Creating your Employer Brand Architecture

As we’ve explored over the last few weeks in this series, there are several components that contribute to developing and maintaining your organization’s Employer Brand. The blueprint or foundation that your organization builds all creativ, storytelling and employee experience programs  from, is your Employer Brand Architecture. 

Statistics show that employees are likely to leave a company that failed to engage them in an innovative way. A strong Employer Brand amplifies engagement, reduces turnover, and propels productivity and purpose. The error that many organizations make when building their Employer Brand is that they focus exclusively on going out with big ad campaigns and social marketing, but fail to identify the components required to successfully execute their Employer Brand. 

In this article, we’ll explore the key factors that contribute to creating a robust and successful Employer Brand Architecture. We will look at how the leadership, culture and hiring experience at your organization influences your overall brand position and promise.

In order to define and differentiate your Employer Brand Architecture Model, you need to create EVP  pillars that truly differentiate and define your work experience. Using these EVP pillars, you will then be able to establish a meaningful and impactful architecture that is truly defines your workplace, rather than regurgitates the same employer stories that competitors are discussing. Your brand and communication goal should always be to reinforce what makes you unique. This is what will ensure that the Give/Get parameters are truly speaking to your ideal talent audience. 

A great brand is one that clearly articulates an emotional connection and a market ownership. Are you the friendly player, the fierce competitor, the innovator, the stable leader? There is a quadrant in your market that you can own. Your goal is to understand that, and convey that message clearly in all of your talent communications.  It is what will differentiate your organization from others, and what candidates , employees, customers and other stakeholders should talk about with consistency. Do not get lost in the latest trends in HR and workplace, when creating your EVP pillars. Ensure rather that it will help narrate why a specific segment of talent want to join and grow with you vs the competitor down the road.  

So where do we start?

Explore your Employee Value Propositions (EVP)

What is it about your organization’s leadership and employees that is special. Can you feel it on Zoom Calls? Did you see it when you got on the elevator before COVID hit? Do they reinforce this experience through team collaboration and behaviors? Avoid descriptors like “the culture” “the people” “a family”. They are overused and frankly beyond vague.

Identify Common Benefit Themes That Interest Existing and Prospective Talent

What perks, programs and benefits  do you offer, and why? Clearly defining how your programs align with what matters most to talent is a great guide and opportunity to reinforce your Employer Brand elevator pitch. 

Examples of these could be: 

  • Flexible Hours. Summer Hours. 
  • Remote work experience/enablement
  • CSR/Impact
  • Corporate investment in employee driven innovation or startups
  • Wellness programs, gym memberships, or access to additional therapies
  • Mentorship programs, Team Events, Tuition reimbursement

Summarize Top Strengths and Threats

This requires some internal research on engagement, leadership and strategic vision, desired behaviours and skills, and a clear knowledge of your internal and external  Employer Brand Strengths and Employer Brand Threats vs competitors. 

Develop 3-4 EVP Pillars

 

When developing copy for the pillars: 

  • Keep in mind that it is the employees and job seekers that are your audience. Avoid corporate speak. Sell to talent!
  • Make it memorable, differentiating and compelling
  • Reinforce each pillar using a healthy mix of employee stories, supporting talent programs, leadership commitments and recognition events as your proof points. 

Develop a Positioning Statement

Align your EVP pillars to your Corporate and Consumer Brand. Build a brief, paragraph that embodies those themes and offers a powerful story of what your employer brand stands for and why it is unique in the market. 

Look for messaging that will connect with your target audience, their voice, passions and goals. Remember that as critical as it is to align to your corporate brand, its purpose is to connect with and inspire talent. 

Communicate both Internally and Externally

  • Employer Brand Architecture requires not just buy-in from HR & Leadership, but it must be lived, consistently messaged and delivered. Regardless of whether talent are working in an office, or from home, they should continue to experience communications and programs that drive home the promise you are making to their value proposition. 
  • Ensure that leaders are evolving and improving how they deliver their promise to employees
  • Provide tools to regularly communicate the EVP pillars, and promise so that it is top of mind. (with 50% of talent actively looking for other work, it is best you reinforce why they should stay with you)
  • Measure and reward leaders and talent that truly embody the employer brand in their daily actions and communications 
  • Launch grassroots Employee Brand Ambassador Programs to not only share great stories of your culture, but empower them to be the innovators of what is next. 
  • Of course, launch that brand creative on your careers site, your social media platforms, your candidate communications, the interview experience, your videos, your advertising… EVERYWHERE!  Consistent messaging is what leads to top of mind awareness and true recognition and recall. 

Measure against your overall Employer Brand goals

Take into account your current state but ensure it is aspirational

  • Create Employer Brand & Engagement Scorecard
  • Establish Baseline Metrics
  • Benchmark Against Competitors
  • Measure every 12-16 Months minimum and optimize where necessary.

Having a strong Employer Brand Architecture has significant impact on the bottom line growth of your organization.  Following these recommendations will positively affect your work culture, from improved employee engagement, loyalty and  alignment to strategic goals. It will also drive a larger funnel of better quality candidates due to the magnetic storytelling that resonates with top talent in your desired sectors. Employer Brand is felt by the customer too. It is seen in the improvement of customer satisfaction scores, NPS scores and year over year retention. They experience your culture daily by dealing with your employees. Regardless of whether it is with digital, phone, video or in person communications, they get a very clear and accurate sense of your employer brand. Your investment in making a great workplace experience pays off in dividends with loyal, proud and consistent customers. 

Over the next few weeks we will continue to share key insights and learnings from our Employer Branding and Engagement Professional (EBEP) Certification Program. For additional information on how to create and maintain your Employer Brand, or to sign up for this exclusive program, please contact Jennifer “Jenni” Lamb at 647.535.5318, or at jlamb@bluivygroup.com.

 

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