Today’s HR innovators are strategic thinkers well prepared to drive change. They understand that immediate action is required to position their organisation for success over the next 1-2 years. Employer branding is at the forefront of business strategy for these innovative HR Leaders. How are they preparing to support their business objectives in the coming year?
Manda Cuthberson posted the answer based on Blu Ivy, an employer branding and employee engagement consultancy, researches. Thus, we can focus our employer branding efforts through a strategic response to talent attraction, employee engagement and transparent communications.
Employer Brand Focus #1 – Leadership Living the Brand
In order for organisations to not only remain viable, but to grow and lead industry, it is becoming more critical than ever for leadership to deliver on the employee experience in alignment with a strong employer brand. HR and talent acquisition are not alone in driving the talent and culture strategies of top performing organisations. Leadership at all levels must understand the impact of employer brand on the business as a whole and how a strong employer brand can return better financial outcomes for the organisation.
Recent Blu Ivy Group research stated that a majority of Canadian organisations have not trained managers and leaders on the employer brand, EVP and employer promise. The result is a massive gap in what is being promised and what managers are delivering during the employee lifecycle.
Leaders and people managers throughout the business have perhaps the most critical role to play in the employee lifecycle. The importance of the relationship between employees and their immediate leader has long been understood as the most influential driver of performance and this tenet holds true today. If you have to choose one aspect of your employer brand to focus on in 2016, strategise on a consistent, branded work experience delivered directly from your management and leadership team.
Employer Brand Focus #2 – Moments That Matter
There are a number of critical intersections experienced by employees during the employment lifecycle. These ‘moments that matter’ are the foundation of your emotional connection with employees and the way in which they are experienced is essential to an authentic employer brand.
One such employer brand moment occurs during the initial interview. This is a good place to start aligning your employer brand to the employee lifecycle. Is this critical touchpoint a branded experience? Or is a significant gap between what you claim and what you deliver experienced by talent when they meet you? If your recruiters and managers are not aligned and delivering a consistent and compelling narrative about your workplace culture and providing a high quality interview experience, ensure this is a focus area in the coming 12 months.
Employer Brand Focus #3 – Content That Counts
If employer brand content was not a priority in 2015, start thinking about your 2016 editorial calendar now. Competitive employer brands have a coordinated plan to develop high quality content which will resonate with their target persons – both inside and outside of the organisation.
In our 2015 Canadian Employer Brand Trends Report, almost 50% of Canadian organisations surveyed indicated that Social Media employer brand strategy would be a key focus in the coming year. And we know that social platforms alone are not enough to share and amplify your employer brand narrative effectively.
In 2016, expect to see many employers develop employer brand specific editorial calendars, digitised content and make investments in developing the communications team they’ll need to activate brand messaging. Visual content will continue to expand as a critical means to connect with people and have your messaging consumed. Ensure you have the right resources and a strategy in place.
“While many organisations have developed a strong corporate presence on social media, the employer brand opportunity is often missed. Social media fosters genuine relationships through two way dialogue with prospective and current talent, industry influencers and the broader community. Strong brands know how to make the most of their social media presence from a talent perspective, using it to develop candidate pipelines filled with brand followers, personify the employment experience and differentiate against competitors. If you aren’t on social with your employer brand yet, you need to get there – fast.”
– Blu Ivy Group, Canadian Employer Brand Trends Report
Employer Brand Focus #4 – Borderless Communications
With the lines between internal and external communication blurring more every day, employers need to be communicating effectively with all stakeholders. With the additional knowledge that communications is the top area for improvement cited by employees, there is mounting pressure for organisations to communicate in a simple, frequent and authentic manner.
Multi-channel communications with visual content are no longer extravagances, but essential in a winning communications plan. In 2016, make sure to share information strategically in order to capture the hearts and minds of future talent, customers and vendors – along with that of your workforce.