Top 3 Things Clients Wish They Knew About Employer Branding (Before They Started)

There are two common requests that we get for employer branding services.

The first is focused on getting tactical elements as quickly as possible. This request typically involves talent acquisition and has one primary focus: driving candidate applications and conversions as fast as possible. They want programmatic ads, search engine marketing (SEM), career pages; the digital marketing tools will help them amplify their brand awareness and fill their roles – now. 

The second type of request includes a broad understanding of the need for employer branding but lacks the resources or budget to fully embed it within their organization. Typically focused on communications, they’re interested in social media management, refreshed EVP pillars, employee storytelling campaigns – the kind of support that will help improve their employer brand on the surface level but often doesn’t go deep enough to provide lasting change.

Recruitment and career sites are important pieces of employer branding, but they’re not the whole pie. If you feel the pressure from your organization to get tactical, we want to share what some of our clients who have been in your shoes, tell us they would do differently.

1. Research can’t be a checkbox activity

Your Employer Value Proposition (EVP) is the sum of all things that an organization offers to its employees in exchange for their contribution to the organization. It’s the answer to the question that every candidate has when evaluating an organization or job offer – “What’s in it for me?”

It’s also the answer to another important question: “Why should I choose you?” Your EVP is your promise to employees and your unique differentiator in the talent marketplace. However, different candidates want different things from their employers, and figuring out those elements requires deep internal and external research. All of the regions and roles that your talent occupies must be represented in this work – their needs, wants, and motivations – before you can start to define your EVP. 

There is no off-the-shelf solution that provides this level of insight.

Another common issue: completed surveys that didn’t ask the right questions to get the right data. This is what happens when you don’t invest in the research phase. As Carl Jung once said, “To ask the right question is already half the solution of a problem.” Asking the right questions to the right people will get you even further.

2. Employer Branding is a meaningful journey of engagement

We all love a questionnaire or a fill-in-the-blank style template, but if employer branding were this simple, we would all have long lines of talent knocking down our door with resumes in hand. The organizations that get the most out of employer branding are the ones that understand that your EVP needs to be supported by your entire organization – not just your HR or marketing teams. 

That means investing in the process and infrastructure to back up the promises in your EVP. In addition, you need to report on your actions and continually work to understand the shifts in talent expectations.

For example, in putting together our Tech Talent report earlier this year, we found that career growth – specifically the opportunity to become a “product leader” (rather than a “people leader”) – was an overwhelming motivator. However, it’s one thing to say that your organization offers room to grow on your career page and another thing to design and develop those opportunities. So, does career growth look like career pathing? Mentorship? Learning and development? All of the above? 

Fulfilling the promises you make in your EVP is not a linear process – it requires deep engagement from all areas of the organization, and your Employer Brand journey must build these points of connection. However, the results of a more engaged and productive workforce, are well worth it. 

3. Getting stakeholder alignment can take time

There is an increasing demand to move fast and show what can be delivered quickly, but getting employer branding right takes time. Getting in leaders’ calendars to have critical alignment discussions and working through the findings of EVP isn’t a one week exercise. Plus, the complexity of the work increases according to the size of your business. For example, multinational corporations need to account for regional and functional nuances.

The focus here has to be on the quality of the output, not the speed of delivery. To get the best returns from your employer branding efforts, you need to build your talent experience from the inside out and take the time to align their branding goals with other company priorities and initiatives. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Final Thoughts

While we love that Employer Branding is recognized more as an integral component of organizations, it isn’t a one-and-done process. The finish line isn’t the final report – it’s bringing it to life. It’s also a lot more than just marketing tactics. To get Employer Branding right, you need to approach it with a strategic mindset and be prepared to do the work to reap the rewards. 

About Us 

Blu Ivy Group is a global leader in employer branding, organizational culture, and recruitment marketing. We help organizations across the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors build extraordinary employee experiences, magnetic employer brands and high-performance cultures.

From C-Suite to Employer Brand and Talent Acquisition leadership, we partner with our clients to transform their organizations and design the most compelling workplaces of the future.

For inquiries, please contact sparker@bluivygroup.com.

 

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