It’s important that your employer brand honestly reflects your organisation. Be transparent and clear about what you can offer and what you can’t. If you are working towards implementing something you know candidates will find attractive, but it’s not ready yet, tell them that. Nine times out of 10 the candidate will find it exciting to be part of that journey. Your culture should be felt the minute someone walks through the door because it is being lived every day.
Your employer brand experience should start the moment a potential employee begins to interact with your company, and it should continue through the recruitment process, on-boarding and their entire tenure, as well as exit and alumni.
How to develop your employer brand
1. Start with clear objectives
Understand what you need your employer brand to do for you. For example, what are the main challenges you have right now? Who do you want to attract? Who do you need to retain? What does success look like? Be clear about who should be involved internally and include them from the outset.
2. Deconstruct your EVP
Understand the values, behaviours, and promises at the heart of your employee value proposition (EVP), which will inform your employer brand messages. Identify which might be more important to particular talent segments. The amount of research required at this stage depends on what data is available. If you’ve got little existing insight then undertake an EVP diagnostic. This includes:
- Data gathering – gather existing information such as your business strategy, employee opinion survey data, policies and processes, and any external trends affecting you now or that may affect you in the future.
- Qualitative data analysis. Speak to people to really get a handle on your situation and understand what matters to your staff.
- Create the draft EVP. Using the data gathered and an expert’s knowledge of what motivates people at work, develop a draft for testing.
- Test the draft EVP. Employees and candidates enjoy this part; it’s an engagement tool in itself!
- Create the final EVP. Create one EVP that will work across your employee segments; agree the segments – for example they can include talent group, business group, geography or gender; you will be clear if any segments require different things when it comes to implementation.
3. Define your messages and ‘look and feel’
Develop a number of design options and test them internally and externally.
4. Communicate your employer brand
Once you’ve agreed the creative design of your employer brand decide how to communicate your message to target employees. This targeting can include the relationships and networks – both academic and industry-led – that you need to build. It will include how to use your current employees to sell your brand, and will detail the suggested offline and online tools that are right for your objectives.
5. Measure and adjust
Agree measurement criteria at the start of the project and put the tools in place to start tracking the effectiveness of your strategy from day one. It’s an ongoing process with the goal of continuous improvement so adjustments will be necessary. Because what you need will change over time you will want to continually improve what you do.
Justine James is director of Talentsmoothie