Why is Employer Branding so Important?
The first step in understanding the importance of employer branding is answering the question, “What is employer branding?”
There are two types of brand you should be aware of: Your brand as a product or service provider — which is what your marketing team is charged with building — and your brand as an employer. Your employer brand is your reputation as a place to work. It’s comprised of your social media presence (as an employer, not a service provider) and your reviews on online employer review platforms.
Your employer brand encompasses the employee experience as a whole, and may include messages about:
- Whether employees feel their work is meaningful.
- Diversity in the organization and if the company embraces or shies away from diverse viewpoints and perspectives.
- Employee opportunities for personal growth and development.
- The sense of community (or lack thereof) among team members.
- The ability to balance personal and professional obligations when working for your organization.
- Whether leaders provide their team members with frequent, honest feedback.
- Your organization’s commitment to fair and ethical practices, giving back to the community, and preserving the environment.
- The competitiveness of benefits and pay.
While it’s possible for an organization with a great company culture to develop a negative employer brand, there is typically a direct correlation between culture and brand. This means a positive company culture usually yields a positive employer brand — with a little extra effort on the branding side.
Employer Brand and Company Performance: A Cause/Effect Relationship
Your employer brand — that is, the public perception of your organization as an employer — has a direct impact on your organization in more ways than one.
Limited talent pool
The most obvious impact is the ability to secure and retain top talent. Job seekers rely heavily on online reviews to make decisions about employment, which means you’re at risk of losing the best candidates if your company culture, and therefore your employer brand, are negative.
Impact on customer relationships
A new movement called conscious consumerism illustrates how the buying criteria have changed for customers. While the “old” consumer sought out the best products at lower prices, many of today’s consumers are willing to pay a higher premium to purchase products from companies with great company ethos and culture who are not only working to solve social issues and give back to the environment, but to keep their workplace positive and engaged. This means a negative company culture and employer brand can limit productivity and cause you to lose your best customers.
A poor employer brand, internal and external, diminishes your reputation in the community and your industry, which can take away from your ability to impact buying criteria, mold the future of the industry, or serve as a thought leader in your sector. It can even limit the authority and success of your leaders and make it more difficult for them to secure speaking engagements and board positions that ultimately benefit the whole organization. In short, a poor employer brand undermines the credibility of the organization and its leaders.
A hit on your bottom line
If you need another reason to give your employer brand the attention it deserves, consider the impact a negative employer brand can have on your bottom line. Poor productivity due to disengagement, difficulty recruiting, lost customers and undermined credibility all lead to decreased revenue and increased expenses, which means your bottom line takes a direct hit. No organization can afford the financial implications that result when their employer brand is neglected.
Company Culture and Employer Brand
The first step in building an employer brand you can feel proud of is to create a company culture that is healthy and vibrant. Digital tools such as kununu engage can be a great help in this endeavor by providing their knowledge on the issue, a platform for open and honest communication, and facilitating automated, informative employee feedback.