27 Feb 2012
Start Right: 6 things to put on your employer brand TO DO LIST
There’s nothing like the decent stretch of a Christmas holiday to make you feel renewed, refreshed and full of enthusiasm and expectancy for the adventures ahead. The trick is how to make the most of that when you get back to work. Everyone is bringing ‘fresh eyes’ back into your organisational environment, with its specific opportunities and challenges, and for many the break creates an opportunity to consider life, the universe and their job and manager. Should I stay or should I go? It’s the perfect time to be looking back to learn from the past, looking around to get clear on the current situation and looking forward to chart a course for the future. Exactly the same opportunity exists for you and your employer brand so here are a few things to think about adding to your To Do list to set up for success.
Review Your Strategy
Get your head in the game by reviewing your company’s strategic plan, especially if it has recently been created or refreshed, as is often the case at the end or beginning of the year. It’s important to ensure that your employer brand strategy and tactical plan align with and support the overall strategy and business goals. If you don’t have a specific employer brand strategy then this year would be a great time to start.
Take The Best From The Past
Before you get too much distance on last year, run a debrief process with your team and internal stakeholders about what worked and what didn’t, based on what you were aiming for. Start by looking for stories of success and then for opportunities to improve. All too often we start with the problems and what’s broken. Its much more powerful, engaging and motivating to start with the positives. You’ll always be able to find things you could do better so take the time to recognise what’s working and create a plan about how to get more of it!
Talk To Marketing & Comms
Employer brand is a facet of the complex creation that is your company’s overall brand and reputation. Customer, supplier, investor, community and (potential) employee groups are not mutually exclusive. The activity, messaging and experiences created by your employer brand initiatives and that of the general marketing and comms team have to layer up in a way that builds the total brand. Talk with the team about their plans for the year; check in against the brand architecture, promise and key messaging. Do your recruitment advertising and employment communications share the same voice as the corporate brand? Do they make sense together?
Talk To Hiring Managers
Understanding the future talent needs of the business is critical if you are to be strategic in development of your employer brand. How is your team, business unit or division going to change in the next 12/24/36 months? Who will we need? When? Where? What do these people look like – skills, experience, attitudes, values, etc – and how can we be front of mind as a place that offers them what they’re looking for. What are they looking for? Supporting your hiring managers to shift their thinking from transactional, reactive recruitment to future focussed, transformational sourcing is a necessary mindset shift if your employer brand is going to be used strategically.
Collateral & Competitor Review
When was the last time you sat down and read through your organisation’s employer brand related collateral? Pull together as many examples of recruitment ads as you can; review the careers pages of your website and intranet; check through all the letters/e-mails you use throughout the recruitment, hiring and rejection process; review your induction comms and any employee handbook materials; Google search for any mention of your company; and review your pages on Linked In, Facebook and Twitter. When you’re done – check out your competitors to see how they’re doing. How are they positioning their EVP and differentiating themselves from the rest of the market. From a neutral perspective, how different are you really?
Engage Your Partners
If you work with third parties such as recruitment agencies; providers of psychometrics assessments and skills testing; recruitment advertising specialists, when was the last time you reviewed their alignment to your organisational goals, values and brand? These people aren’t immersed in your culture yet they are front and centre in creating experiences early in a candidates engagement with your organisation that colour their view of your business and your company reputation. If they are truly your partners, invest in ensuring that they understand your employer brand, goals and culture so they are inspired, enthusiastic and empowered to act in a way that creates the experience you would want if they were your own people.