We often get asked what the difference is between employment branding, recruitment, branding, talent branding and consumer branding. The fact is, they are very similar to each other.
Employment branding and recruitment branding pretty much go hand-in-hand. Together, they set the tone, manner and message while presenting the culture of the organization to new recruits and to the current employees of the company. Together, they should reflect the brand personality of the external/customer brand and communicate the purpose of the organization and why the company matters to employees and customers alike.
Talent branding, by our definition, is when an organization communicates to high potential employees and conveys specific messages that indicates they are the future leadership. The focus on talent branding is leadership development, mentoring, retention, employee engagement, and effective communication that builds and reinforces the overall culture and values of the company.
Consumer/external branding is the marketing promise that the company makes to its wholesale community and retail customers that fulfills the customer’s emotional and rational needs. This message is generally unique product/service features and positioned to make it stand out from competition through a distinctive personality, look and feel, and tone and manner.
For the time being. I would like to focus on employer and recruitment branding.
I recently read an interesting article in BizCommunity (a South African publication) that had some interesting insights that I would like to share. The author of the piece is Celeste Sirin, an employer branding specialist, at Employer Branding SA. She suggested the following and I agree with these thoughts.
What are the key attributes for a successful recruitment/employer branding strategy?
1. Employer and recruitment branding must to be seen as a strategic, integrated approach as opposed to companies assuming that it rests solely with human resources (HR) and/or marketing. It is driven from the top by the CEO and the management team; and dedicated buy-in and participation is required from every stakeholder within every functional/operational division of the business.
2. A defined objective, whether it be a long-term or tactical (campaign based) approach, needs to be agreed upon, with clearly defined deliverables, time-frames, measurable and more importantly, how it ties in with meeting company’s holistic business objectives and bottom line profitability.
3. A dedicated employer branding leader/champion needs to be assigned to a company’s employer branding strategic portfolio (intent), otherwise it won’t get the attention it requires. If employer/recruitment branding is to be listed as a KPI line item to be met within the talent team, it will definitely fall along the wayside.
4. To insure the success of an employer/recruitment branding strategy, it is imperative that HR has strong ties with marketing and communications. Each practitioner cannot underestimate the power behind promoting a unified corporate brand. There has been a gradual shift in mindset towards businesses realizing this globally, with 36% of companies within the LinkedIn Global Recruiting Trends Report 2017 confirming that recruiting is collaborating with marketing and communications.
5. Companies with a clearly well-defined and authentic Employer Value Proposition have a solid foundation from which to build both their internal (retention) and external (attraction) employer brand.
6. Demonstrable measurable and proven return on Investment is the ultimate key to a winning Employer Branding Strategy, especially when it comes to receiving ongoing recognition and buy-in from your CEO and C-Suite. Insights confirm this as being one of the biggest challenges when it comes to the implementation of one’s employer branding strategy.
7. Social media recruitment is on the increase, especially with the increase of acceptance job boards like LinkedIn, Indeed and Glassdoor on which to position/showcase employer brand and value proposition. Companies will start recognizing these channels as a perfect means to start promoting their employer brands and value proposition, underpinned by an increased focus towards utilizing their employees as credible brand ambassadors.
Social Media and mobile technology provides fantastic platforms through which companies can educate, position their employer brand content and promote their reputation. The companies that have embraced such technologies are already at the forefront of securing passive work seekers. Companies are inviting employees to become their brand ambassadors, utilizing them more and more to provide storytelling and content which will resonate with attracting talent.
These are valuable thoughts that should be considered when thinking about recruitment and employee branding. All too often we are called into a situation when it is too late. We see employee and recruitment campaigns that are not aligned with external brand efforts, disjointed communications, that have different messages and in some cases, creative, that does not even adhere to the company’s brand standards. It looks as if it was created by an entirely different company. We have also seen company onboarding that has nothing to do with the corporate culture or values, which represents miss opportunities to create advocacy, enthusiasm and brand ambassadorship.
If you are thinking about developing and employee/recruitment brand marketing campaign, give us a call 617-308-3017 and allow us the opportunity to help you. It will save you time and money in the short term.