel good about the place they work. Employees can then be ambassadors for the organization and that "feel good factor" can permeate out to others, notably customers and clients.

Employment branding is a strategic and marketing effort designed to make an organization appealing as a place to work. The targeted marketing effort attempts to shape the perceptions of potential employees, current employees and the public. Successful employment branding should reduce hiring costs and ease the hiring process.


The word 'Employer Branding' may be split up as;

Employer Branding = 'Employer’ + 'Branding’

'Employer' means a person or an institution that hires people.

'Branding' means a strategy that allows an organization to differentiate itself from competition and in the process, to bond with their customers to create loyalty. Thus, a position is created in the marketplace that is much more difficult from the competition to poach. A satisfied customer may leave, hut a loyal customer is much less likely to leave.

Just like any other brand, an Employer Brand has value and positioning. Employer branding is critical to build an image in the minds of potential employees and market the company as a 'great place to work'.

The objective of Employer Branding is quite simple. It is a strategy employed by an organisation to create an Employer Value Proposition ( EVP) that conveys to desired current and prospective employees why the organisation is unique, appealing and a fantastic place to work in.

Employer Branding gains tremendous importance in times when the talent pool is shrinking and is becoming increasingly difficult to attract and retain talent. It then becomes critical to position the organisation in the minds of the target audience to give it every possible advantage in attracting employees with superior skills and knowledge - a primary source of competitive advantage for any organisation.

Definitions

  • "Employer Branding can be defined as the package of functional, economic and psychological benefits provided by employment, and identified with the employing Company. (Simon Barrow: 1996)
  • "Employer Branding may be defined as an organic set of convictions an audience holds about a product, candidate idea or organization." (HP: 2002)
  • "Employer Branding establishes the identity of the firm as an employer. It encompasses the firm's values, systems, policies and behaviours toward the objectives of attracting, motivating, and retaining the firm's current and potential employees." (The Conference Board: 2001)

Key factors that influence employer branding

  • Salary of the employee paid by the employer.
  • Employee benefits given by employer.
  • Job security. 
  • Pleasant working atmosphere. 
  • Work-life balance. (Definite or fixed working hours in the job , but not irregular working hours)
  • Career progression opportunities. (Simply means growth in the job by way of promotion linked with increase in remuneration)

Any organisation for achieving employer brand name, should focus on above said factors. Employee salary plays a key role in gaining employer brand name by an organisation. Having strong employer brand name helps in not only attracting talented employees , but also helps in retaining talented employees in an organisation. Organisation need not struggle much for recruiting talented employees, if it has employer brand name in the market. Hence employer brand name definitely saves cost for searching talent and also its valuable time which is equal to cost.
Best tech companies to work for in 2015

Google tops Glassdoor's list of 'best companies to work for' in 2015.
  1. F5 Networks.
  2. Facebook
  3. Qualcomm.
  4. Adobe
  5. Mathswork (Software company)
  6. Apple
  7. Zillow (online real estate giant)
  8. Nvidia.

According to Alan Price Human Resource Management, 4th edition Book:

"The basis of employer branding is the application of the same marketing and branding practices to a company's human resource activities (specifically, recruitment and retention) as it uses for consumer-targeted marketing and branding efforts. In other words, the business markets its brand image to its staff. And just as customers will cease buying a company's products or services when a promise is unfulfilled, its employees will also leave if the company fails to live up to its employer brand promises."

Some businesses use separate, dedicated employer branding efforts aimed at aligning employees with their organizations' vision and values whereas others pursue this goal as one element of broader corporate branding strategies.


"BMW, Apple and Google have all created brands that make it easier for these companies to recruit talented workers and to motivate their employees".


Google emerges world's most attractive employer: Survey

India: Google continues to be a hot favourite for career seekers as the company has emerged as the world's most attractive employer, for the fourth consecutive year, says a survey. According to global employer branding firm Universum's global talent attraction index "The World's Most Attractive Employers 2012", Google has retained the top position in both categories -- business and engineering -- for the fourth year in a row.

"The Google fever is still hot! Students are attracted by Google's relaxed and creative work environment, international atmosphere and innovative products. Google offers great benefits and opportunities that are hard for other companies to match," in the business category, Google has blocked the top rank, followed by KPMG in the second place and Procter & Gamble in the third position.

Besides these, the world's top 10 employers in the business category include
  • Microsoft India has been adjudged the ‘Most attractive employer' for the second year running, in a survey conducted by HR services company Randstad. The Randstad Award 2012 ranked Oracle and TCS second and third, respectively.
  • Deloitte
  • Ernst & Young
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) 
  • J P Morgan 
  • The Coca-Cola Company 
  • Goldman Sachs
source:  the economic times

The 2011 Nielsen survey also showed that the top five dimensions students considered when it comes to seeking employment were high degree of independence at work, salary package, learning on the job, growth prospects and standing of the company in the market [Employer brand] respectively. 

From an analytical study of the above definitions, we may conclude that:

  • Employer branding requires alignment of management and HR practices that ensure an employee experience that matches the image portrayed.
  • Employer branding necessitates allowing the work environment and experiences to sell corporate image to human resources.
  • Employer branding is about effective and coherent talent management system - recruitment, orientation, training and development and performance management.

Thus, employer branding is a solid process based approach to discover and articulate the organization's unique identity, which is connected in compelling ways to the individual identities and aspirations of human resources, both current and potential.

According to human resource consultants Hewitt Associates, there are five steps to develop a strong employer brand:

1) Understand your organisation
2) Create a 'compelling brand promise' for employees that mirrors the brand promise for customers
3) Develop standards to measure the fulfillment of the brand promise
4) 'Ruthlessly align' all people practices to support and reinforce the brand promise
5) Execute and measure.


Why Is Employer Branding Important for Business Performance

Kelly Barcelos is a progressive digital marketing manager for Jobsoid – Applicant Tracking System. She is responsible for leading the content and social media teams at work.

Employer branding has evolved from just a marketing buzzword to an integral element for business growth. According to research, 75% of job seekers consider an employer's brand before they even apply for a job. And 96% of employers believe that their employer reputation and brand have an impact on their business revenue. Many companies all over the globe are taking note of these numbers and are continuously striving to develop their employer brand to attract a better quality of talent. Because if they don't work on their employer branding, they would be sabotaging their hiring efforts, making it more challenging to hire the best talent.


Why is employer branding important for a company and why more organizations should invest in it?


1) Attracts Quality Candidate

Research says a strong employer brand attracts 50% more qualified applicants.

When your organization has a solid reputation in the market, you have no problem in attracting the best people for the job. Moreover, you spend less time reaching out to qualified people as the applications pour in.

2. Reduces Cost Per Hire

When your company has a reputation for being a top employer in the market, candidates approach you directly, and these candidates are a better fit since they already know what the company stands for and what is expected from them.

With the increased inflow of qualified candidates, you tend to spend less time and lesser money on sourcing the right people for your open roles. The money you save can be reinvested in further enhancing the employer brand or in product development to get ahead of the competition.

3. Enhances Employee Experience

Employees who work for top employers take pride in their work. They are generally more motivated and enthusiastic. Highly motivated employees are great assets to the employer. They are more productive, and that translates into better business growth, ensuring higher revenue and increased financial stability of the company. While a financially stable company makes employees feel secure in their jobs, it also becomes attractive to potential candidates.

4. Increases Employee referral rate

If your current employees are happy working with you, they become your brand ambassadors. They spread positive reviews, opinions, and statements about you, making you an ideal employer. The more your employees talk positively about you, the more referrals they generate.

5. Improves company perception on social media

Your brand is what other people say about you when you're not in the room. So, when these people talk good about you on social media channels, people reading about you on these channels form a positive opinion about you. So, when the time comes, they won't think twice about approaching you for a job directly.

Final Thoughts

It's important to understand why employer branding matters and how it can benefit the overall business performance in the long term. Employer branding is not something you leave to chance. Take time to plan and document a robust employer branding strategy and ensure everybody is working towards the same goal.



Why Marketing and HR Need to Work Together on the Employer Branding Strategy


Your company brand influences more than just your customers. However, some business owners often treat it as an isolated factor, removed from the employees. Alex Lysak, a marketing expert, tells us more about marketing and HR teams' combined effort when building your brand.

Alex's marketing agency, Scanteam, understands the importance of employee engagement in your brand and wants to help you get the best out of your marketing initiatives. Combining human resource and marketing functions in branding has many benefits.

Why is Branding Important to Employees

Besides the obvious importance of branding for your customers, it's also essential to understand how branding impacts your staff. The top factor in attracting talent to your business is your reputation. Building your brand means growing your reputation.

Marketing shouldn't have a narrow view of their role in the organization. It's more than generating leads and accommodating sales. Marketing also includes attracting new talent to your organization.

A strong relationship between HR and marketing can enhance your business's core functions. The company can build a culture in line with its brand, adding value to the whole business.

HR and marketing do the same for different audiences. They promote your business in different spaces. So HR and marketing working together will improve both teams' ability to meet their goals.

Benefits

Collaboration between HR and marketing translates into benefits for employees, prospective employees, and customers.

Employees

HR can train employees in brand messaging and help them to engage positively with the company. In turn, this will create a positive image of the business. The employees know what the company is about, so they're excited about the brand. Engaging in the brand also improves staff morale, which, in turn, influences productivity.

Prospective Employees

The business can attract and retain the best talent due to its positive image when marketing and HR work together. The battle to attract the best talent is fierce, and a good image is vital to winning the top employees.

Customers

Customers can benefit from better informed and motivated employees who know the product and believe in it. The behavior of your employees reflects the beliefs and organizational culture. If they have bought into the brand, customers will pick up on that.


What Can the Teams Learn from Each Other?

There are a few lessons that the teams can learn from each other to make your business better.

What can Marketing Learn from Human Resources?

Marketing can learn to influence business strategies and behaviors through employee engagement. Give the marketing team a chance to learn about employees' beliefs and how they feel about the company's brand identity. In turn, it will help them establish themselves as key influencers in the business structure.

Marketing can also learn to put people before profit. The people in the company are the cornerstone of success. On the other hand, marketing can often be so driven by numbers that they forget about the people. The employees are the representatives of your brand. Encouraging marketing to understand your business through employee's eyes will give valuable insight into better marketing campaigns.

What can Marketing Teach Human Resources?

Marketing folks are more tech-savvy and generally, better at communicating complex ideas. They can teach the HR team about technology and its benefits for internal communication.


How Can the Teams Work Together and be Efficient?



HR, marketing, and brand building are words that don't often stand in the same sentence. However, is there a way to get your teams to work better together?

Purpose

Both teams should acknowledge that they are working towards the same goal and then figure out the best way to achieve it. Collaboration and teamwork are key. Use the product you are selling to customers as the reason for the team's existence and to drive all decisions.

Commitment

As with any change in your company, management's commitment drives the buy-in from employees. Your team should be on board and encourage the idea of HR and marketing working together. The leaders of the organization should drive the role of human resources in services marketing.

Leadership

Teams need to know what roles they fulfill and who handles which aspect of the work. Teams collaborate better when they see the team structure and the distinct purpose of each member.

Conflict Management

Conflict is a vital part of teamwork. If a conflict happens, it might mean a degree of comfort among the team members. They know each other well enough to disagree. Manage the situation well, and the conflict will turn into successful collaboration. Don't allow your team to dwell on the conflict, but rather focus on solutions.

Communication

Both the marketing and HR teams are experts in communicating with certain audiences. Now they have to learn to communicate well with each other. It would be best to decide on workspace and channels to facilitate the process and reach common goals.

Informal communication can work to some extent, but you can't rely too heavily on it when the two teams have just begun working together.



Conclusion

HR and marketing have always seemed like they are worlds apart—two completely different functions in an organization. However, the goals of these departments are similar. One is about internal, and the other is about external communication. If they combine their expertise, the company will attract and retain the best talent available. Through proper training, employees can also engage in the brand in such a way that it enhances your company's image.

Alex Lysak is a CEO of  https://scanteam.pro/. I am working in online marketing since 2011, my main areas of expertise are marketing research, social media marketing, and SEO. During 9 years of experience, I have helped many products and startups to develop marketing strategies and to implement them further.



Brand name valuable to most employees: Jobbuzz Survey TimesJobs.com Bureau

A large part of employees voted brand name and career growth opportunities as the top two reasons to work in an organization during the most recommended companies to work survey conducted by Jobbuzz, a premier product by TimesJobs.com to help employees make intelligent career decisions.

Almost 66% employees agreed that the brand's name matters the most while selecting a job offer. Growth opportunities and on-the-job learning & development come only next in the top reasons to work list. In the view of Indian employees, matters such as salary packages and work life balance are placed lower in their roll while selecting or recommending or work with an employer.

In the Indian Job Outlook Survey 2012 conducted by TJinsite, research and knowledge arm of TimesJobs.com, experts claimed that recruiters have to push boundaries to create brand attractiveness for making skilled talent consider their employment options.

Only about 32% companies consider the impact on business performance as a measure of Employer Branding (EB) process effectiveness. However, about 20-30% HR managers acknowledged higher retention rates, improved productivity and employee engagement as the key benefits of having a strong EB. In fact, during an UpperCrest Job Fair, an exclusive job fair by TimesJobs.com focused on recruitment of senior professionals, HR managers pointed that companies with strong employer brands are able to hire or retain experienced/senior professionals without worrying about their competitor's approach.



Having an effective employer branding strategy is crucial, but if your strategy is not convincing enough for whom it is targeted to it is not going reap any results. TimesJobs.com survey shows that there exists a wide gap in how employers perceive their branding and how employees sees it


The Employer Take

Increasing popularity

The good news is that 64 per cent of the surveyed organisations claim to have a clear and well-designed employer branding strategy in place while 20 per cent plan to build one in the next six months.In 2012, our employer branding study showed that only 25 per cent employers had a clearly defined strategy in place. This is a big achievement for India Inc.Moreover, the need to have an employer branding strategy in place is not confined to large organisations. Small organisations too are embracing the practice and acknowledging its benefits.

Of all large companies (with 1,000 or more employees) that took part in the survey, nearly 60 per cent said they have a clear employer branding strategy.About 75 per cent mid-sized and 63 per cent small-sized companies also claimed to have a winning employer branding strategy in place, reveals the TimesJobs.com survey.

Employer branding works!

Nearly 74 per cent of the surveyed employers saw their employer branding practices as paying off results. They said it was leading to quality hires, better job acceptance and improved retention and engagement. Quality hires, in fact, are considered as the biggest advantage of a successful employer branding strategy by nearly 37 per cent of the surveyed oragnisations while 24 per cent consider better job acceptance and 23 per cent consider improvement in retention rates as the biggest advantage of the practice, shows the survey.

About 16 per cent employers feel effective employer branding helps improve engagement rates. Nearly 42 per cent large, 58 per cent mid and small-sized organisations consider their employer branding strategy is effective in engaging and retaining employees, finds the TimesJobs.com survey. Interestingly, an increasing number of small and mid-sized organisations found their employer branding strategy to be successful. About 55 per cent of the small and mid-sized organisations term their employer branding strategy successful, finds the study.

Newer metrics

The survey revealed that it’s not only numbers that organisation are relying on while calculating return on investment of their employer branding strategies, and most employers go for softer metrics to assess the long-term benefits of the practice.

Nearly 59 per cent organisations are looking at engagement rates and 47 per cent consider quality of hire while calculating return on investment on their employer branding strategy, finds the TimesJobs.com study.

Overcoming hurdles

According to over 70 per cent of the organisations, budget is no more a constraint for planning and implementing employer branding strategies. This was one of the key roadblocks in successful implementation of an employer branding plan in 2012, as told by nearly 40 per cent of surveyed organisations.However, what’s constant is the lack of vision and clarity which is seen as the primary challenge in realising the potential of proper employer branding.

Nearly 68 per cent of the organisations feel ambiguity related to vision and objective of the process were the main hurdles to successful implementation and completion of an employer branding plan. This was also the case three years ago, when TimesJobs.com conducted the first employer branding survey.

The Employee Take

While employers are gung-ho about their employer branding strategies and are even acknowledging success, is there a gap between what employers think and what employees feel about their employer’s brand? Is the intended message crossing over to what employees see and feel? Perhaps not, shows the TimesJobs survey.

While most organisations think they have a winning employer branding strategy at hand, nearly 67 per cent surveyed employees don’t feel so. These employees rate their organisation’s branding strategy as not much convincing. About 23 per cent rate it as convincing, while 10 per cent label it as poor, finds the TimesJobs.com study.

In fact, only 42 per cent of the surveyed employees said they will recommend their company to a friend.While 56 per cent employees from tier I and II cities find their employer branding successful, only 32 per cent employees from large organisations feel so.The current branding strategies appeal to experienced professionals but entry and mid-level candidates are not quite happy with them.