Our guest in this article is an open-minded person in Employer Branding who will do great works in the future; Meryem Adak. I am sharing, with pleasure, her article as a guest writer on Employee Branding, EVP and companies’ creating value proposition.
Fast-developing technology, change in our ways of making business, economic fluctuations are in conclusion real and made the need to reach the rightest talent for the company an essential topic for the survival of the companies.
If you look at global companies’ job adverts, you will see that it is now outmoded to understand what requirements are needed for the job. Instead of this, they share information on what an amazing work-place they have, what they offer to the candidates, the pay scale and the vested benefits to look more attractive. We read in a report on Industry 4.0 that technology now has a cross-sectoral effect. So it keeps on telling how even the most traditional sectors will get their share of the digital change. While we’re worrying whether robots will take over our jobs, it is already in the agendas of CEO’s to recruit to their companies talents that can take on responsibilities that machines and computer programs can never do! It seems that attracting talent will keep on being the hottest topic for a while more.
So “Employer Branding” is now more important than ever.
Why Employer Branding?
In its simplest and most important sense, Employer Branding is being an employer that leaves a positive impression on current and potential employees (target group).
To make a detailed description, we can say: “Working for increasing productivity and motivation by keeping high-performing employees longer in the company; while on the other hand going over the processes to be an employer that the talents the company needs will prefer, to stay in minds through active communication as a company that the candidates will always want to work in.”
Because when you find the right talents you need, you will improve your company’s chance of being more agile and financially more powerful.
“Employer Branding is the job you need to start investing today if you want your company to survive in the age of competition and technology!”
To confess, putting this job that so easily definable into practice is a very difficult process that requires a lot of knowledge and serious passion. A lot of knowledge because one must have marketing knowledge when working in Employer Branding strategy. All the tools and strategies being used are adapted from the marketing discipline. While using Marketing knowledge in methodology, you need to rely strongly on your HR knowledge in philosophy and strategy. There is no other field that brings these two disciplines as close to each other. This is why in many organizations the owner of this work is not yet clearly defined.
It is of high importance yet very difficult to pin the rocks down to their correct places in the ying-yang of marketing and HR. Efforts start bringing results when it is saved from being a raw HR work for the marketers while “just a communication job” for the HRs.
You can bring the most colourful and memorable view in the big picture of the company when you develop muscles for this as HR. The strongest steps you take and the seeds you plant for Employer Branding today will reflect on your business results as determination data within 3-7 years; this is constant from the experiences of successful examples we see globally.
So let’s get it straight from the start:
Just like how marketing isn’t only communicating, Employer Branding isn’t just saying “I’m the best employer, I give the highest salary.”
Employer Branding is created first of all within the company, from its roots. I accept that external communication is the most important ring of the chain. But if we’re following a correct and a sustainable business strategy, it is usually the last ring as well.
First you need to create an “EVP-Employee Value Proposition”. Its name in marketing is “BVP-Brand Value Proposition”. In marketing, it means the attitude of the brand that is suitable to both business strategies and addressing customer expectations; while in Employer Branding, it means the attitude of the employer that is suitable for the strategies of both the brand and the company, and that satisfies the expectations of both the employees and the candidates to be attracted.
What is your personality, character, attitude, strengths, and promises to the employees and to people who will work with you?
What would the first effect you company leaves, or you would like it to leave, on people viewing it if it was a person?
How do people who know your company view it?
How do people who break off from your company remember it?
An employer needs to have done all the pre-work and study that can answer these questions; set his attitude and discourse and become able to reflect these on his target group. But it needs to be said that your marketing department, CEO or CHRO cannot tell you your EVP. You cannot say you’re this kind of an employee, and that your attitude should be like that. You need to ask your employees and potential candidates, analyse deeply and reveal the absolute truth.
It would be useful to follow these steps when creating your EVP:
1. Make pictures!
It will be a guide for you to take a picture of the current situation before you start creating the EVP. It might be a good option even to start with asking yourself the question “Why am I working here?” Discuss it through creating a project group or focus groups. List the situations of today under the headings you determine. And at the same time, record things that should be, or you think it would be great to have.
Bring all the data you can find together. Do extra research within budget if there is missing data. Questionnaires you did during orientation, results of the questionnaires on employee loyalty, information you got from exit interviews… Each one of these is highly important for EVP. It is essential to resort to data in understanding the climate in the company. At this point it might also be necessary to do competitor analysis. If you have analyses on companies that bring you harm in talent flow, make sure to use them as input.
3. Determine your harbour!
Determine your main goal using the meaningful data that comes out of the current situation analysis and the research. It’s the ideal time to meet the higher management! Tell them about the emergent picture and make sure you agree on the topic of EVP goals.
It’s high time that you create your promise of employee value! You can now create the promise that reflect your company’s attitude, culture and values based on the insight you have collected and the goals you have set. This promise can be a sentence that reflects your employer brand while it can also be an information index consisting of a couple of points. My foresight would be to keep it as short, simple and sincere as possible.
5. Bring to life!
Once you set your EVP, you need to start announcing your new attitude to your employees and potential candidates. A mark of your EVP should be on every point that contacts your target audience; from candidate interviews to celebrations of special days that you do in the company. It will be an effective start to begin from your career website, social media accounts, job adverts and internal/external video promotions.
There is a beginning to the EVP process, but there is no end. It needs to be observed for months and even years, and be re-evaluated at necessary points; just like your main brand constantly needs renewal. Measure whether you have created the necessary public opinion or not by regularly getting feedback from your employees and candidates.
I have tried to summarize for you the importance and the process of EVP work. I truly care about this issue in terms of both employee and candidate experiences.
Have you ever worked in a EVP project? What are your experiences?
I would love to hear about your opinions on this matter.
With regards, Meryem Adak