When we talk about branding, we focus a lot on a company’s corporate image: the impression the market has about its products or how its audience views its services. These are certainly important areas of focus for branding. One area that often gets overlooked, though, is the employer brand: how do current and potential employees view your organization?
Why does it matter? For a couple of reasons:
- Because, particularly in a tight labor market—and our labor market is becoming increasingly more competitive—you want to attract and retain top talent.
- Because, from a product/service marketing standpoint, your employees serve as brand ambassadors. Their friends, relatives, neighbors and others will turn to them for information about the value and quality of your products and services. Their perspectives matter.
From front-line employees to top executives, a company needs to attract the best and brightest if it wants to be competitive in the long run. There are plenty of strategies and tips for effective employer branding, but we thought we’d focus on two: consistency and coordination.
As with any branding effort, consistency is crucial. You want to make sure your target audience has the same impression of you no matter where they encounter your brand. You don’t want to present yourself as the low-cost leader in one venue and the luxury option in another.
Your employees also reflect on your brand, again, especially if you are a service organization. In service organizations, employees are the front line to the public—they really are the brand. How they reflect on your organization—and the extent to which they are perceived consistently with how you want your products and services to be perceived is critical. These considerations will come into play when hiring, training and coaching.
Because the employer brand must be aligned with the organization and product brand, it’s critical that there is collaboration and communication between marketing and human resources. When your human resources department advertises for open positions, the messages they use in their communications must align with your overall marketing brand messages.
If your marketing organization conveys an image of conservatism, stability and exceptional quality, you won’t want your human resources department focusing on fun and frivolity in their job postings—or in posts on social media channels. Coordination is critical to ensure brand consistency across all channels. After all, a prospective employee could also be a prospective, or current, customers.
Who you are as an organization is reflected through many channels, and across many touchpoints, with your target audiences. Don’t take any of these touchpoints for granted.
Want to learn more? We’ve written extensively about employer branding,