The benefits of a strong employer brand include lower employee turnover, lower cost per hire and increased job consideration by top talent. To successfully establish your employer brand, you need the right tools, skills and up-to-date knowledge. To shed some light on this, I recently spoke with Claes Peyron of Employer Branding Academy.
Let's start with the big question. Why do we need employer branding?
"Yeah, that is the big question isn't it? Well, a few reasons why we need it today and why we'll probably need it even more in the future. First is that we're seeing increased competition for talent - I think everybody has heard about the war for talent. McKinsey came up with this book, I think in the year 2000, and released an edited version of it in 2012, where they basically said "you know we were right back in 2000 but it was even more extreme than we thought".
And the increased competition is due to two things, mainly. It's the aging population - so basically there's not enough younger people to fill the holes that retired people are leaving behind. That's one thing, and there's also a much stronger focus on the topic in itself. So more and more companies are out there marketing themselves as employers.
There's also an increased focus on matching a company's culture and value with the talent. So talent, or young people in general, are more and more aware of their own beliefs, their own bigger purpose in life, perhaps, and are trying to find the best possible match for the company. That means that companies basically have to get out there and talk about themselves in a softer way.
And thirdly there's a financial reason. Several studies that we've seen, including one from Boston Consulting Group, have shown that companies that invest in employer branding benefit from as much as 3.5x higher revenue growth and as much as 2.5x profit margin increases. So there's a very clear financial case there as well.
In short, companies that invest in employer branding will be more profitable and more successful, based on research."
What's a step by step guide to success employer branding success?
"I can let you know five steps as I see it.
The first, and perhaps the most important step is to understand the business objectives. So basically understanding where my company's heading? What are the biggest drivers in our future business plan? What's going to make our company grow, be more profitable? Whatever it is that we have in our business plan, what are those drivers? And then it's understanding the target groups that are most important to deliver on those business objectives.
The third step is to set the EVP, as we call it, which is the employee value proposition - basically, the promise that we make to future and current members of staff - as well as setting my KPIs, my key performance indicators, what I'm going to measure everything against.
The fourth step is to set your creative strategies. So basically the visual identity, perhaps the creative idea that you have that you want to bring out there when marketing yourself externally, that which defines your communication mix. Which channels will do the job for me? Do I need to get out there and drive awareness, or consideration, or preference, or whatever it is?
The fifth step is to execute on all of these plans and to follow up by using very careful metrics, continuously using data."
How important is it for employer branding professionals to stay updated?
"Very important I think, because you know we're living in the information and knowledge society and we'll be doing that for the coming decades. So the talent aspect of business will grow dramatically in importance - I even predict that the second most important person in many companies in a few years will be the Chief HRO, or the Chief Talent Officer if you like, because the focus on this topic will be so strong. And a couple of years ago and in Davos, in the big meeting in Davos, the chairman there actually stated that "talentism" is the new capitalism, meaning that companies that have a people strategy that beats other companies will have a stronger competitive advantage than perhaps having access to capital or the right products or what have you."
Read the full article on the Link Humans blog.