Employer Branding Strategy: who owns the responsibility?

11 Sep

Employer Branding Strategy: who owns the responsibility?

By Employer Branding, employer branding strategy

Many markets are nearing their full employment, therefore talent scarceness is more and more acute according to Manpower Group in 2018. Considering the challenge of finding, attracting and retaining a skilled workforce for a company nowadays, employer branding has become a necessity. Designing and implementing a unitary strategy is mandatory if a company wants to survive and compete in the long-run in the labor market. The way a company creates long-term strategies to stay competitive and gain market share and profitability, the same way it needs to develop a long-term employer branding strategy to become an employer of choice, create a good reputation and retain its people. But who creates and implements this kind of strategy? Let’s start explaining a bit the concepts.

What is an Employer Branding strategy

Before we go into why do we need an EB strategy and who develops it, let’s review briefly what an employer branding strategy is. This concept comprises a series of steps and activities meant to place strategically a company in the market as a respectable and trustworthy employer who provides a package of benefits adequate for the market

The employer branding strategy means aligning the external promotion of what a company has to offer to the talent workforce with the internal reality.

Basically, the employer branding strategy means aligning the external promotion of what a company has to offer to the talent workforce with the internal reality. This alignment materializes into an Employer Value Proposition (EVP) and it covers the organization’s culture, values, and personality in order to create a positive perception both internally and externally amongst its existing and future stakeholders. You can check out here 6 tips to improve your company’s employer branding strategy.

Why do we need an Employer branding strategy

For companies from various industries, it has become harder to attract and retain talents. This is not necessarily due to a small pool of candidates, but rather because people started to care about various aspects related to a potential employer. That is why presenting a unique employer value proposition is essential. As a company, you need to stand out through an appealing blend of elements such as values, benefits, type of environment, work schedule, internal events, career development and so on. The statistics from Talentnow in 2018 also confirm the degree of difficulty in attracting talented employees:

  • 55% of job seekers abandon applications after reading negative reviews online;
  • 84% of job seekers say the reputation of a company as an employer is important when making a decision on where to apply;
  • 50% of candidates say they wouldn’t work for a company with a bad reputation – even for a pay increase.

If you want to know how to build a strong employer brand for recruitment, we recommend this article that we wrote.

Apart from these statistics that show how competitive a company needs to be in order to attract employees, let’s see what happens when a high turnover rate appears:

  • Additional costs of hiring and onboarding emerge apart from the planned ones (advertising, interviewing, screening, hiring, training);
  • The levels of productivity are lower until a new employee is hired, trained and starts bringing results;
  • There is additional pressure put on the rest of the employees when the workload has to be divided among them, besides the work they already had to do;
  • People have a learning curve and changing jobs means that it takes time until the investment you made in them pays off and they are at their top game in your company as the already existing employees.

All factors put together

Now, imagine that not only one person leaves from time to time, but that you have a high employee turnover rate and a workload that you need to split constantly. Not to mention the lost internal knowledge and skills that are not always easy to replace. For your business, this means lost talent, know-how, skills and a lot of time to retrain in order for people to catch up. To this, we can add that social media has made the companies more transparent. Therefore, people can find information easily about you, how your working environment is and how you treat your employees. Because of this, the only way to step up the game is to create a strategy of attracting and retaining people to benefit your company and your employees in the process

Who owns the strategy - CEO, marketing or HR?

There is a debate about who bears the responsibility of creating and implementing the employer branding strategy. The short answer is all 3 entities are responsible. The longer answer means that we need to understand what role each part plays in the process.

The CEO is usually the most well-known figure inside and outside and sometimes even the face of the company. Employees follow a CEO that displays the company’s values and culture and they are more prone to behave similarly to a person they look up to. It is easier to implement an employer branding strategy when the CEO is the living proof of thriving in the company. If they embrace employer branding, others within the company will more likely follow its model.

HR knows best the people and understand the organizational culture, values and what people best fit into this culture. They are responsible for attracting them, growing and retaining them. HR’s role is essential since employees' engagement and happiness depend on the strategies that come from the HR department. Also, the way people are managed in the company and if they become ambassadors depends on the approach the HR department has and what they can offer them on behalf of the company. If these things are in place, then the last thing that needs to happen is all the benefits to be communicated internally and externally through… marketing.

If HR understands what makes the company unique and can provide employees with the necessary tools for performing and developing themselves, marketing knows where to find these people and how to appeal to them. They are specialized in the external environment of your company, trends, shifts in the marketplace, purchasing habits, what people buy, why they buy something, marketing strategies. They know how to translate your company’s language into potential employees’ language. Because of these, their targeting and communication skills are essential for your employer branding strategy to happen.

All of these entities have a set of capabilities and knowledge that complete each other. A winning strategy uses all their skills and influence in a consistent employer branding strategy. 

Final thoughts

The competition is harsh and we don’t expect it to get easier to find, hire and retain talents. Besides this, the demands related to skills and know-how change. To this, we can add that sometimes well-prepared talent is also scarce. Many companies have been challenged by these external factors and tried to create a competing employer branding strategy. If you also need to identify the most suitable employer branding strategy for you and implement it, we invite you to contact NNC Services, and our talented team of marketing experts will be happy to help you become an employer of choice.

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