Recent Trends in Human Resource Management

Monday, June 7, 2010

Building an Employer Brand

Building an Employer Brand

In the present job markets, where companies compete for attracting the best of the talent, employer brand, sometimes, becomes more relevant when compared to various critical factors like job profile and the compensation package.

Employer brand is the image of an organization as a great place to work in the minds of its current employees and key stakeholders. It is the development of such an organizational culture which fosters a sense of belongingness with the company and encourages the employees to share organization's goals for success. In short, it is the value of the company in external marketplace. The goal of employer branding is to create loyal customers; the customers here being the employees.

An employer brand represents the core values of an organization. Companies that are considered good employers have a strong identity and an image in the marketplace. Building such a brand requires a lot of introspection by the company, and answering the questions, "what kind of company we are, and want to become?" and "how do we live up to the expectations of our stakeholders?".

What makes an employer a brand?
Simon Barrow, who is president of a successful consulting firm in London that specializes in employer branding services describes four elements that work together to make an employer brand. The first element is the Employment Package which is the offer that an employee gets including job responsibilities, financial compensation, work/life balance, the employee's role in organization and professional development. Next comes the Culture and Environment which includes the physical working environment, the size of the organization, and the organization's approach to work. Then there is Integrity. Delivering what has been initially committed always counts. The consequence of a lack of integrity is seen in the form of high attrition rates. And finally Management Performance that plays as a vital role in the Employer Branding process.

Building a brand is typically a twofold process. One is for prospective employees and the other for the current set of employees. While building brand for prospective employees, initiatives are targeted at building a repute in potential recruits about the company as a preferred place to work. On the other hand, while building brand internally, the company has to live up to its standards and incorporate a culture of respect and trust for employees.

Growing Significance
It is said that an unsatisfied customer tells ten people about his experience while an unsatisfied employee tells a hundred. Employer branding reflects the work culture in an organization. It has become more critical in today's times, as most professionals are looking at a stable career and establishing a long-term relationship with the company. Research shows that employees of industrial brands feel a much greater sense of pride, attachment and trust towards their employer. They are also significantly more likely to recommend their company to others and claim it treats employees well. Through right branding, the company can recruit the best talent and reinforce its positioning amongst its employees. It helps build trust and reliability. A good employer brand makes it easy to attract good talent and curb attrition. The strength of an organization's brand has a significant impact on the performance of its employees. Working with one of the largest or most innovative companies in a specific industry acts as a motivator too.

But as one moves higher in his career, brand name becomes of little significance as job role takes over. Brand name is the most important factor but at entry level only. When one is a fresher and embarks on one's career, the brand of a company matters. It helps in reflecting a stronger resume. With career growth, one places importance on things that are more meaningful to one's sense of purpose. According to Gautam Sinha, CEO, TVA Infotech, for employees who have spent three-four years in the industry, brand is high on the list. It is easier to sell the company if it is a reputed brand. For those who have spent five years in any industry, it's the job role that's important and for those with 10 year behind them, the job role becomes the most critical factor.

It is also being argued that in most cases, companies treat employer branding as a mere short-cut for attracting the talent. Instead of self-analysis, the HR departments tie up with ad agencies to conjure up an image that may be attractive to their target market, even if not their own. While some argue that organizations like Google with strong employer brand hardly spend money in building the brand; instead they focus on living the brand. Sasken, for example, has a stated 'People First' policy to emphasize that employees are the focus. Fedex has a core philosophy of 'people - service - profit' to indicate what comes first. Bill Marriott of Marriott Hotels does not tire of repeating the founder's belief "Take care of the associates, and they'll take good care of the guests, and the guests will come back." These organizations reveal a high degree of trust in the management of the organization. Managements must understand that the core value offering of the organization is to engage employees towards being productive and responsive to customers. In the end, it is believed that if the company takes care of people, people will take care of the company.

Ref: http://www.naukrihub.com/hr-today/employer-brand-building.html

6 comments:

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