Employer branding may seem like the latest buzzword whispered around town to get into the coolest HR party on the block, but those of us in the talent management game have been executing these tactics for several years and attracting the best talent to our organizations in the process. In fact, recruiters and talent management professionals weren't even aware that there was a name for what we were doing until recently, when the cooler kids stood up and gave it a name. Now that we're all at the same party (regardless of industry) -- it's time to come together, clink our red solo cups in celebration and realize that there are three reasons to kickstart your employer branding.
You are not your product. If you have a product or service, or currently have employees and are actively hiring -- you have an employer brand. Your brand is the reputation your organization has in the market place as an employer; a reputation that's been established by your past and current employees. But don't confuse what people think of your product/services as being the same thing. They may love your widgets, but would never consider working for you; these are two distinct beasts. The talent you're trying to attract might not know what it's like to work at your company because you haven't allowed them a peek inside. Maybe you've spent your entire marketing budget on a responsive and engaging website that only caters to customers but falls flat when someone clicks on the careers page.
Your competitors are showing you up. In today's market, it's about who does it first and, in my world, it's about who hires first. If you look out into your talent pool and see a few deficiencies, you'll probably hold a meeting with your recruitment group and have them "beef up" the pipeline or create a hiring strategy for this "war on talent" we keep hearing about. Meanwhile your competitor, the one with amazing employer branding, isn't worried because they've been executing a talent brand with an authentic approach to their employee value proposition in order to attract the perfect candidates. They are differentiating themselves from you and are showing how unique they are. In short, the top talent belongs with them, not with you. It's not just keeping up with the Jones' anymore, along with them, it's the Kardashians and your competitors you have to worry about.
Help your recruiting team. The biggest misconception of recruiting is that only the recruiters should recruit. In reality -- it's everyone's responsibility. Imagine walking into a department store that's appointed only one employee to be the "friendly one." You run into a worker and ask for help finding the big and husky pants section (don't judge) and they respond, "Sorry, that's not my job. You need to find Larry." This scenario just left you angry, confused and pants-less. Why designate only one group of people to do one job? Yes, recruiters are specialized so you can't get rid of them and turn Martha from security into your senior recruiter but you can certainly help Martha to be on the lookout for new talent. Your employer brand is also about your internal reputation, so if your current employees don't feel compelled in referring amazing people into the organization -- something's fishy. If you give your employees the tools and incentives to recruit and bring in good talent, your recruiting costs will actually decrease and your talent pool gets exponentially larger.
Your employer brand is your internal and external reputation established by past and current employees. Employer branding is where your marketing department, human resources, and talent management all intersect to bring your employer value propositions to life and attract top talent to your organization. Your talent brand already exists. Isn't it time you pay attention and join the conversation? Now that you're all revved up, stop to enjoy the party and take one last sip out of your solo cup because your next few months will be all about that brand.