At first glance, personal branding and employer branding do not necessarily seem to go hand in hand. However, it can truly be a real win-win relationship if the subject is viewed in the right light. The company has everything to gain from having employees in its ranks whose personal branding is well developed and an employee has everything to gain as well from working for a an employer with a strong brand. And Employee Advocacy allows precisely this type of reciprocal relationship that is mutually beneficial for both parties.
Personal Branding, or how to «sell» oneself online
While «personal branding» is itself not a novelty, it has nevertheless been booming ever since the arrival of the social media networks’ digital revolution, and all the more so with professional social media networks such as LinkedIN and Twitter.
Personal branding is the creation and enhancement of an individual’s personal brand through their skills, experience and professional know-how. This means that you have to establish and generate visibility for yourself and develop and enhance your social media profiles. To promote your professional qualities, expertise, background and skills you need to activate the same levers that a brand uses to conquer new customers, sell its products and services. Therefore, personal branding is the transposition of marketing and advertising techniques that are usually used by a brand but for the personal benefit.
In the overwhelming majority of cases, personal branding is used for career development, recruitment, and the search for new professional opportunities. A person is trying to sell himself or herself, and of course, social media networks are a perfect playground to do so. Social selling becomes thus part of the whole personal branding equation.
Employer branding is a relatively new concept that was born out of the need for companies to succeed in recruiting the best candidates and retaining the best employees. Therefore, the employer brand is part of an external HR strategy, but also an internal one. Executive board, managers and HR departments attach paramount importance to conveying a good company image, centred around strong values and ultimately improving the perception of the company as an employer.
A win-win relationship thanks to Employee Advocacy
A company’s employees’ personal branding and employer branding can actually go hand in hand and create a mutual beneficial, win-win relationship that truely benefits both parties.
On the one hand, an employee has everything to gain by highlighting his or her achievements, skills, market knowledge and level of expertise on social media networks. This in turn will help him or her to foster and maintain a strong client relationship and attract the attention of leads. The employee develops and consolidates his professional credibility and creates a de facto relationship of trust with his or her customers and prospects.
For its part, the company also has everything to gain from supporting its teams’ personal branding activities: the employer brand is bolstered, too.
«There can be no strong employer brand without well-branded employees»
Indeed, a company cannot develop an effective HR policy without capitalizing on its internal resources, namely its teams. It cannot hope to be victorious in the war for talent that is currently being waged amongst companies of the same sector without relying on the personal branding of each and every employee.
- How could you possibly attract the best profiles without valuing the teams already in place?
- Is it even possible to spark the interest of potential candidates if they cannot identify with the company’s values?
- Can a company without a strong employer brand avoid turnover?
What’s more, this is impossible without an efficient and concerted employee advocacy programme. Because there is no good employer brand without good brand ambassadors, the two are closely linked.
An employee advocacy program helps to highlight the personal achievements and skills of each and every employee while promoting the company at the same time. Sharing, relaying and disseminating quality content on each employee’s social media accounts naturally strengthens the employer brand.
In short, in order for personal branding to serve the employer brand – and vice versa – companies have every interest in developing an employee advocacy program.
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