by Audrey Abela
People are the biggest and most powerful resource that a company has. Employees are the first brand ambassadors and can make or break an organisation. Whether they are current or past employees they are the ones who speak about the company. And you want them to speak well about you. Not because they have to, but because they genuinely believe it. Even more so on this little rock called Malta, where everyone know everyone else and their friends, and word-of-mouth is the rule of the day.
This is where employer branding comes into play. By definition, Employer Branding sets an appealing image of a company as an employer, both internally and externally, and establishes a unique identity that makes the employer attractive to top talent. It will set the Employer Value Proposition (EVP) that sets them apart in their industry.
Who should be in charge of employer branding?
This is a big question. Some might say marketing, others HR. In reality, it’s a mix of both and a little bit more. A team effort involving Marketing, Human Resources and Operations. These three need to work hand-in-hand for a company to become an employer of choice.
HR are at the heart of it; they are the implementers, the ones to get the message across internally and the ones who listen and analyse the morale of the employees. It goes beyond the monthly salary. A combination of that and the creation of a positive environment that will make employees want to stay.
Operations are the ones work hand-in-hand with HR to make sure that there are enough resources for what needs to be implemented without overpromising and under-achieving.
Marketing are the ones who get the message across outside the four walls of the company. They are there to promote the message with the people outside the organisation – partners, potential new recruits.
But there’s a catch!
Employers need to start with understanding what people they want to attract and map their strategy around that. A successful strategy manages employee expectations, it doesn’t over promise or paint a pretty picture that is not the reality. To be successful you need to adopt a What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get approach not a fairy tale one. If you’re embarking into an employer branding strategy:
- Define you EVPs and stick to them. Don’t use them simply as a promotional tool. Eventually, it will back fire and work against you.
- Follow the trends. What is going on in the world around us will affect the workplace – new regulations, increasing environmental awareness, ageing population, declining/unavailable family support, etc. Family dynamics have evolved and employees are looking for family friendly measures that will enable them to keep working whilst raising a family alone or as a couple.
- Work with the industry. If you can’t do it on your own, identify key people and entities that can help you get the message across.
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