Posts Tagged ‘employers’

  • December 14th, 2016 Posted by N. Robert Johnson APR, Practice Leader, Workforce Communications

    Five 2016 Recruitment and Employer Brand Stats to Ignite 2017 Employer Brand Action

    Being deeply rooted in evidence-based recruitment marketing and employer branding, we love statistics. Often, we find inspiration through a statistic: the contemplation of what it’s really telling us and what actions it might prompt.

    Here are five statistics from this past year that inspire me as I think about the employer branding platforms we’ll create in 2017.

    Nearly half of all companies surveyed (48.9 percent) report they will increase spending on employer branding this year. (entelo 2017 Recruiting Trends Report)

    If there was ever a time to consider strengthening your employer brand, it might be now. Competition for talent is tough and it’s only going to get tougher especially as your talent competitors work to strengthen their employer brands. This statistic is direct: while you are contemplating spending more on your employer brand, you may already be losing competitive ground.

    The 2017 trends report published by recruitment software developer entelo also found that 50 percent of inbound applicants do not meet even the basic requirements for the roles they apply for. Smart talent acquisition professionals will focus their employer brand spending to attract better-fitting, higher quality candidates.

    69 percent of active job seekers are likely to apply for a job if the employer actively manages its employer brand. (Glassdoor, U.S. Site Survey, 2016)

    A strong employer brand not only attracts job seekers, it influences their behavior. A strong employer brand will, through inspiration and engagement, turn job seekers into job applicants. But, in today’s consumer-driven communications world, the experience expectations are high.

    We think of “actively managing” an employer brand as incorporating external branding principles and practices into your employer brand to ensure that people’s attention and interest are engaged from the start. This statistics helps to remind us that in 2017 we’ll need to up our employer brand game.

    75 percent of workers believe that work should have a deeper meaning than just bringing home the bacon. (Monster, 2016)

    We believe that the next evolution of employer branding is the infusion of mission, culture and values. Employer brands that get stuck in pretty pictures and empirical employment facts will not be able to compete for the talent that is looking to connect on a deeper level. This applies to all generations of the workforce. People are looking to connect with their work in a deeper and more meaningful way. They will favor employers whose mission, culture and values help them to do so. This notion is reinforced by Gallup’s finding that 83% of workers say that it is very important for them to believe that their life and work is meaningful and has a purpose.

    82 percent of survey respondents believe that culture is a potential competitive advantage. (Bersin by Deloitte, Global Human Capital Trends, 2016)

    Validating our belief that understanding and communicating culture is the next employer brand frontier, this statistic highlighting the perspectives of CEOs and senior HR leaders tells us that infusing culture into employer branding is more than just a “nice to have”: it’s an imperative.

    Bersin also found that while culture is viewed as important, only 28 percent of survey respondents believe they understand their culture well. The study also notes that only 19 percent believe they have the “right culture.” Here’s where employer branding can help: a strong employer brand program – one that is rooted in understanding the organization’s culture through validation techniques like engagement surveys, focus groups and individual interviews – will provide an evidence-based telling of the organization’s culture.

    (For more on purpose and employer branding, please download our white paper Connecting Purpose-Driven Messaging to Your Employer Brand. Click here.)

    On average, companies on the Fortune 100 Best Places to Work list experience half of the voluntary turnover of their industry peers. (Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® 2016 Study)

    We know that there is a direct connection between trust, purpose and retention. Research shows that employees feel a great workplace is one where …

    • There is trust between employees and employer,
    • Employees take pride in their work, and
    • Employees enjoy the people they work with.

    Strong employer brands are made from everyday employee experiences. Trust, pride and work enjoyment are important everyday work attributes and, if viewed favorably, result in a workplace where people will stay longer. What makes this statistic powerful is that it combines the cultural framework found in every member of Fortune’s list with the ROI impact of reducing turnover.

    Those are five statistics that inspire me. Each facilitates thinking that can ignite the strengthening of your employer brand in 2017. Do you have any that inspire you? Please share.

  • September 27th, 2016 Posted by N. Robert Johnson APR, Practice Leader, Workforce Communications

    What Is a Purpose-Driven Company?

    In October, we will be talking a lot about purpose and employer branding. I will be facilitating a webinar  on the topic. We will be publishing a position paper, Connecting Purpose-Driven Messaging to Your Employer Brand, as well as related blog entries. Finally, I hope that we can engage in a conversation about your company’s purpose and ways to infuse it into your employer branding efforts. But, let’s first define what we mean by a purpose-driven company.

    We think the purpose-driven company is one where a company’s purpose is a core driver of strategy and decision-making. The purpose-driven company rallies its people around a purpose or mission. The purpose-driven company stands for something.

    In the past, we might have thought of the purpose-driven company as being tied to a humanitarian purpose like “being green” or corporate sustainability. We think, however, that purpose, at least within the context of recruitment, employer brand and internal communications messaging, has evolved.

    Thus, we think more broadly about what constitutes purpose-driven messaging. We are thinking of companies like EY. The global professional services firm has undergone a purpose-led transformation culminating in a new organizational, and employer branding, platform: “build a better working world.” EY applies its purpose to engage their people to achieve higher levels of business performance for their clients and themselves. The employer branding implications and opportunities, as showcased by EY’s transformation, are dramatic. In EY’s case, we clearly see that connecting purpose to employer brand makes the employer brand stronger. (Click to see EY’s Brand Guidelines)

    It is our hope that our conversation on purpose will challenge, inspire and prompt you to think about your organization’s purpose and its connection to your people and your employer brand, wherever you may be in your purpose-journey.

    It’s also my hope that you will challenge us as well. Read our upcoming position paper and blog pieces. Attend our free webinar on October 25th. But, as you do, please challenge us with your questions and reactions to the ideas presented in this conversation. Share your perspectives on the role of purpose in your organization and your organization’s employer brand. We will all be stronger for it.


    Connecting Purpose-Driven Messaging to Your Employer Brand webinar replay: Click here. Webinar presentation: Click here.  White paper: Click here.

  • April 11th, 2016 Posted by Dan Stech

    Are You Letting Your Employer Brand Breathe?

    As an HR professional, you will likely ‘experience’ your employer brand an average of 6-9 times before even one single job candidate or internal employee sees it. It’s easy to develop ‘creative fatigue’ too soon when it comes to the public implementation of your employer brand. This is something we all (HR and agency folks alike) should avoid.

    If you engage a recruitment marketing agency to discover and develop your brand, here’s how the math will likely go:

    Brand Experience #1

    Your agency implements creative discovery methods (surveys, focus groups, etc.) to establish the data upon which your brand will be built.

    Brand Experiences #2 through #4

    Next, an employer brand promise, employer brand attributes and Employee Value Proposition is proposed that encapsulates the essence of your brand promise. The EVP language is refined and finalized.

    Brand Experiences #5 through #8

    Your agency’s creative department develops the brand through different copy and concept choices; a single concept is chosen; creative changes are made; a final creative platform is born.

    Brand Experience #9

    The brand creative is implemented in various media according to a planned strategy and pushed out — for the first time — to external and internal audiences.

    What’s the takeaway here?

    Your employer brand needs more time to run than you think. Its internal development period shouldn’t count. You’ve invested precious resources into discovering and creating your true, authentic brand. Let it work for you!!

    What if the De Beers Diamond Company abandoned its slogan “A diamond is forever” for something catchier before it was time? De Beers is the messaging gold standard (OK, diamond standard) in its industry, running its brand theme for generations and consistently relying on simple black-and-white advertisements. Or, what if Coke updated its universally recognized red and white color pallet after one year because the next season’s trending colors were teal and orange?

    Employer brands are living, breathing entities.

    Let’s give them time and space to go through the stages of any key messaging campaign. With a nod to the Yale Model of Persuasive Communication, these are:

    • Presentation/Introduction
    • Attention/Awareness
    • Understanding/Acceptance
    • Traction/Audience Participation
    • Sustained/Growing Momentum
    • Iconic Status/Perception of Permanence

    Of course, your employer brand may be strategically tweaked and/or refreshed when needed. Any sound recruitment marketing agency will monitor the performance of your brand and make appropriate adjustments. An update may also be considered if you have undergone a major organizational change that directly alters your employment proposition.

    • What will and should remain the same?
    • Is the authentic story behind your brand? 
    • How it distinguishes your organization’s vision, values, culture, mission, and employment experience?

    So, how long should an employer brand campaign run?

    The definitive answer is: it depends. Every company and situation is different. What I know is that employer brands shouldn’t be pulled too early. The distinctive employment promise you deliver…the story of what you stand for…of how you are different than all other companies in your hiring and engagement space…deserves to be told and celebrated. It deserves its due time.

    That’s my say. I’m sticking to it.

  • December 8th, 2015 Posted by N. Robert Johnson APR, Practice Leader, Workforce Communications

    Avoid Hiring Pickle with Solid Employer Branding

    Is it time for your recruiters to adopt the pickle principle? For the uninitiated, the pickle principle is the brainchild of former restaurant chain magnate Bob Farrell. It was his company’s signature for providing customer service that exceeds what’s expected – that “little something extra” that breeds a sense of brand loyalty.

    As the story goes, Farrell received a letter from a repeat customer who always asked for, and received, an extra pickle free of charge.  The customer was pleased until the day the restaurant tried to charge him for the extra pickle. The man then fired off an angry letter vowing not to return to the restaurant “if that’s the way you’re going to run it.”  After reading the missive, Farrell made things right. Not only did he regain the customer’s trust, but Farrell used the free pickle metaphor as a way to win lifelong customers.

    The concept behind the pickle principle has a direct application to recruitment. The impression you leave on candidates can last a lifetime – so be sure the experience is all it can be, from start to finish.  Just as consumers do, today’s job candidates associate a company’s recruiting practice with its branded products and services. In the era of always-on social media and websites like Glassdoor, unflattering portrayals about your recruitment experience live forever online, potentially hindering your ability to win topnotch talent in the future. Conversely, candidates who have a good recruiting experience are more likely to tell others, even if you don’t ultimately hire that person.

    Poor recruiting stunts your company’s growth. A study by CareerBuilder of 5,000 job seekers and 2,000 hiring managers reveals that recruiting needs to be more than a formulaic process, instead encompassing a host of issues that have direct bearing on your employer brand.

    Nearly 7 in 10 applicants said their experience during the application process strongly influences their decision to work for a company, yet most employers do a poor job of reciprocating a candidate’s interest.

    CareerBuilder found that 42 percent expect to hear from an employer after submitting their resumes and 41 percent expect feedback if they aren’t selected for the position. Fully 25 percent want to be informed why an employer declines to offer an interview.  Yet only 17 percent of employers notified people why they weren’t chosen, suggesting there is wide room for improvement – particularly since nearly 6 in 10 candidates still believe it is their responsibility to send a post-interview “thank you” letter or email.

    There is good reason to address this disconnect. CareerBuilder notes people will take a job with a lower salary if the employer brand has a solid reputation (83%), is highly rated by friends or colleagues (78%), created a great impression with its recruiting practices (77%), garners exceptional online reviews (73%) or generates positive press (69%).

    On the flip side, failure to do post-interview follow-up prompts 65 percent of applicants to avoid the company’s products and services, signaling the direct link between employer brand and revenue.  Talent acquisition Software-as-a-Service provider iCIMS has also found similar findings.

    Our view: put yourself in the candidates’ shoes and imagine how you would expect to be treated.  A sustainable employer brand transcends merely filling vacancies.  Time to fill may be the main course, but ongoing feedback and post-interview communication are the free pickles – they cost very little but do wonders to burnish your brand. When your employer brand is well-designed and consistently executed, candidates wind up with “something extra” that should, in the long run, help you avoid getting in a recruitment pickle.

    What to Do About It

    There are several things that can be done to strengthen your employer brand by aligning to consumer-driven branding. Here are just a few to consider.

    1. Develop an approach, or methodology, to strengthening your employer brand. Be sure, however, that your approach is deeply rooted in discovery as it’s critical to be authentic in employer brand development. You’ll find our approach to employer branding summary on this page. (see related links)
    2. Understand that there are different levels of working on your employer brand. You might be able to significantly improve your employer brand with a few simple tweaks. We’ve written a white paper on this topic. You’ll find it on this page. (see related links)
    3. Create a framework that encompasses all facets of your recruitment marketing program which will allow you to map out a course of action. Here’s ours. (see related links)