Time and again, we’ve seen various buzzwords come and go across multiple industries. The latest buzzword that is doing rounds in the HR industry is the term “Employer branding”. However, unlike other buzzwords which drop in popularity in due course of time, there is really much more to employer branding than what we have seen so far at the surface level.
When companies are losing employees left and right, monetary benefits alone would not be enough to stem the bleeding (so to speak). It is imperative for you, as an employer, to provide other types of values as well, not only to ensure that your team stays together in the long run but also to motivate and incentivize them to perform better.
This is where employer branding comes in. In this article, we will explore the concept of employer branding concept in detail, and understand how it is more than the latest buzzword on the block.
What is Employer Branding
Before understanding what employer branding means, it is important to get some perspective on some basic principles first. Know that every company, including yours, has some sort of reputation as soon as you commence operations. This reputation could include many things, including the public’s perception about the services you offer, your creditor’s assumption about your creditworthiness, your investor’s intuition about your team, and your product among many others.
This reputation of your company is what is called your brand. Though the terms “brand” and “branding” are primarily being used in the marketing sphere, to define the reputation of your company among your customers, it does not necessarily need to stop there.
The reputation of your company among your employees – present, past, and potential, is what is called employer branding. Generally, the better the workplace conditions, and treatment of employees, the better the reputation of your company among the eyes of your employees.
To be crystal clear, in today’s day and age, a company cannot really afford a negative employer brand. Hiring and retaining the best employees becomes ludicrously tough, not to mention, costly.
In essence, an employer brand embodies the essence of your company. It tells your employees what sets working at your company apart from working with your competitors.
Key Factors that affect Employer Branding
There are several key factors that affect employer branding. While there is no one size fits all, comprehensive list of all the factors that could affect your employer brand, there are certainly major and common things that you can be on the lookout for. Before going into these key factors, however, understand and implement this one simple mantra, which is key to creating a positive employee brand
“Treat your employees the same way you would like to be treated.”
Now, for the list of key factors that could affect your employer brand:
1. Company Culture
Your company culture is perhaps the single biggest factor that will affect your employer brand. While there is no right or wrong when it comes to choosing the culture that you’d want to maintain in your organization, it is important to understand that different people thrive in different environments.
2. Workspace Accessibility
Company Location, facilities, accessibility and convenience – Self-explanatory.
3. Employee upskilling
Employees are no longer looking merely for a job, but rather a career. The more opportunities you provide for your employees to grow under your wing, the better your Employer Brand
4. Work-life balance
No modern employee wants to work 10 hours a day, 6 days a week. As social animals, it is imperative for human beings to have a well-functioning life to perform well at their workplace, as various studies have shown time and again.
5. Extensive perks
This could include providing day-care and creche facilities in house, lunch discounts, good tea served, telecommuting, travel allowances, etc
6. Employee Stock Options Plans
Employees love to feel like being a part of the ownership team. Nothing brings in a sense of ownership more than ESOPs, or other types of profit-sharing plans. This would inculcate a sense of “If the company does better, I’ll do better” with the employees, literally creating a win-win situation.
7. Job security
While the “carrot and stick” has worked effectively for so long, it is time to grow beyond that. Employees respond to positive incentives better than negative reinforcements. The constant threat of “one mistake, and you’re out” does more harm than good, when it comes to employee morale and the overall functioning of the organization.
Understanding Employer Value Proposition (EVP)
While employer branding talks more about the reputation of your company in the eyes of your employees, it is important to note that an important subset of this is Employer Value Proposition. What are the additional values that you as an employer provide that make you unique from your competition? What are the values that set your company apart from the other companies that make your company look desirable in the eyes of your employees?
While monetary benefits do play a significant role in retaining employees (and attracting new ones), there are other, intangible factors at play that determine whether or not your employee wants to stay in your company. Each of these intangible factors is called an “Employer Value Proposition”
What are the benefits of establishing a reputable Employer Branding
While we’ve talked about how negative employer branding adversely affects your company, we really haven’t talked about how being a reputable employer brand can boost your organization.
For one, a reputable employer brand can help you attract quality candidates. If you have a solid employer brand, you will have 0 problems in attracting the right type of employees that you want, saving you the time and effort of having to constantly train and check your employee’s work. Employer brand also helps to reduce the overall cost per hire, since you’re attracting the creme de la creme of the candidates.
Since only quality candidates are hired and are working in an organization that lives up to the employer brand, the employee experience is enhanced. Satisfied employees become your brand ambassadors, and refer other ideal candidates to come work for you, creating a positive loop. Apart from that, when employees like working in a company, it tends to show in their social media, improving your company’s perception on these platforms.
And of course, it goes without saying, an increase in the satisfaction of your employees will boost employee morale, increase their efficiency, and directly increase your company’s bottom line.
– Attract Quality Candidates
– Reduce Overall Cost per Hire
– Enhance Employee Experience
– Improve company perception
– Boost employee morale
– Increase efficiency of employees
– Directly Boost your company’s bottom line.
These are just some of the tangible benefits of having a reputed employer brand. In time, you will find yourself enjoying your work more, thanks to your effort in maintaining a solid employer brand.
Step-by-step Process to do Employer Branding the right way
Now that you understand the importance of a solid employer brand, it is time to ensure that you get right on the process of building your employer brand the right way, right away.
1. Conduct Employer Brand Audit:
Either task your HR team with researching how your reputation is among the employers, or better yet, hire experts to do the same for you. Analyze the results, and implement the suggestions that you deem the best.
2. Define your EVP
Ideally, it should be right in the middle of what your employees want, and what is the best for your company.
3. Communicate More
Build engagement with your current employees. Boast about them to the public. Make them feel valued, and cherished. In turn, they will become your brand’s ambassadors.
Once you’ve nailed step 3, you must provide your employees with the right tools to fully cash in on the process of employer branding. Create and provide your employees with snazzy, shareable content that they would automatically want to post on their social media, without any pushes or nudges from you.
Encouraging your employees to become your Brand Ambassadors
The products and the services that you offer are your employees’ as much as it is yours. Your employees have put in hours and hours of effort to ensure that the final product is perfect, and just the way your customers like it. Trust us, they do want to promote your product. This would especially be the case if they’re part-owners, or if you share profits making them feel a part of the ownership team. Your employees are your brand ambassadors.
However, if you ask them to go above and beyond to promote your products without being incentivized to do so, it probably wouldn’t work. It involves a lot of time and effort, both of which could be better spent by having them focus on their core functions.
However, if you, as an employer, could make it easy and hassle-free for your employees to promote your products, they would not think twice. Which employee of yours wouldn’t want to share that amazing post enlisting the various benefits of your products attractively, if they have access to it?
Can your marketing team help you with Employer Branding?
If employees can help in marketing, can my marketing team help me with employee branding? Of course, they can. In fact, if you ask us, there are no better people than your marketing team to help you create a successful Employer Branding campaign. The concepts of building a brand, regardless of whether it is for customers, investors or employers remain the same.
Your skilled marketing team, can use their knowledge about branding and create a successful employer branding campaign. After all, employer branding campaigns are just like any other marketing campaigns that your marketing team is so used to doing.
For the best results, it is recommended that your HR team and your marketing team collaborate together and create a fantastic campaign, and follow through on the culture and branding, regularly.
Oh, not to mention, your marketing team is the key to creating the share-worthy, snazzy posts that you’re going to provide your employees with in the first place. See how it all connects!
With 10 years of experience in operations and training, Parth is a go-to person for his team and even a multitude of growing start-ups. His knack lies at spotting and supporting start-ups, helping them streamline their processes and even take their ventures to the next level. After successfully establishing two start-ups and exploring the start-up landscape up-close Parth has learnt the nitty-gritty of the industry, which he now shares with fellow entrepreneurs.