Is Your Employment Brand Creating Enough Buzz?

Unless you’re living in a cave, or have been buried under a pile of unsolicited resumes, you, like the rest of the world, have caught World Cup Fever. This is especially true for those in our country since Team USA has made it to the Round of 16. Even for those diehard non-soccer fans, it is hard not to get caught up in the excitement of this world spectacle. But you certainly wish that those  Vuvuzelas would go away!

And yet, the Vuvuzelas have now become part of the World Cup experience. They have created quite a buzz, and not because they sound like a giant swarm of bees.

So, does your employment brand generate any buzz? In an article in ERE Daily, Dr. John Sullivan suggested that “If you are part of recruiting management at an organization that has been facing continuous talent shortages, it’s time to get out of that rut and focus your resources on the areas that can have the highest business impact. Almost universally, that means shifting your recruiting talent, time, and budget towards the programs that will have the most impact, starting with employment branding. Employment branding is the only long-term recruiting strategy that is designed to bring in a steady flow of high-quality applicants over a period of many years.”

For those of you whose companies are already good to great, or whose companies strive to be, here is a list of reasons to embrace employment branding.

  • It Will Have A Long-Term Impact. Once you have successfully built your employment brand, you can expect the positive impacts on recruiting to continue for at least five years baring any major PR issues surrounding your company.
  • Help Attract Higher Quality Candidates. Not only will you get more applicants, but the quality of your candidates will improve dramatically to the point where you will start getting applications from individuals who might never have considered your firm in the past. A great employment brand that highlights your firm’s focus on innovation is necessary in order to attract game-changers, managers, and innovators who demand it!
  • Improved Offer-Acceptance Rates. As your employment image becomes better known and more powerful, your offer acceptance rates will also improve.
  • Increased Employee Referrals. The percentage of hires from employee referrals will increase as a result of your employees’ increased pride and knowledge about what makes their firm superior to others. Increasing the number of referrals has added benefits in that it increases employee ownership in the recruiting process and allows recruiters more time to focus on managing hiring manager and candidate relationships, demand forecasting, and participating in employment branding strategy.
  • Improved Employee-Retention Rates. A compelling employment brand increases retention rates among your current employees because they will better know why working at your firm is a superior opportunity. In addition, their pride in your firm will grow as colleagues and friends routinely ask them, “Do those things really happen at your firm?” Unfortunately, the positive impact will be somewhat tempered by the fact that more firms will target your employees because of your strong employment image.
  • Increased Employee Motivation. Employee motivation will be easier to maintain because of your employees’ increased pride in the firm and the better management practices that are required to maintain an employer-of-choice status.
  • Improved College Recruiting. Because college students are highly brand conscious, employment branding is especially effective for intern recruiting and college hiring.
  • Strengthen Corporate Culture. Because one of the goals of employment branding is to develop a consistent message about what it’s like to work at your firm, employment branding can help strengthen your corporate culture. This consistent message can reinforce corporate values and guide behaviors while a consensus develops across the enterprise among managers and employees with regards to what it means to be a part of the organization.
  • Increased Manager Satisfaction. The resulting higher quality of candidates and higher offer-acceptance rate means that hiring managers will have to devote less time to interviews, and they will be more satisfied with the recruiting function.
  • Increased Media Exposure. As a result of winning awards, being placed on “best places to work” lists, and having managers give presentations at industry events, the amount of media exposure that your firm will receive will increase dramatically. Having the media brag about your firm’s excellent people-management practices adds a level of external credibility that no recruitment ad can provide. As a result of this initial exposure, the number of times that reporters and benchmarking individuals will call your firm for future stories will also increase.
  • Strengthen Competitive Advantage. Because employment branding efforts include extensive metrics and side-by-side comparisons with talent competitors, you ensure that your talent-management approaches are differentiated and continually superior. This superiority over competitors not only impresses senior managers, but it also improves your chances of winning over candidates who also apply for positions at your competitors.
  • Support for the Product Brand. An employment brand can support the corporate brand and your related product brands because many consumers mentally make the link between attracting quality employees and producing a quality product.
  • Increased knowledge and competitive intelligence. As more employees from top competitors join your organization.
  • Make it easier to attract the best. A great employment brand makes it easier to attract top recruiters and branding experts.
  • Help build HR’s image. The high impact and ROI of the employment-branding program can help build HR’s image as an internal/strategic business partner.

The buzz that you want to create needs to be backed by meaningful substance to build a great company. Take a look at your own Employment Brand. Is it world class? Can it compete for the best talent that you say that you want? Does it create enough of a buzz? Maybe it is time to consider Dr. Sullivan’s suggestions. Then again if all that you are after is just buzz then give all of your candidates Vuvuzelas.


3 responses to “Is Your Employment Brand Creating Enough Buzz?

  1. Agreed. Employers need to be proactive in spreading positive messages to their own employees.

    This can considerably increase retention and also improve the referrals.

  2. Rajan, your comment reminds me of my banking institution. I’ve banked with them for seven (7) long years. It has a location within a grocery store where I was shopping. When I first walked in the store, a bank employee went out of his way to get my attention to inform me of all the benefits of opening a new account (not knowing that I was already a customer). Because I had actually been thinking of opening another checking account, I listened to his pitch with growing interest. The bank employee started walking me over to the counter knowing he had me hooked, and indeed, he did. However, as soon as he entered my information into the system, his attitude quickly changed as if I had just wasted his time. Being a loyal customer made me ineligible for benefits he was offering strangers off the street. I told him that I had been banking there for seven years and wanted to know what promotions he could offer me to retain my business another seven years. If there were a long line of first-time customers behind me within earshot of our dialogue, what impact would it have had on them to know how the bank treats the customers it already has? How many referrals do you think I’m willing to make?

    Employers should be careful not to make similar mistakes when recruiting by branding themselves in a way that is inconsistent with the message they send current employees.

  3. Implementing a referral program at your business is very cost effective and beneficial.
    The benefits include increased new-hire success rates, insights into employee moral and pride (as seen through program usage statistics), and more focused use of recruiter and management time, which is enabled by offloading a portion of the sourcing, screening and assessment load to the greater employee population.

    Referral programs would be a win win for the company and the employee.

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