Firstly – Happy New Year! Do you feel the abundant sense of optimism that seems to be everywhere (or is that just me?). Everyone I chat to feels excited about the year ahead, that things are looking positive and there is a strong sense of growth, energy and excitement. Well if you’re not feeling it then hopefully a little of mine can rub off on you! 🙂
As you know I passionately believe that a company can prosper or fail based on its employer brand. If I’m connected, engaged, excited and committed to my organisation then my output will be exceptionally high. If the majority of employees feel that way then the reflection on the business will be just as attractive to those outside the business.
One of the visuals that I think allows for clarity and simplicity when it comes to displaying whether you have clear messaging and purpose or not, is the employer branding pyramid. There are a variety of versions available but today I thought I would just share one that I think works.
If I work for your business, what is the overarching promise that you will make to me?
An examples is, in my current role I have the promise of: opportunities to be innovative, creative and deliver exceptional work to clients.
All of our employees are encouraged to think differently and try and be different in order to provide our clients with a strong competitive advantage when we’re delivering outcomes for them.
If I asked you what your organization’s employer brand promise is, what would you say?
Employer Brand personality:
What is your organisation’s personality? Is fun and hard working, is it professional and structured, is it creative and flexible? how would you describe it and more to the point how would your employees describe it?
Key Values & Beliefs:
What are your employees key values and beliefs? What do they care about and how does your business align to that? “our people believe…..” “We value X”
How employees are Valued:
Based on their values and beliefs, what do your employees value i.e: how do they want to be treated? What is rewarding for them and what is a must for them in their work environment? How does your business meet that need?
How does this all translate into a tangible reality for them? So when you hire people, train them, develop their career what is on offer? At which points in the employee life cycle do they see and experience the benefits of the employer brand promise? These may also be your EVP statements.
What brings it all to life? This is where you list everything in your business that contributes to the people or employer brand promise. So it may be benefits in your business such as the leadership programs, lifestyle programs, flexible working, referral programs and rewards, job swap or sharing, rewarding social responsibility. What is part of the business that supports the values in a tangible way?
Employer branding doesn’t have to be complicated it just needs to be clear and focused on your people.
How would you rate your company’s Employer Brand message?
Suzanne Chadwick is the Head of Employer Branding at Hudson RPO. We provide employer branding consulting in Melbourne, Australia with a global team and reach across Asia, the Americas and EMEA. For more information head to http://hudsonrpo.com/digital-and-sourcing-innovation-consulting-services.
I feel like this statement needs be made.
An employee value proposition is, like many other things, an element of your employer brand, it is not your employer brand
It also does not mean that once you have an EVP that’s it, your work here is done you can pack your bags and walk away.
An EVP has a number of key objectives that it needs to achieve in order to be effective, worthwhile and of value. It can’t be effective if all the other elements of an employer brand are ignored. On it’s own, an EVP is just a series of empty statements that are neither emotive, engaging or persuasive.
In order for your EVP to mean anything, you first have to understand what the point is.
1) What is the point….
Meaning – what is the business trying to do? What needs to shift in order for the organisation to meet it’s goals and objectives? Do you need to grow the business? reduce turnover, increase engage? What exactly is required?
I would love you to think right now, what EXACTLY do you need your employer brand to do. Be really specific. Not just, attract new people……. which people? how many? who? where, when, how?
I would encourage you to answer these questions……….
2) What to do, what to do
Once you have your value proposition or people promise, what are you going to do with it? Meaning, how are you going to bring it to life. Five statements on a website does not quite cut it if you’re trying to create an engaging and business changing message.
Who are the people and what are the stories that you’re going to tell. I’m also not just talking about two or three videos, I’m talking about building a story across multiple channels.
Do you remember those old Nescafe TV ads where there was a story. A woman had moved to New Zealand on her own and she ended up having coffee with someone and then met the love of her life….. (anyway I digress), I was so engaged with the 3 people in those ads and I followed the story with every new ad they had, thinking what would happen next.
That’s the type of story telling I’m talking about. Real. Engaging. Exciting. I can identify with that kind of story telling.
3) How am I going to communicate it?
Of course it needs to be on the career site, but what else could you do?
Create a following to your story, in images and videos. Create a trail for your target audience to follow and to engage with.
As an employee of your business, I may be on instagram one day, the career site the next and then you may find me on the company facebook page…..who know’s.
What’s the message I’m carrying? What’s the dialog that I want in return? If your business is solving a global or local problem then what are people saying about the issue? What do your employees think about the issue. How can I share more of what real people with real opinions are saying?
4) Does it hit the mark?
Are you reaching your audience? Are they engaging? How can you tell?
Measuring and engaging with your audience is what separates okay companies from great companies. There’s no point putting a message out in the market and then dusting your hands off……now what? Is it doing what we want it to? Think about how you’re going to measure things before you put them out there and it will be much easier.
We live in a world of ever changing and evolving content. You have the platforms, ability and opportunity to create context to your content, to make it different and to stand out. Tell the story, be creative. If I said to you, you have to do something completely different to what anyone else is doing in the market….what would you do?
Oh, what I would do if I could tell your story………….
I recently presented at the HRO Conference in Singapore on Hudson RPO’s annual global research paper in partnership with HRO Today which focuses on what top employer brands do differently to other brands.
The primary research was gathered via one-on-one interviews with top employer brands plus a 3-week online survey of global senior HR practitioners (328 usable responses).
I found this research so practical and insightful for organisations that are still looking at how they build their employer brand and what activities they need to focus on.
Here a just a few of the findings that came out of the report. If you’d like the full report (I highly recommend it!!) then download it here.
One of the biggest questions I get from clients when it comes to developing their employer brand is – where do we start? Do we just refresh our EVP, or should we just update our career site? What if I put a few videos in there, will that be enough. As with most big projects, we need to understand the objectives – what do you want your employer brand to do exactly? Building a strategy to support the successful execution of a project is critical.
The research shows that twice as many top employer brands have a defined and documented employer brand strategy compared to other brands.
So I would ask you – does your business have an employer brand strategy or is it more of an activities focus. If we just do these one or two things then we’ll be fine? Is the strategy lead by the wider HR and Business strategy so that it’s tied into delivering what the business needs? These are the types of questions that need to be asked.
Not only do we need a strategy but we need someone who can champion that strategy. The leader, the passionate crusader that understands what it’s all about, who understands the benefits and opportunities and is able to articulate that and position it in the right way to get the job done.
Once again, top brands were more likely to have CEO or President level sponsorship. I think a lot of organisations are unsure how to have the commercial conversation around what quantifiable impact EB will have on the business therefore it’s not something that is discussed at C-suite or exec level.
Top brands also generally had stronger visibility of their employer brand across their senior leadership team. By having the entire leadership team on board and behind what you are doing means that your ability to rally internal support and engagement will be higher.
I was having this conversation with the HRD of a large consulting firm the other day, and she commented that they need to see a return on investment before they will invest anything worthwhile. And whilst there are things that can be done inexpensively, there needs to be some investment if any impact is to be made. That might be cash investment or it could be resources investment – but something has to be given in order to get something in return. We found that top employer brands invested 52% more than other brands.
Top brands use more social channels to promote their employer brands, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest. By using multiple channels you’re engaging current and potential employees in different ways. You’re provide multi content collateral for their consumption which is always going to more engaging that just one type of content in one place.
Partnering for Success
As an employer brand strategy can be a project in itself with many different components, the research found that whilst 57% of organisations manage their employer brand internally and 61.3% of Top Brands partnered with an external business/consultant compared with 42.9% of other brands. Bringing in specialised expertise to help you build a strategy as well as execute key activities will ensure you have targeted outcomes.
Overall, top tier employer brand companies involved more departments and other groups in promoting their employer brand as seen below. By ensuring that you’re using experts in your business to deliver input, advice and output for the employer brand project will not only share the work load but it will ensure that the employer brand is in line with the corporate and consumer brand as well. 44.6% of Top Employer Brands have defined roles compared with 17.6% of other brands.
Measuring Return on Investment
As always this one is a surprise to a degree. We’re so focused on metrics and measuring everything but the Employer Brand is still the last thing to be measured. 61.4% of respondents said that they don’t measure return on investment when it comes to their Employer Brand whilst 22.4% weren’t sure.
These are just some of the findings from the research undertaken. The report provides break out “how to” boxes to make it not only informative but very practical.
If you’d like to discuss how your employer branding strategy can meet your business needs this year then drop me a message and we can discuss how we could potentially work together – firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you read the heading and think……’have I subscribed to the right blog????’
Yes it’s still me and yes we’re still talking about sourcing and employer branding, but today I want to talk about whether the corporate world is aware of a huge shift that has been happening for some time now. This shift is highlighted in ‘The Evolution of Employer Branding 3.0‘.
What do I mean?
Well last week I held a client workshop, entitled “How to build an Engaging Employer Brand in 2014”. In the session one of the topics I went through was Brett Minchington‘s evolution of employer branding.
When I ran through the column entitled EB 3.0, we looked at how the GFC has shifted employer branding into a focus on how organisations, employees and all other stakeholders involved in the business are now responsible for and need to conscious to make the world a better place. Many of the younger generation now make decisions based on whether a company is aligned with their values, what the social and corporate responsibility of the business is and how they can not only give back, but how they find meaning in what they do every day.
So I asked the attendees a question. Now that employer branding has moved to not only functional and emotional territory but 1) were they aware that it had now shifted to the spiritual and 2) what were their thoughts? The one response I got what “Maybe in California”.
I have to be honest, that I was surprised. Maybe there was a reluctance to talk about it as many people feel strange or uncomfortable talking about things like Spirituality when it comes to corporate business. The reason that I think I’m comfortable with the notion is because I have a fairly deep connection with a global online community of entrepreneurs, risk takers, thought leaders and challengers of the status quo. There is a very regular and healthy discussion around how what we do feeds our soul, gives us purpose, drives our passions and makes us feel like we’re giving back as well as being socially responsible human beings.
If you wanted to know if it’s only happening in the States, all you needed to do was check out Entrepreneur Unconference in Melbourne on Saturday. It wasn’t just business owners that were there, it was a wide range of entrepreneurs as well as corporate employees talking about how they could do more in the world, be smarter, be better, be less selfish and give back more whilst making money and a living in the process.
So my questions to you my readers are these –
1) Do you think that the corporate world is void of this spiritual or deeper connection with what is happening outside their building walls?
2) Is there a desire to give more than just our productivity and cash.
3) Does the corporate world understand that in order to attract some of the best in the business, there needs to be an awareness of this shift and look at how organisations respond to these needs?
I felt that the Global Vice President of HR for Unilever, Geoff McDonald, who spoke at HR Leaders forum in Sydney 2 weeks ago knew that as a business they needed to understand this and connect at a deeper level with employees and customers in order to not only be sustainable but conscious and deliberate contributors to the world.
I’m so fascinated by the lack of discussion around this topic in businesses, when millions in the online community are shouting about it from the roof tops.
Why should we as HR professionals and recruiter care I hear you ask? The bottom line is that it’s getting easier for individuals to start-up their own businesses in a world that has no barriers or borders to a global marketplace and if those us in corporate business don’t give people a reason to stay; then the bottom line is that they won’t!
I would love to know what you think ~ please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Wasting time sourcing?
Have you gone mad Suzanne?
Well no, I haven’t gone mad but I think many recruiters may have.
What would you say if I told that you I went strawberry picking. I went to the strawberry farm and I hunted for the biggest and the best strawberries. Every time I found one I picked it, thought ‘WOW that’s impressive’ then I went and put it in my basket. Every day, I would go back out into the strawberry farm and I’ll continue to pick my strawberries and I’d keep putting them in my basket.
I didn’t put my basket in the fridge, I didn’t cover it with anything, I didn’t wash them, I really didn’t do anything to look after the strawberries that I had already picked; I just kept going back out into the field and picking more. Eventually the strawberries in my basket went bad but I didn’t notice because I just kept putting more and more in.
Does that sound like a great use of my time and resources?
Was I making the most of the strawberries that I already had in my basket?
Did I care for them so that they lasted longer so that when I was ready to use them on my amazing Christmas Pavlova they were primed and ready to go?
p.s. the link is there for my wonderful international or non-Australian readers! Make a Pav these holidays….it’ll change your life! See…..you get sourcing advice and amazing recipes! What other recruitment blog gives you that!!!??
Well I feel like this is happening in the majority of organisations that are recruiting. We work to build the database, to attract great candidates and then a new job requirement comes up and what do we do? We go back out to market, put the job ad on the job board or LinkedIn and we spend 2, 3, 5 weeks looking for new candidates.
Well the reason may be that we don’t have very good database search or talent pooling practices. I really can’t think of another reason.
So what should we be doing?
Having a good understanding of which roles you may have coming up and which roles you recruit regularly should help you to manage the number of times you need to go to market a fresh.
Having engaged, well managed talent pools will not only mean you don’t have to go to market again and again but when you reconnect with candidates who have already shown an interest in your business that you’ve identified as being “a big strawberry” (or an amazing candidate) then everyone is already on board and ready to go.
The client owned recruitment database is one of the most neglected and underutilised tools today. Everyone is so focused on getting the new job out there, assessing new candidates, that we lose the good ones we already have.
That candidate who was great and applied last time, sees the ad and thinks, well I’ve already applied and they obviously aren’t interested so I won’t apply again. Not only have you wasted time going to market and going through the whole sourcing process again when you didn’t need to, but you lost a great candidate in the process and you spent more money than you needed to.
So here are 5 steps to decrease the spend on time, money and resources and use your database better:
1. Ensure your database has a good search function
This may mean that you either have to skills code or tag candidates so that they can be found later or you many need to test out if enhancements needs to be made to get the most out of the search functionality. You probably only need to make 2 hires from the database to cover the cost of a technical update. If you don’t know if your search function is good or not then find out. Either contact your ATS company and they should be able to give you and your team training as well as help you determine if what you have will work for your needs. Another option is add on database search technology such as SeeMore.
2. Train your recruiters to be database hound dogs
If you don’t train your recruiters to use the system in a way that will increase database searching then they’ll just keep doing what they have always done, which most of the time to is the advertise, wait 2 weeks then sift through 80 response! Once you know the power of your ATS or database search capability then ensuring recruiters know how to use it is critical. Also changing their mind set is something that may take some time but if they get into the habit of searching the database before they advertise then it will change over time.
3. Actively influence source of hire
By looking at your source mix and knowing where your candidates are coming from can help you actively influence the mix by driving certain behaviours (training), targeting and rewarding your recruiter’s ability to move the source mix dial towards database or talent pooled hires.
By doing this you should also see a decrease in ‘days to hire’ as they are not waiting 2-4 weeks for ad response.
4. Identify and develop active talent pools
Note the word active. I say active because you don’t want a ‘basket of rotten strawberries’. By ensuring that the quality of the candidates in your talent pools are good, it means that your recruiters will know that if they go and search in those talent pools they will get great candidates. By implementing a manageable CRM (Candidate relationship management) strategy will also mean that you’re not only building your employer brand in the mind of candidates that you know are already interested in the company; because they’ve applied before, but it also keeps them connected and informed for when you want to tap them on the shoulder again.
5. Candidate managers will pay for themselves
If you are a company with over 500,000 candidates sitting on its database (and that’s not many by today’s standards), then it may be worth investing in a candidate manager who can connect, engage, talent pool and farm out great candidates across the board. I remember back in 1998 when I was working in recruitment, our candidate managers were worth their weight in gold. For some reason we don’t seem to value this role anymore, but I think managed in the right way a dedicated resource will add enormous value to a team. They can also manage talent communities, talent pools and develop social and sourcing strategies.
So that’s my thoughts on why I think many recruiters are wasting their time sourcing. Do the work, build your CRM strategies and searchable databases and then enjoy the benefits of that by tapping back into your strawberry basket when you need to!
Have a restful and safe break over the holiday season and I look forward to share many more branding, sourcing and social hints, tips and tricks with you in 2014!