With the new year just a few months away, HR professionals everywhere are fleshing out their 2022 Employer Brand Plan and getting ready to once again make the case for the resources they need to enhance employee experience, strengthen culture, retain staff and attract talent as we head into another year of change.
In the spirit of renewal, we’ve gathered some of our best advice for this period of planning. We hope it will help you broaden your thinking, attract more resources, refine your goals, address your employees’ most urgent pandemic-era needs, and build an internal community of supporters who can bolster your efforts into the next year and beyond.
1 — Expand Your Definition of Employer Branding
It’s easy to get carried away thinking of all you could accomplish with endless resources for employer branding efforts. But the reality is that resources are never endless and budget restrictions will inevitably limit your plans.
Instead of heaping on extra programmatic proposals that are unlikely to get funded, we suggest thinking big about how you can widen your impact within your organization. Too often, leaders assume employer branding is really just another name for recruitment marketing. But employer branding is far more effective both internally and externally when it encompasses culture, internal communications, employee experience and organizational efficiency as well.
Consider approaching leaders throughout your organization to explore ways you can unify your efforts and boost your impact with a single employer brand strategy. From talent attraction to talent management to employee wellness to change management, it’s easy to see how each area could benefit from a partnership approach.
And don’t stop at HR! Hiring managers in every department, IT leaders and other stakeholders are natural allies as you gather support.
2 — Use Data to Shape Your Strategy
Of course, planning isn’t only about boosting your resources. You also need to refine your plan.
You can use data to identify what stages and aspects of the candidate/employee journey require the most attention. Once you’ve selected an area for improvement, make certain to delve deep into the related data to make sure you’re adopting the approach and tactics that will be most effective.
For example, if you are planning a recruitment marketing campaign targeted at diverse engineering talent, don’t just research the North American market. Instead, research the market in your primary recruitment area. You may find that you have to double or even triple your anticipated advertising budget once you dive into the numbers.
3 — Respond to Pandemic Burnout
You likely don’t need a study to tell you that burnout levels are extraordinarily high. Left unaddressed, this epidemic can affect productivity and morale. Every organization must protect itself against the possibility of a looming Great Resignation that could decimate retention rates in an already painfully tight labor market.
Over the last year and more, frequently shifting circumstances have made it difficult to address employee needs in a wide-reaching, holistic way. Now, looking ahead to 2022, it’s essential that your employer brand plan makes this a top priority — moving beyond a focus on generic well-being to instead tackle specific difficulties faced by employees while also creating employee experiences that spark true renewal and excitement.
One example of an area primed for intervention? Remote work has led to a shrinking of networks and a loss of opportunities for connection and collaboration. In many organizations, this has weakened a core part of the employee value proposition (EVP): that working there allows professionals to meet and connect with amazing people. These companies need to build new kinds of employee experiences that respond to this gap, as well as other kinds of experiences that restore employee engagement.
4 — Start Building Your Internal Bench Now
An ambitious, broad-based employer brand plan needs internal advocates spread throughout an organization to help turn ideas into action. Now is the time to start building your own internal bench of supporters, so that you are ready to call on them when the opportunity arises.
Start by finding the people who may not realize they’re interested in employer branding, but are already pushing to improve leadership, experiences and culture. These are the people who have helped to create employee experiences, or who are involved in shaping the future of work at your company as it emerges from the pandemic. Perhaps they are members of an affinity group, or have become leaders in your company’s DEI journey, or are passionate students of new models of leadership.
These individuals can become allies and sounding boards now. Then, down the road, they can be the internal cheerleaders who help you enact key initiatives.
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.
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