Employee Branding: A New Paradigm
Published on December 7th, 2022
Employee Branding : A New Paradigm
Are you facing issues getting employees? Employee branding might be the thing you're missing
We assume there are two companies, A and B, competing in the job market to secure skilled employees.
Both companies have invested resources into employer branding and are identical in this respect. Both have an identical number of listings for various departments in their industries.
However company A has also invested into making their main office as ergonomic as possible. They have a break room stocked with snacks and coffee and have just finished their monthly employee satisfaction review.
On social media, company B has more likes on their product promotions but company A has more shares on its #WeAreComedyA, where employees talk about their career while recounting humorous incidents experienced while working at company A.
Over a financial year we note the number of applicants per opening for both companies. On average we observe that company A is able to secure more applicants in comparison to company B. Upon closer inspection it is also noteworthy that the applicants secured by company A tended to be more skilled than their peers, implying that company A was able to secure more skill and manpower than company B.
Wait, what do snacks and anecdotes have to do with recruitment ?
The answer is employee branding. If we take a survey of the applicants, inquiring into the reason behind their choice of company it becomes apparent that most of the applicants to company A already had a preconceived notion of the work environment at their company of choice.
It is very likely that company A received more applicants because of the emphasis they placed on ensuring that their employees were satisfied and felt a sense of community with their co-workers. They provide benefits to their employees that are not afforded by their competitors and have a proven history of being a fun place to work at.
Company B invested in employee branding!
Company B solely focussed on employer branding, whereas company A placed an emphasis on both employer and employee branding.
Since company A had invested in employer branding along with employee branding, their position in the job market as an ideal working environment had been established over company B. The employees working at A would be more inclined to let their peers know about their work environment and how great it is to work there.
What's the difference?
Employer branding is the image of your company in the eyes of the job market. It is influenced by the company’s executives and their Human Resources division. They represent the code of conduct for the workplace and provide benefits and opportunities for their employees. This has an external effect and creates a positive impression of the company in the job market.
On the other hand, employee branding is used to describe the reputation of the company in the eyes of potential employees, built on the experiences of current employees and the image of the company that they propagate.It also affects the perception of the company in the job market but is seen as more credible. After all, an employee working a specialized job would know it better than their boss.
To put it simply, employee branding is dependent on the workers or employees of the company whereas employer branding depends on the leaders and representatives of the company,e.g.. The CEO.
Successfully implementing Employee Branding
Implementing employee branding is a process that requires a serious look into the company, its values, its goals and the issues it may be currently facing. It is an involved process that requires participation from the majority if not entirety of the present workforce of the company. The first two steps are crucial and have to be completed first. They provide the base from where the work towards improving employee branding can begin. They are :
Understand and distinguish your brand - In order to effectively implement employee branding practices, assessing the brand should be the topmost priority. This includes - The core beliefs of the company The goals of the company The issues currently plaguing the company The work ethic of the company
Conducting a company wide survey - Once the key aspects of the company’s brand have been identified, it is necessary to conduct a company wide survey in order to gauge the present condition of the employee brand.
This is done by conducting surveys, interviews, feedback sessions,etc on employees in the company. By inquiring into the employees opinion of the company, we can establish where the gaps in employee branding are
New hires provide us with the general opinion of the company in the job market as a prospective workplace. Older employees provide us with an internal perspective of the company through which we can identify existing concerns and begin developing solutions.
Key Areas of focus
Following brand identification and the company survey, we obtain the key areas which require improvement. Companies have been finding solutions for key areas that are common between a variety of industries. These are significant and should be kept in mind when implementing employee branding
Educating employees on the brand - This is the part of building employee branding where the results relative to the effort put in are the greatest. Employees, be they new or old might have no clue regarding the values and goals of their employer. Attempting to make changes to the work environment without educating those unaware would result in complications when acclimatizing to the new environment. As employees are recruited, they should be taught the core values of the company and the changes or differences the company would present with respect to these.
Improve communications - Communication is key for the smooth functioning of the company. By opening more channels for communication between different divisions of the company, we can prevent lags in output and promptly resolve issues.
Upgrade the work environment - By creating a more holistic workspace for employees,companies can boost their employee brand. Employees are much more likely to talk about their company if the office they work in makes working more enjoyable. By providing perks and benefits for their employees, companies can influence their employee brand in a positive manner.
By promising a better work environment and delivering on it, the company gains the trust of their employees.
“The first impression is the last impression.” - Hiring is the first interaction that a company has with an employee and therefore it is vital that they optimize their hiring practices to leave a lasting impression upon the potential employee.
A 2017 Candidate Experience Study revealed that 78% of candidates applying for a job believed that their experiences in this stage of selections would be indicative of how working at the company would be.
Social Media is a surefire way of boosting branding - Social media is a tool that companies can use to broadcast their employee branding to the job market. Through LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc. employees can be encouraged to talk about their workplace, building a positive image for the company, while reinforcing their own beliefs.
Social media accounts of employees have been proven to receive a greater level of engagement in comparison to the company’s presence on the same platform. Social media also helps in arranging virtual events and promotions for the company.
Keep an active tab on negative employee feedback - Disgruntled employees must be provided with a means to voice their troubles. These are valuable as they are indicators of a fall in employee branding. Therefore, the swift resolution of these troubles should be prioritized.
Regular checks for employee satisfaction - Implement a system that periodically surveys the company for the level of employee satisfaction. For example, this can be a simple questionnaire developed to check their satisfaction levels every month, keeping us up to date on issues or lack thereof.
Is an edge in recruitment numbers the only benefit?
Employee Branding offers similar benefits to employer branding from an external perspective. However the work environment itself is abuzz with changes and benefits arising specifically from the use of employee branding. These progress the establishment of a robust work culture whilst boosting the performance of the company. A few of these benefits are :
Improved communication - Employee branding is built upon improving communication and creating a favorable environment for employees to work in. This results in fewer conflicts, quicker resolution of conflicts, and greater levels of cooperation and employee engagement within the work environment. Improved performance - By inculcating the values of the company in its employees, the employee is motivated to strive and excel at their job of their own volition. This is a result of them forming a bond with the company by finding an ideological common ground.
Free Advertising - Educating employees on the values, beliefs and goals of the company, results in the creation of proponents of the company’s values. They act like scouts and missionaries, identifying people with traits favored in that wi
Reduced employee turnover rate - By establishing a strong relationship between the employee and their workplace, the chances of them being replaced or leaving are greatly reduced.
Improved visibility - Research has proven that on average, employees of a company individually garner twice as much - if not more - social media engagement than the company does if it exists on social media.
On top of this, further studies indicate that those seeking employment carry the notion that an employee is more credible than a company representative when providing a review for the company.
Reduced cost-per-hire - cost-per-hire for new employees is almost cut in half following successful implementation of employee branding measures.
Employee Branding is set to grow in importance over the coming years. The credibility of employees vouching for their company is something that just cannot be achieved by other means. The shift in focus from employer to employee highlights shifting trends in work culture.
The norm up until now was that the leaders or representatives of a company dictated how the public perceived the company. At this turning point we can predict that the role of company leaders will shift from merely representing the company in front of shareholders and customers.. The importance of building a strong work culture cannot be ignored and employees in positions of power have to focus on ingraining the values of the company into their peers.
The paradigm shift in professional employment is illustrated by a recent transformation in the mentality of individuals entering the job market.
The world of professional employment has evolved from asking the question of “Am I the right fit for this company?” to “Is this company the right fit for me?” Companies are being forced to rethink their entire work culture with many organizations being accused of propagating a “toxic work culture”. Employee branding is the new trend to hop on and the perks are just too good to ignore.
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