Organizations can fall into the trap of seeing their various business processes as separate from one another. This can be a natural artifact of the way businesses become departmentalized as they grow. In many ways, this is deliberate — you don’t want your sales staff trying to do the job of your IT department, for example. In reality, we know that much of this compartmentalization is artificial: every aspect of a business is interconnected and interdependent.
When it comes to hiring, this means that you need to look deeper than pay, location, schedule, and benefits to determine why you’re failing to land and retain the right candidates. While good compensation will always be the foremost factor in recruiting the best of the best among job seekers, you need to look beyond the offer sheet when competing with many other companies trying to recruit similarly skilled staff at the same price point. It’s not always about what you’re offering a candidate in terms of direct compensation. Other aspects of your operation can make or break a crucial hire, such as company culture, reputation in the wider community, industry standing, and — last, but not least — your brand.
While branding isn’t something that comes up in a lot of HR meetings, it can be a key factor in attracting and keeping high-performing employees. Think about it: the relationship between brand and customer is meticulously nurtured, invested in, and relied upon to build trust. Many high-end companies strive for branding that makes their clients feel like appreciated partners rather than customers in a transaction. But isn’t the relationship between your brand and your employees just as important as the one between your brand and your customers? When your employees genuinely relate to your brand, they feel a sense of pride and ownership, which is a key driver of employee satisfaction, quality work, and long-term staff retention.
Company Brand vs. Employer Brand
To begin leveraging your brand to recruit and retain a more effective, more dedicated team, you’ll first want to delineate the concepts of “brand” and “employer brand” in your head. So, what’s the difference?
While there is a world of nuance and subtlety at play, we can state the basic concepts simply. Your brand — your traditional, company brand — is all about how customers see you. Your employer brand is — you guessed it — all about how employees and potential hires see you. Both are designed to attract the people who will help your operation thrive and grow, either as clients or team members. As with all aspects of your business, there will be overlap and interdependency between the two concepts.
You’ll want to have some sort of consistency between company branding and employer branding so that when someone applies for a job because they love your company, those same qualities shine through. Branding isn’t all about your company’s “personality” however. Sometimes it comes down to simply having a great product at a good price, or — in the case of employer branding — a great work environment with fair compensation.
Your “employer brand” is essentially your reputation among job seekers at large. Just like your company brand, each individual you engage with will have their own personal interpretation of that brand and their relationship with it. This relationship will grow as job seekers enter the interview process and move on to become employees, just as the customer-brand relationship changes with each new purchase or other interaction.
Some of the core elements that will make up your employer brand include:
- Office culture
- Team building
- Management style
It’s time to start wielding the concept of “brand” as the powerful, dual-edged sword it is. You already know how to use branding to attract and retain quality clients. If you’re not putting those same concepts to work in your hiring process, you may be undermining your own operation. Contact Stang Decision Systems for more info.