Employer Brand



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'.

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 influencing  on Employer Brand Name

  • 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.

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


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. 


Is Employer Branding widely prevalent in the Indian Industry? What are organisations' attitudes and preparedness towards Employer Branding? What are the challenges that they face in its implementation? 

In a survey conducted by TJinsite the research site of TimesJobs.com it is revealed that Employer Branding is not very prevalent in the Indian industry. However, they do believe that companies with strong employer brands can potentially reduce the cost of employee acquisition, improve employee relations and also helps increase employee retention.


The Latest TJinsite Research Report throws light on this fact - Overall, only 24% say that they have a clear Employer Branding strategy. More than 40% claim that, yes, they have a strategy, but it could be developed further; and another 26% who say that do not have one, but they are working on it; which could be interpreted as 'such a strategy is not priority, we have more pressing matters on our hands!' A lack of vision and clarity is seen as the primary challenge in realizing Employer Branding. This is strongly felt in the BFSI and the BPO sectors, where 75% state this as a problem.

The case for taking Employer Branding seriously is compelling. Currently, it would appear that not enough criticality or importance is being attributed to this process. In an economic climate where business is tough there is pressure to cut costs and increase productivity. This makes the need to get the right people in the right job even more crucial. Employees who have the right skills, experience and knowledge, in relation to the critical areas of a business to drive growth, become strategically important. Employer Branding then becomes the only strategy that will help position the organisation as the most attractive one in the corporate ecosystem.

An attractive employer can create for employees an illusion that their choices are limited outside of the organisation, constantly maintaining an image of being the most desirable employer, giving the right reasons or incentives for their talent.

source: the economic Times