Your Employer Brand is Your Brand

To understand what it takes to create an effective employer brand, it’s essential that we’re on the same page about what exactly an employer brand is, and why it's important.

At its most fundamental level, your employer brand is how you’re perceived by potential and current talent as an employer, it should build the image of your company as a great place to work, expressing who you are as an employer rather than just a corporate entity. 

Why employer brand is important and what role it plays in your organisation is where the concept has, for better or worse, become a bit more subjective. But the reality is this; all brands, no matter how big or small, are working toward a healthier bottom line. To nurture that bottom line, there is no doubt that you are relying on your employees to help you get there. It really is that simple, happier employees will ultimately help you achieve a healthier bottom line. 

Okay, so now we’re on the same page about what an employer brand is and why it’s important. The next step is to consider what it takes to create an effective employer brand. To strip away the confusion and break down the silos that may have held you back in the past, we’ve pulled together our top 3 tips:

1.   Understand the synergy between brand and employer brand

Many internal or employer brands fail because they’re created in isolation from the main brand. Considering the three-part mantra ‘attract – engage – retain’ is probably on the wall of every HR department, it’s natural that ownership of the employer brand traditionally lived within this domain, but it’s no coincidence that this same mantra could also apply to your brand’s marketing strategy. It’s because there is an inherent synergy between attracting, engaging, and retaining top talent and loyal customers.

Your brand purpose and values drive you as a brand. If you feel your organisation is a little lost culturally speaking, look to those values. They should guide you, your employees, and ultimately create the foundations for strong internal communications. If you’re guided by the same values and disciplined in your execution, you’ll quickly begin to notice the symbiotic benefits. 

2.   Think about the digital context

With insight-driven platforms like Glassdoor highlighting the importance of transparency and the employee experience, it is essential that consideration be made from day one about how the brand will operate across digital channels – and what the overall digital strategy will be – to ensure that the solution is fit for purpose.

Just like with brand and product reviews, people are far more likely to trust a company based on what its employees have to say rather than what the company itself claims. This trend toward authenticity means attracting talent relies far more heavily on existing employee engagement and advocacy than ever before.  

Speaking of mantras, our mantra at Good is that you cannot solve a brand problem without addressing the digital context. That same principle holds true with your employer brand (again, think back to that synergy).

3.   Consider the measurement for success

Even the most successful employer brands cannot self-sustain without continual commitment to quality control. So, how do you measure that success to ensure your employer brand is reflective of your organisation? Well, it’s the same principle as the measurement of any investment in brand work – you have to consider your objectives.

Whether your major issue is retention, engagement, quality and cost of hires or numbers of applicants (or, indeed, all four and more), it is these rates you need to track. 

A smart agency will encourage you to understand your performance in all of these areas before they even begin to look at developing your employer brand, and they will want to know what success looks like in each area too. 

To get you started, we thought we’d leave you with some words of advice...

  1. Get all of your stakeholders on board early, and make sure they all come on the journey with you. 
  2. Your current employees are your key stakeholders in the process. Unless your brand resonates with them, it’s not the right solution. 
  3. Think carefully about the synergy between the corporate brand and employer brand. The latter should be a by-product that releases the equity of the former. If it isn’t, it might be time to look at your corporate brand too. 
  4. Think digital from day one of the project. 
  5. Implementing a new employer brand takes work. You need everyone in the business to understand it and, most importantly, get behind it. 

To see how a successful employer brand can effectively guide internal communications, take a look at a campaign we launched for Centrica, the parent brand of British Gas, that looked to change attitudes towards Health & Safety. By getting buy-in from all the key stakeholders, from senior management to the engineering teams, we've delivered a campaign which delivers effective communications in a meaningful way across the business.