Employer branding is an important aspect for any company operating in the digital era. Although it is often seen as a pure HR challenge, we also see employer branding as a marketing opportunity.
HR and Marketing, are they compatible?
Putting the concepts of HR and marketing together is not the obvious choice for many companies. However, the link between the two has been recognized since the 1980s. What makes companies separate these concepts and even see them as opposing?
In short, marketing is the way to match the product or service qualities with consumer expectations. The purpose of marketing is to drive sales, to promote and to generate business. You will then ask – what links this commercial concept to the talent management at the heart of the company?
The answer is simple – the employer branding is a form of HR marketing, aiming to sell a positive image of the company and its brand. It targets internal and external audiences, helping to attract and recruit future candidates and securing the loyalty and well-being of current employees. No matter what the purpose is, one thing always remains unchanged in employer branding: focus on the people at the core of your activities.
What is Employer Branding?
A strong employer brand enables lots of different opportunities. It reflects the company’s values and represents its culture. A strong employer brand helps the company to differentiate from competition, attract the best talent and appeal to the customer. Today the importance of employer branding has already been recognized in IT and digital sectors. However, you would be surprised how much difference a positive employer image can make for any company, be it a wine shop or a heavy manufacturing business.
A strong image is an important asset which guarantees a positive company perception from the start. Thus, it is a great support for HR managers throughout the entire recruitment process. When knowing the brand, the candidate can associate him or herself with its positive image. This is the basis of an inbound recruiting concept, where strategic marketing actions secure interest from the most promising talent.
From a CSR point of view, HR marketing and the employer brand must also aim for the well-being and loyalty of employees. Your best ambassadors are your employees. Therefore, your strategic planning should involve introducing tools that allow everyone in the company to engage and be proactive in conveying the values of the company.
How to Implement HR Marketing
Today’s HR function is transformed and digitalized. Development in technology offers numerous levers and tools to help companies to achieve all of its HR objectives, going beyond a purely administrative management of human resources.
Among the new digital tools, we find, in particular, platforms that allow brands to improve their visibility via social media. This obviously requires that companies have corporate social accounts, but is that enough? A recent Cisco study revealed that the organic audience for a company’s publications was 10 times lower than when this publication was distributed by the organization’s partners. Why? Simply because trust is established more towards a third party than a company itself. Companies must utilize all relevant channels, including their employees, when building the corporate marketing strategies.
Employee Advocacy opens new possibilities of involving company employees in sharing corporate content. To utilize this marketing potential fully, employers can choose a wide range of actions, including:
- Promoting intranet
- Using internal newsletters
- Creating thematic content walls
- Delegating social accounts
- Providing a license on an Employee Advocacy tool
Each of these actions must be explained, supervised and supported to create long-term ownership and real involvement of teams and management. It is also necessary to measure the results to secure continuous improvement and to adapt the strategies based on the generated results.