Employer Branding: A Strategic Necessity

31 May 2016

Much has been written on the subject of employer branding in recent years, especially in context of its importance to successful talent attraction and acquisition.

We know that acute competition for skills (particularly those in short supply) necessitates that HR and Resourcing teams be ever more resourceful and creative in their approaches to finding and engaging talent. Naturally, talent attraction is only ever half the equation though.

After all of the effort and investment made to convince the best people to join your organisation, you then have to ensure that they are inspired enough to stay with you. What's more counter-productive than having engaged talent walk through the front door, only to head straight out the back on realising that the brand promise just didn’t live up to expectations? That's a huge waste of time, effort and money...

According to Forbes, about 70% of companies have a complex and cumbersome online application process, with a great many not even responding to candidates with an email. Many are failing to see candidates as consumers. But if you don't provide a positive candidate experience, you run the risk of reputational damage to your consumer brand - ultimately impacting on commercial interests.

In part, this is further stimulating the debate as to where organisational responsibility for employer branding should reside. Should it sit with HR? Marketing? Corporate Comms? endorsed by a Line Management community that are engaged and support what the employment brand stands for? - or as is more likely, a combination of (and collaboration between) all of the above?

As I pointed out in my previous post, today's ‘talent’ knows its worth. ‘Talent’ therefore now has more choices when considering future work and employment opportunities – and ‘it’ is more savvy about brand and what’s ‘in it’ for them. This places even greater emphasis on the importance for organisations to focus and invest on developing employer brand strategies and their EVP.

Viewed in this context, the relative importance of employer branding as a strategic talent initiative is clear. When defined in an authentic way, tailored appropriately to the target audience and managed consistently, organisations can greatly enhance their ability to attract and retain talent through sustained engagement - in turn driving organisational productivity and performance.

Straight forward? - absolutely not. We know from our own research and client conversations that relatively few organisations have actually developed an employer brand strategy & EVP. What’s more fewer still provide training to leadership on their employer brand. How can this be?

In my next blog I’ll take a look at the transactional/strategic conundrum facing HR which is hampering progress with employer branding. In the meantime, if you have any questions please message me or visit the Capita Resourcing website.

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