How employer branding shapes culture and business growth

May 06, 2024
Brand Thought Leadership

The battle for talent is not just a figure of speech. It’s a global issue that is impacting virtually every market sector. A recent study by Manpower found that more than 75 per cent of employers globally are having challenges filling vacant positions. Like any business challenge, there is no quick fix or one-size-fits-all solution to fill the talent gap. Yet, organizations that recognize the power of their employer brand are better positioned to attract and retain talent in today’s tight labour market.

In this competitive landscape, leadership, management and HR professionals must acknowledge the employer brand as not just a concept, but a decisive strategy that's critical to fostering a thriving culture and enhancing overall brand equity and appeal. Tailoring it to the organization’s goals is key, and it can be accomplished by considering a few core pillars.

Attraction and retention: Delivering the employee value proposition

The role of an employer brand in attracting and retaining talent cannot be overstated. Although representative of the overarching corporate brand, the employer brand narrows in on the ‘why’ from the employee perspective. Underpinning this is an authentic and differentiated employee value proposition (EVP) that succinctly communicates the benefits and value received in working for an organization. According to a Gartner study, organizations that effectively communicate and deliver on their EVP can dramatically reduce employee turnover by nearly 70 per cent and significantly increase commitment among new hires by almost 30 per cent. Narrowing in on the value proposition creates an opportunity to tell a compelling story that enhances the organization's ability to attract the right candidates, and bolsters employee retention through a deeper sense of engagement and purpose.

Reputation and trust: Cornerstones of the employer brand

People want to work for amazing organizations that uphold a positive reputation, building trust internally with employees and externally with customers. Consider a Glassdoor study that found 86 per cent of candidates would steer clear of a company that had a negative reputation with former employees or the public, and 65 per cent of people would consider resigning if their employer garnered negative media attention. In a world where people have a choice in who they work for, these insights amplify the importance of creating an employer brand narrative that fits with candidate and employee values.

Connections and experience: Driving employee engagement

Creating a highly engaged workplace requires more than ping-pong tables and birthday cake. People are driven by greater motivations, connected to the purpose of their work and the human connections they make. They want to be a part of something challenging, that allows them to be actively involved in achieving greater success for the business. When the employer brand strategy intentionally maps out opportunities for creating meaningful employee connections and experiences, everybody wins. According to a Gallop study, businesses that help employees connect and build highly engaged teams increase profitability by 23 per cent and customer loyalty by more than 10 per cent. When we consider how culture influences the employee experience and how employees influence customer experience, the need to prioritize connections and experiences becomes increasingly clear. 

Transformation: Changing the current culture

For many CEOs and business leaders, the idea of shifting or reshaping culture can be a daunting task, lacking immediate payback. Instead, leadership needs to recognize that a well-planned employer brand strategy can be an opportunity to gradually correct course, with incremental wins that lead to a holistic change over time. Bringing the right people and resources to the table to create an effective employer brand strategy signals the beginning of a cultural transformation that will deliver both short and long-term returns.

Crafting your employer brand strategy

As much as business strategy may reside with the C-suite, the employer brand strategy is a collaborative cross-functional undertaking—where marketing's prowess in storytelling meets HR's insights into employee experiences. The first step is determining who will own the undertaking and managing of the transformation. This can be an inclusive undertaking, led through HR with a steering committee comprised of functional managers who represent the diversity and voices of the entire organization.

Like any strategic roadmap, the actual plan should be tailored to your organization’s needs, goals and objectives. Regardless of who owns it or the scale of the plan, the final outcome should ensure that the strategy integrates seamlessly with the corporate positioning, aligns with or shifts an established company culture, and drives measurable objectives towards employee engagement, attraction and retention.

There is no question that organizations need to stand out with a compelling EVP in today’s competitive talent market. Investing in a clearly defined and purpose driven employer brand strategy will have immediate returns in lowering the cost per hire, retaining top talent and strengthening employee engagement. And, when people are truly engaged, businesses thrive and grow.


AUTHORED BY
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David Brown

President Mindshape




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