Five Ways to Leverage Your Employment Brand
If you have made the commitment to develop and maximize your employment brand, here are five critical factors in that process.
Your only cost is the time and energy to execute these steps well.
Get executive buy in.
According to a study by the consulting firm Watson Wyatt, done in 2002, companies with a strong employment brand enjoyed a 36% higher shareholder return over a three year period. Since maximizing shareholder return is one of the key initiatives for any executive team in both public and private companies, their involvement is both critical and profitable. Arm them with some info on why it is important to the operational goals of the company, and get them involved! Put it in their language, not HR speak. Talk about what a strong employment brand will do for return on investment and maximizing shareholder value.
Document your employment brand.
The process of putting it on paper forces it to be well thought out and studied. It allows you to streamline it into an “elevator pitch” that can be repeated throughout the organization. Remember the golden rule. Your mom taught you to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. That was right up there with don’t run with scissors. Turn this into the foundation of your interaction with candidates.
Treat every candidate the way you want to be treated.
In today’s world of automation, you may not be able to personally interact with each of them. The rule is keep your responses on the level of the interaction. If an applicant came in contact with your company through an on-line application process, an email acknowledgement of their application is important, along with an email to close the loop with them if they are not going to be considered for the position. However, if they were a candidate who was brought in for a face to face interview they certainly deserve a phone call to close the loop if they are not going to be considered further. Remember some of those candidates will be future customers, or will be in the position to refer other great employees to you in the future.
Besides, it is just the right way to treat people. Starbucks is a company that does an outstanding job of this, at least on the corporate level. Don’t let poor candidate care destroy your employment brand.
Present your value proposition accurately to potential employees.
If you sell one product in the interview and deliver another after the hire don’t be surprised at the resulting turnover. Southwest Airlines and American Airlines, both Dallas based companies in the same industry, are both great companies with a terrific heritage. However, Southwest is legendary for being a “people company”. The organization spills over with the “we love our people theme.” American would be hard pressed to compete on the same level with the same value
proposition for their employees in the marketplace.
Be the brand champion, and train others to do the same. Brands must be intentionally decided on and implemented. Once in place they have to be effectively managed and zealously protected. Speaking of Southwest Airlines and their people brand, dig deeper on the subject with a great read, Brand from the Inside, co-authored by Libby Sartain who helped shape the employment brand of Southwest Airlines.
Effective branding pays dividends in any environment. When hiring comes back it will help you separate your company from the competition.
Image courtesy of Jerry Myers