The Benefits of Crafting an Employee-Led Employer Branding Strategy
People want to work for organisations that are known to be good employers. While it may sound obvious, many companies still neglect their employer brand to focus on other parts of their business strategy. Employer branding might not be the most exciting topic around the office, but it is one of the most underrated parts of an organisation's strategy.
It helps attract new employees as well as retain existing talent. As organisations begin to invest in building an effective and genuine employer brand, they need to ensure they involve their employees in the employer value proposition.
There is not one way for organisations to create an inspiring employer brand, but in 2023, we see a change in how companies build their brand. For many, what used to be the responsibility of a small group of people is now becoming an organisation-wide effort, with employees becoming critical players in building an authentic and robust employer brand.
What is Employer Branding?
Employer branding is an organisation's strategy to showcase their company culture and reputation. Employer branding, while a marketing effort, is designed to appeal not to customers but to prospective employees. While job seekers are the primary audience, the appeal of a strong employer brand is also a key part of influencing existing employees' perception of their employer.
An organisation's employer branding strategy is essential to maintaining a company's reputation, and a strong employer brand will help generate engagement within the workforce by connecting employees with their organisation's mission. That mission must be genuine and authentic. It is not enough for organisations to say that they have a set of values. They must make sure that all the employees in their organisation feel it.
An organisation's employer brand represents your organisation's reputation as an employer. It may not be tangible, but it is an asset that needs attention as it influences candidates and current employees.
Why is Employer Branding Important?
A strong employer brand is necessary for every organisation's strategy, especially in a more demanding talent market. While the concept of employer branding is not new, it is still sometimes forgotten by companies, as other parts of their business take a more significant part of their strategy goals. Still, as the talent market has become more fluid, innovative organisations invest heavily in their employer brand. Some of the reasons why it is still essential include its role in:
Attracting Top Talent
- The best people want to work for an organisation that reflects their values, and it has never been more difficult for organisations to get to these individuals. Organisations that can reach these potential employees are doing so because they have a strong employer branding strategy that appeals to potential candidates. This recruitment effort is also helped by current employees sharing their positive experiences at the company, enhancing its reputation.
Improving Employee Engagement and Retention
- Just as people want to start working at a company that aligns with their values and culture, they also want to continue working at an organisation that is reflective of themselves. A well-designed employer brand fosters this connection between employees and their organisation. Employees who are proud to work at an organisation are more likely to feel a genuine connection with their company and are more likely to be engaged, which is linked to higher retention.
Gaining a Competitive Edge
- Many organisations offer similar services and products. Differentiating your organisation from the competition can be challenging – and this is where your employer branding strategy can help you gain a competitive edge. When your employer branding strategy highlights the exceptional qualities of your team and organisation, it helps set you apart from the competition.
Building Credibility with Customers
- Customers, like potential employees, want to engage with organisations that align with values that are important to them, and that they can trust. When values align, people are more likely to trust them, and while it's not the sole deciding factor for potential clients, it is one which organisations should be mindful of, particularly in a competitive market.
Enhancing Organisation Culture
- When an organisation actively shares the unique aspects of its workplace culture, including its values and mission, it attracts individuals who align with these values. This makes them better placed to create a more cohesive and productive work environment.
How does the Employer Value Proposition Fit in?
The Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is critical to crafting a successful employer branding strategy. The EVP is the unique set of offerings and experiences an organisation provides its employees in exchange for their skills, contributions, and commitment. Organisations that effectively integrate the EVP into their employer branding strategy use it to form the foundation for their brand image and reputation.
Why are Organisations Involving Employees in Creating a Strong Employer Brand?
Creating an effective employer branding strategy is essential for organisations, and in 2023, this creation effort will no longer be limited to HR and marketing efforts. As companies realise that including employees in the process of creating a strong employer brand is not only good practice; it is a strategic imperative. Some of the reasons why organisations include their employees in this process are:
- Authenticity: Employees are the living embodiment of an organisation's culture and values. Their genuine experiences and perspectives provide authenticity to your employer brand. Candidates and potential clients are more likely to trust employees' words over scripted marketing messages.
- Improved Feedback: Employee involvement in branding creates a feedback loop that allows organisations to continually refine and enhance their employer brand strategy. Employees can provide insights into what's working and what needs adjustment, ensuring the employer brand is authentic and accurate.
- Inclusive Culture: Involving employees in branding fosters a sense of inclusion and ownership. It reinforces that the organisation values diversity of thought and perspectives, which can contribute to a more inclusive workplace culture.
- Long-term Sustainability: An employer brand created alongside employees tends to be more resilient and adaptable. It can evolve to meet changing needs and expectations, ensuring its sustainability.
A strong employer brand is becoming increasingly crucial for organisations wanting to succeed in the talent market while getting the best out of their current employees. A well-planned and executed employer branding strategy comes when an authentic company story is integrated into all aspects of the business. Employees must be involved in the process to help create this strategy, and when it is done transparently, it has several benefits for the organisation.
Organisations that invest in their employee brand create a more appealing workplace and set the stage for long-term success in a dynamic and ever-changing work landscape.
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