Now that I’ve got your attention, let me just say that there are many things that you ought to know about employer branding. There is a lot of research, resources, time and energy that go into building a successful brand strategy and delivering on it, day after day after day. But the number one thing that you need to know about employer branding is this …
You don’t own your brand.
Now, that’s just crazy talk! Or is it? Recently on DriveThru HR, I listened to Will Staney, director of recruiting and strategic programs at SAP/SuccessFactors, talk about employer branding, “The future of employment branding is that companies need to understand that employees actually own your brand. Not you.” That’s a pretty bold statement and on the surface you might question it. Though when you stop and really think about that, it makes complete sense.
Companies can influence their brand.
How employees perceive our companies is their reality. Their reality is often shared via word of mouth or “word of mouse.” In turn, these individuals have branded our organizations within their own sphere of influence: It’s a great company! This company is the worst. I’d recommend it in a heart beat. I’d rather shovel ketchup than work there another day.
Our job as recruitment marketers and talent acquisition professionals is to then build a strategy around how we position ourselves and influence perceptions.
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Content can drive changes in perception.
From an external standpoint, there are many tactics that we can explore to change perceptions. Curating interesting content is one of the hottest topics in the employer brand world today. Like B2C and B2B marketing, those of us in the employer space need to have a multi-channel approach to sharing content.
Questions for the brand journey.
Now that you’ve let go of the idea that you control your employer brand, let’s think about the content that you can focus on developing.
- What are the stories inside your organization worth sharing?
- What are your teams accomplishing?
- What is it really like on a typical day?
- What makes it unique?
- How can you leverage your employees to create and share the message?
As you continue along your brand journey, think about your pie in the sky ideas and what you can accomplish now. What is the effort, risk and reward potential of each idea and which ones are scalable? In today’s world of talent attraction, you have to be bold and daring.
How else will you change perceptions?