Consider all stakeholders in employer branding

HR must consider a broad range of stakeholders when constructing an employer brand, according to a panel at the REC’s Talent, Recruitment and Employment Conference 2015.

Wincanton HR director Julie Welch said it was critical all staff understand the employer brand, to ensure that it has legs beyond attraction and recruitment.

“You have to think about your line managers,” she said. “In many cases they are the link between you and your other employees. What you are saying in your values and the real-life experience have to match up.”

KPMG’s UK people director Colm Coffey said the employer brand is “non-negotiable” and that line managers must be held accountable for delivering it. “If a manager is not prepared to deliver that experience, we can find someone who will,” he said.

Dixons Carphone employer brand manager Helen Durkin advised HR “not to give up” on working with marketing to make sure the employer and customer brand match up. She said it is important the employer brand exists beyond HR.

“In stakeholder management we pay attention to the customer’s experience, so why don’t we look at our talent the same way?” she asked.

She added that in the aftermath of the Dixons and Carphone Warehouse merger, creating an aligned employer and customer brand was key.

“We’re building a new vision and set of values from the ground up,” she said. “As well as measuring external reception we are [doing] internal research.”

Monitoring the impact of employer branding is critical, the panel said. Coffey explained how KPMG investigated how its brand was perceived internally and externally. “We spent 12 weeks testing 1,500 people internally, and did tests with our recruiting partners,” he said. “We also polled 1,000 graduates.”

He added that HR should trust employees not to bring their brand into disrepute on social media. “We’re adults, we trust each other, and we’re here to do great work,” he said. “We can’t control everything.”