Strong ’employer’ brand critical for attracting talent

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Companies need to differentiate between their consumer and employer brands and implement an effective employer brand strategy if they want to attract the right candidates and engage existing employees, a new report from Hudson RPO shows.

The report, titled How to Launch a Successful Employer Brand: Building on the Practices of Top Employer Brands, defines a strong employer brand as ‘the perception of the organisation as a great place to work, by both current and potential employees’.

According to the report, leading organisations devote significant resources to building an employer brand, with a strong focus on creating an employer brand strategy and a defined employee value proposition (EVP).

The report shows that compared to other brands, top employer brands dedicate an average budget of 70 percent more on supporting employer brand initiatives, while twice as many top brands have a defined and documented strategy as compared to other brands.

Hudson report pic

The global report, carried out by Hudson RPO in conjunction with HRO Today, a leading magazine for the HR community, also found that buy-in from senior company executives, multi-channel communication of a brand and internal promotion are all important components of building a successful employer brand.

Suzanne Chadwick, Head of Employer Branding, Digital & Sourcing Innovation for Hudson RPO, said businesses can not rely on a strong consumer brand to recruit and engage employees.

“While a strong consumer brand can help companies attract top talent to their organisation, a clearly defined employer brand will help ensure that those they hire will not only have the right skills, but also be a solid fit with the company’s culture and work environment – resulting in greater employee productivity, increased levels of engagement and higher rates of retention,” Ms Chadwick said.

When it comes to building a successful employer brand, the report noted that certain building blocks are foundational to success, including authenticity, consistency with company practices and consistency with the consumer brand. The report also recommends developing a brand that is clear, believable, compelling and relevant.

According to Ms Chadwick it is often unclear as to who ultimately owns an employer brand strategy in many companies.

“Is it HR? Is it marketing? Unclear ownership of an employer brand results in ineffective collaboration and can even cause branding to become a ‘political’ issue. Clear ownership of an employer brand and collaboration from all corners of a business is essential.”

According to Ms Chadwick, an external partner, such as Hudson RPO, is experienced in bringing together leaders from all aspects of a business, including HR, Talent Acquisition, Brand, Internal Communications and Marketing, to develop common goals and messaging.

“Employer branding is complex. If an organization lacks an experienced strategist who can align teams to craft an effective brand, engaging an external expert can help bring your brand to life and communicate your EVP to the market.”

Key report findings:

  • Nearly one-half (44.6%) of Top Employer Brands indicated that they have defined organizational responsibilities for their brands, versus only 17.6% of Other Brands.
  • Top Employer Brands focus more on value to current employees – 49.1% of Top Brands have a documented up-to-date employee value proposition versus 20.0% of Other Brands.
  • Top Employer Brands have an average budget of 70% more than Other Brands to support their employer brand initiatives.
  • The importance of the employees’ role in promoting the employer brand was rated 75.7 out of 100 for Top Brands versus 51.0 among Other Brands.

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