Employer branding is an important aspect for any company operating in a 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 these 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 already in1980s. What makes companies separate these concepts and even see them as antinomic?
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 in 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 any action.
What Employer Branding is
A strong employer brand implies multiple opportunities. It reflects the company values and represents its culture. Strong employer brand helps the company to differentiate from competition, attracting the best talents and appealing to the customers. 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 processes. When knowing the brand, the candidate can associate him- or herself with its positive image. This is the base of inbound recruiting concept, where strategic marketing actions secure the interest from the most promising talents.
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 messengers 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. Technology development offers numerous levers and tools to help companies to achieve all its HR objectives, going beyond a purely administrative management of human resources.
Among the new digital tools, we find in particular those that allow brands to improve its 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. Thus, companies must utilise all relevant channels, including the employees, when building the corporate marketing strategies.
Employee Advocacy opens new possibilities of involving company employees in sharing the corporate contents. To utilise 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 Employee Advocacy tool
Each of these actions must be explained, supervised and guided to create a long-term ownership and a real involvement of teams and the management. It is also necessary to measure the results to secure a continuous improvement and to adapt the strategies based on the generated results.