Employer Branding / Employer Branding

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HR & Marketing, a strong and valuable connection

Marketing is essential for HR because customers and employees are your main capital. If you want to grow exponentially, you not only need happy customers, but also happy employees. And that is sometimes where the shoe pinches: as a company, you are constantly concerned with customer satisfaction and sometimes dare to lose sight of your employees.

And it is precisely in this domain that marketing comes around the corner. Marketing and HR work in essentially the same way. Marketing is looking for potential customers and encouraging them to buy your product. Recruitment is finding potential employees and encouraging them to apply. And it goes even further. Through both the customer journey and the employee journey, you want to build a strong image and bind both customer and employee to your organization.

Employer branding, building a rock-solid employer brand

Where marketing is about branding products and services, HR is about making your company attractive to potential and current employees. This is not only about your internal staff, but also about external workers. They too are ambassadors for your organization.
The definition used by Geert-Jan Waasdorp , author of "Building the new employer brand," is clear and comprehensive:

"Obtain and maintain an authentic and distinctive preferred position as an employer in the mindset of (potential) employees and their influencers with the goal of attracting and retaining the right employees."

Strong and engaging employer branding contributes to a company's exponential growth and performance. It is not a sprint but a marathon. Not a temporary and one-time campaign, but a sustainable and long-term action plan. Not a loose story, but your identity. Norms and values are translated into daily life in the workplace . A strong and authentic story is the basis for your employer branding.

How do you get started?

Define persona

In marketing, one uses so-called buyer persona, i.e. descriptions of different types of customers with their characteristics, drives, interests, buying behavior, points of interest, etc. In employer branding, it is about the profile sketch of each type of employee. These profiles describe the persona by demographic characteristics, role/function, expertise, .... By putting yourself in the shoes of this persona, you gain insight into their stories, what drives them and what matters to them. What is extremely important to one persona may be a "fait divers" to another. For example, consider young starters, where pay and culture play a strong role; while for managers with 30 years of experience on the clock, the focus is on exit arrangements and fringe benefits.

Internal analysis

Persona can only be described after specific questioning or observation of your employees, in which you examine what employees find important, whether this differs per type of employee, where you as an organization are strong in and where you can still grow. This way, you have already mapped the existing situation, and you get important insights about how you as an employer are perceived by different types of employees. Measuring and analyzing HR data is also an important source of information. Consider, for example, measuring employee turnover: If turnover is high, this may be an indication that your employees see too few opportunities for advancement. The right HRM software helps you collect data and creates insights into your data.

External analysis

A thorough market analysis will also give you insight into how the competition is positioning themselves and how they are promoting their employer brand. This provides you with inspiration to determine where you make a difference and how you want to position yourself in the job market.

Search and find your EVP

The Employer Value Proposition (EVP) is the core of your employer brand and defines its positioning and strategic direction. It is the values you offer as an employer to current and potential employees. It is the promises you make as an employer to employees in exchange for the values they deliver to your organization. This EVP should be clear and specific, in line with your organization's mission and vision to maintain the right focus.

Salary, professional and personal growth are and remain important, but are less distinctive. By focusing strongly on company culture and by unpacking innovative benefits, you can positively influence your position in the labor market and they will start to see you as an attractive employer. Post-Covid, cultural fit and well-being are gaining in importance.

Strategy for effective employer branding

Once your EVP is clear, you can strategize how to move from the "as is" to the "to be" organization and market your employer brand:

  • Marketing campaigning takes time and resources. Establishing strong branding is no exception. It is a sustainable investment that will pay off in the long run. Not every company has the budget to run flashy campaigns, but fortunately that is not a requirement to attract and retain talent. An employer brand is something you build brick by brick, validate and continually adjust.
  • Which channel you use to get this story out is highly dependent on your target audience. Young people love the energy you exude as an organization. So a video on social media about a daring activity will be more successful than an infographic. If you target the older generation, a personal message from the CEO will generate more engagement.
  • The constant, however, remains that communications must be authentic and personalized to generate engagement and connection. Therefore, it is essential to work out the communication in co-creation with your employees. Let them tell their story, authentically and vividly. It is important that all persona are addressed, so that you broadcast a diverse and inclusive picture.
  • Make sure communications are consistent and meet internal communication guidelines. This will ensure more brand recognition and make it easier to stay top-of-mind with your target audiences.
  • Also make sure you can monitor your campaign by measuring reach, likes, reactions, etc., so you can make adjustments where necessary. Your IT department can help you with this.

Successful employer branding is achieved through good collaboration with your employees, HR, Marketing, Communications and IT department.

And above all, don't forget "customers and employees are your main capital".

Could you use some help working out your employer branding? Feel free to contact us to take the first steps together.

Food for thought

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Source: Fokus (Knack)