The eighth in our series of blogs on brand optimisation focuses on Employer Branding! In this series we’re going to take you through the mine field of unravelling the challenges of optimising your brand for business success – from uncovering your purpose, to driving brand awareness in a crowded market.
You may have already invested in your brand, from its purpose through to its tone of voice and visual identity, to carve out your market positioning and gain new customers. You may be seeing success, but we ask what is a company without its employees?
Put simply, an employer brand is your reputation as an employer, as well as your employee’s perception of you as a company. If someone asks one of your employees what it’s like to work for your business, they aren’t just going to talk about your services and the great new product you’ve just launched, they’re far more likely to allude to your culture, leadership, benefits and CSR.
So, where does it all start? As with your customer brand it starts with a proposition, or as it’s known, an Employee Value Proposition (EVP).
There are a number of different ways to develop your EVP including looking at your vision and customer facing brand, defining your strengths and differentiators, thinking about the type of culture you want to create, how you define your employees career advancement, your approach to employee engagement and your openness to employee feedback. There isn’t a one size fits all approach, you need to develop something that feels right for your business.
There are different reasons people work for a business, some are looking to make a difference, others for fast paced career climbing and pay opportunities, and others are looking for all-inclusive culture with a family feel. You will need to consider what will make people want to work for your business. Here are some example to get you thinking:
John Lewis base their EVP on Partners.
“As co-owners we all have a say in our business, so we put time and effort into making it work. Partners are the reason we’re the success we are. They’re our secret ingredient. They’re the opportunity for us to differentiate.”
Partnership is so strong it has become intertwined with the customer-facing brand development rolled out last year…
On the other hand, Unilever has leadership at the heart of their EVP:
“At the heart of our value proposition is that we build leaders… we develop leaders for Unilever, and Unilever leaders go on to be leaders elsewhere in the world.”
Each EVP is unique and will most likely attract different candidates who align with their way of thinking.
Once the EVP is formed it needs to be communicated with a robust employee engagement strategy – after all, you’re trying to attract (and retain) the best talent. From job adverts to social media and internally from your induction and your office or building branding to your training programmes and internal comms, your Employee Value Proposition should be re-enforced to both attract the right talent and then make them ambassadors for your brand.
Having a solid EVP doesn’t just help employees who want to choose the right organisations that will enable them to thrive, it also helps the business.
A clear employer brand helps you drive a great reputation as a great place to work, not only reducing your effort to find candidates but also in screening them, as those who your EVP doesn’t resonate with will self-opt out of the selection process, significantly reducing the time hiring takes.
Employee engagement is key. Your employees have come (and stayed) with you because they were sold on your brand beforehand, and you’re likely to be delivering what they want from an employer perspective. This in turn is likely to make them more productive and motivated, helping create growth for your company.
Staff will settle in, thrive faster and stay in organisations where they fit and have shared values and objectives. This one area alone can save employers huge budgets on recruitment, onboarding.
Lastly, with all the money saved by having a committed workforce, you will have more money to be able to invest in the business, whether that’s through internal processes and systems, innovation or marketing. And a thriving, well invested business is a great place to work, helping you attract and retain even better talent.
Ultimately, a strong employer brand is the business identity of your company that helps you stand out to candidates looking for roles. The stronger your employer brand, the more likely it is you’ll not only attract the best talent, but retain it for longer and this benefits everyone.
At Something Big, we’re experienced in developing, activating and communicating employer brands. Perhaps you already have an Employee Value Proposition and are struggling to communicate it or perhaps you realise you need one and need some help. If you would like to discuss your employer brand get in touch.
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