As we start to say goodbye to summer 2023, we step back into the renewed hustle and bustle of back-to-school time. For many organizations this sense of renewal extends into annual planning cycles; it’s time to evaluate past performance, realign courses of action and strategically set budgets for the year ahead.
As you start to consider and plan for your employer brand investment for 2024, one of the most important steps towards evolving your human-centred EVP journey, is the stakeholder work of bringing your HR, Marketing, and Operational teams together. It’s when these teams work in unison you maximize total employer brand investments in the direction of reinforcing your organization’s standing as an ideal workplace while simultaneously driving business growth.
Employer Branding is a corporate wide initiative and organizations that take advantage of a cross-organization view, and plan accordingly, reap the benefits. As you start your think about your employer brand investment for 2024, where does employer brand strategy, funding, and execution sit within your organization? Could 2024 be a year where you help your organization bring employer branding outside of the HR box?
Changes in the Employer Branding Landscape from the Past to the Present
The journey of employer branding from being a neglected area siloed in HR departments is evolving to becoming a strategic organizational imperative for many human-centred organizations that want to prioritize the balance of people, performance, profit, and organizational pride. Gone are the days when employer branding was only about job advertising and recruitment marketing that talked only about attractive compensation packages or fancy perks. For top employers of choice, employer branding has evolved to a space where their employer brand signifies the very soul of their organization and an important part of their overall strategic brand strategy.
The COVID-19 pandemic not only jolted us on a personal level, but it also spotlighted the importance of an agile, empathetic, and compassionate employer brand that aligns and reinforces your entire organizational story. For many, 2023 has been a year filled with uncertainty of what lies ahead economically. Companies are being tasked with doing more with less resources, while still maintaining or building their reputation and retaining top performers. This trying year has created an increased desire for stability, flexibility, wellness, and connection as core attributes for talent.
As employer branding continues to evolve, top employers of choice have learned that it’s not enough to simply have an employee value proposition, but they also need to communicate that internally and external, and even more importantly they need to culturally embed their EVP across the entire organization to ensure that every corner of the business is ‘walking the talk’ and bringing the EVP to life in authentic and meaningful ways.
Key Areas for Investment in Employer Brand in 2024
As your senior leadership team starts to strategize for the year ahead, we’ve been working with a number of our core clients to build in the follow components to help them grow forward and get the most out of their employer brand investment for 2024.
Enhanced Digital Presence
Being digitally savvy is no longer a choice but a necessity for businesses, and managing a strong online reputation is its core element. This demands an investment in aspects like optimizing your website for a mobile-first world, aligning your social presence with your EVP, understanding the digital behaviours of your prospective talent pool, making use of analytics to create targeted branding campaigns, and ensuring seamless online application processes.
Virtual Reality and AI Recruitment
Incorporating emerging technologies like VR and AI into an organization’s recruitment process can elevate your employer brand’s identity, making it more attractive to the tech-savvy generation. VR can make the recruitment process more engaging and interactive, giving prospective employees a realistic view of the work environment while AI can handle repetitive tasks and allow your HR professionals to focus on strategy and human interaction. The blend of tech efficiency with human governance will be the way forward. Having a clear human-centred EVP strategy can help your tech, HR, marketing and recruitment teams align when looking to bring on these recent technology advancements.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Allowing room for diverse voices, fostering an inclusive environment, and ensuring equity aren’t simply good to have elements anymore, but non-negotiable essentials. An authentic commitment to these areas will increase overall employee satisfaction, provoke innovation, and boost your employer brand. Being intentional about DEI and creating a Diversity Value Proposition (DVP) is one of the first steps to make sure that your DEI efforts are aligned and integrated with your overall Human-Centred EVP strategy.
Media and Employer Branding
Another important KPI that we’ve been helping our clients with is percentage of overall organizational media spend dedicated to employer branding initiatives. Many organizations do a fantastic job of designing employer brand assets, programs, tools, and initiatives but neglect to invest in media to share this work with existing employees and potential candidates. Why do all this important work if you’re not going to help your target audiences know about it? Just because you build it, doesn’t mean they will come. Budgeting for and creating a strategic and targeted media buy to promote your employer brand needs to be an organizational priority and a key part to your employer brand investment.
Culturally embedding your EVP across the organization
Organizations are growing beyond only communicating their EVP and are starting to design new ways to integrate and ensure that their employer brand is being lived across all areas of the company. It is important that your internal teams have the opportunity to co-create and culturally embed your EVP in meaningful and personalized ways that are relevant to their individual departments, functions, and roles. This type of culture embedment of your EVP helps managers become reconnected and engaged ambassadors for your organization and gives high potential team members new and unique opportunities to embed themselves deeper with your organization.
Measuring for Success
Regardless of where you intend to channel your employer branding investments, having a roadmap is essential. Establishing well-defined KPIs and dashboard, can help your organization steadily advance toward its aspirations. These KPIs should give holistic performance insight – how appealing your EVP (Employer Value Proposition) is to your target audiences inside and outside of the organization, efficiency and effectiveness of the talent acquisition processes, employee retention rate, level of employee satisfaction and engagement, and several industry-specific productivity metrics.
Starting your organizations 2024 Employer Branding Strategy
Employer branding has evolved significantly in the past few years. It has transitioned from merely being an HR only strategy to attract potential talent to becoming a crucial cross-organization element that defines an organizations’ DNA. Looking ahead to 2024, there’s an exciting opportunity for businesses to build, communicate, and activate employer brands that prioritize digital innovation, diversity, inclusion, cultural alignment, and create new targeted media efforts.
If your current employer branding strategies don’t reflect these core areas, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate. Should you need support or guidance during this journey of transformation, we would welcome a conversation to help you start crafting a balanced Human-Centred Employer Brand Strategy that champions your core company values and one that prioritizes people, performance, profit, and organizational pride.
VP, Client Strategy & Creative
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.
Connect with us today and let us help you transform your organization into a workplace that inspires your employees, leaders, customers, and shareholders.