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Employer branding

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  • Employer branding
  • Building a strong brand identity and conveying it to the marketplace is a vital part of business success – but creating a strong employer brand is just as crucial.

    Employer branding is one of the most valuable tools a business has for not just attracting staff, but attracting and retaining the right staff. And it’s a critical component in employee engagement – helping you keep your staff motivated and productive, year after year.

    Successful businesses understand that employee engagement has a direct correlation to profitability – and they know that keeping staff engaged has more to do with their experience as an employee than their hourly rate.

    So how do you create your employer brand?

    1. Know who you are
    Having a congruent message that carries across your internal culture and your external brand identity is key: you have to know who you are and how to communicate it clearly. New employees need to know what to expect when they come on board, and long-term employees need to understand the culture and how they fit in with it.

    Think Apple and Microsoft – both are hugely successful companies, both have hugely different personalities behind them. Microsoft might not come across as the most ‘fun’ place to work, but the challenging, productive corporate culture Bill Gates has built clearly works. On the flip side, Steve Jobs has developed a reputation for prizing individuality, and the Apple culture attracts serious innovative talent. The result is that PC people work for Microsoft, and Mac people work for Apple – and both companies attract and keep the people they need to get the results they want.

    The reality is you don’t have to be fun or quirky to attract great staff – not all employees want to work for a ‘Google’ or ‘Virgin’. But everyone wants to know what they’re getting when they take on a new job. One of the biggest causes of employee dissatisfaction is discovering that the role or the company isn’t what it promised to be and avoiding this is simple: be true to your brand identity, know your core values and communicate them clearly.

    2. Know what makes you a great employer
    When it comes to creating a motivated workforce, salary is only one component – being a great employer is about engaging with your employees and giving them a working experience no one else can offer. It’s about finding out what motivates people, what’s important to them and what they’ll value most – and creating an environment where your business values will thrive and your employees will love to work.

    The Ivy Bar’s CEO Justin Hemmes understands that to get the best out of your staff, you’ve got to be ready to give – and he put his ideas in action right from the start, seeking out staff who shared his vision and would love the venue as much as he did. Ivy’s recruitment process included fun, laughter and a variety of theatre games, giving the jobseekers the opportunity to demonstrate their passion for the hospitality business and for the boss to get to know, and appreciate, his staff. When asked about why he feels bringing the right staff on board and nurturing them is important, Hemmes summed up his beliefs perfectly: ‘Staff to me are everything … they're my best friends. They’re my staff. They're everything; they create the business. I think if you respect your staff that much and you treat them like family they're going to deliver on your dreams’. This fantastic attitude has created a venue that has an award-winning atmosphere and is a great example of how having a strong employer brand translates into business success.

    3. Bring your brand to recruitment and induction
    You need to make sure your employer brand is present right from the start – and since 95% of jobseekers first ‘meet’ a company through a its website, that generally means creating a site that clearly outlines your business’s culture and expectations straight up. Of course, not all successful recruiting schemes start online, but the vital thing is to put out a message that reaches the kind of people you want to apply for the job.
    In 2004, a mysterious billboard appeared in Silicon Valley – the message was simple: {the first 10-digit prime found in consecutive digits ofe}.com

    People who knew ‘e’ is actually a number, and had enough natural curiosity to find out what it was all about, were taken to a second, more complicated challenge – and still no mention of what it was all about. The answer to the new equation led to the recruitment page for Google (who else?). This ingenious process delivered potential employees who were already qualified as being a good ‘fit’ with the Google brand, and gave the ‘applicants’ a taste of what it would be like working for the internet giant.

    John Holland: building a great first impression
    When your core brand identity is reliability and getting the job done, how do you connect with a new generation of employees who share your values? John Holland came to team scope to create a website for their graduate program that would do just that.

    The site is highly structured and well organised – and a ‘meet our graduates’ video enables applicants to see firsthand what a John Holland employee ‘looks’ like. Importantly, it makes the expectation of hard work very clear.

    Because the target market is graduates, the style is bright and just slightly quirky – the animated graphics in John Holland’s colour scheme add a touch of fun to the recruitment process. The result is a business with a strong, well-defined employer brand that’s clearly reaching its target!