FRIDAY 22 MAY 2015 11:28 AM


Employer brand, the brand journey as experienced by an organisation’s people, is the Holy Grail for HR and recruitment professionals, and is an essential part of the internal communicator’s role. The internal communicator helps to construct an environment where there is a strong sense of company culture and brand values, where every employee is a brand ambassador and where, consequently, the top talent is eager to work.

However, it’s not enough to create a strong employer brand. Once that culture has been created it is down to the company to broadcast it to the outside world. A delegate at a recent, exclusive employer branding event said, “What we’re now realising is, although we’ve got this amazing culture internally, we don’t tend to shout about it, so no one else knows that”. That’s where the marketing arm of employer brand comes into play. Employer brand is a collaborative effort and one that benefits the entire organisation when done right.

In recent research conducted by Emperor, a corporate and brand communications agency, and Rethink Group, a recruitment and talent management company, in conjunction with Communicate magazine, 63% of UK survey respondents said that they are committed to the strategic development and continual management of their employer brand, but still have work to do. While there is a general willingness among brands to make employer brand a priority, implementation of the discipline is still in its infancy.

One area where brands are struggling to gain footing is measurement, an area that is often side-lined in favour of more creative pursuits, but an area that is, nonetheless, crucial for the successful implementation of any new communications practice. In the UK employer brand management survey, 81% of respondents said that they could improve their metrics for measuring employer brand management. Internal surveys were ranked the most popular means for measuring the effectiveness of employer brand management.

Perhaps the most worrying finding to come out of the UK research was that nearly half of respondents described internal awareness of brand values in their organisation to be average, low, or very low. This suggests a more deeply rooted problem; poor brand strategy, poor brand communications or an inconsistent external and internal brand. Creating a fluffy marketing campaign in order to recruit will not yield results in the long term as the candidate, even if they take the role, will find themselves in a work environment very different to what they expected, which is when retention becomes an issue. In contrast a strong employer brand will emanate from within the company and will project out through genuine communication touchpoints such as current employers. This will attract top talent that is informed and a good fit for the brand.

Internal teams and senior management should commit to the employer brand if they want to ensure that they attract and retain the best talent. The survey showed that only 42% of respondents believe their leaders to be committed to employer brand management. This needs to change since a strong employer brand so often starts with the leaders in the organisation. While 73% of organisations say that employer brand management is on the corporate agenda, there is clearly some way to go in the search for effective employer brand strategy. It is companies who already have a strong sense of an overarching brand strategy who have the necessary foundations in place.


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