The concept of employer branding has become one of the most significant developments in recent times, and for some companies, its importance has been recognised since the early 1990s.
Simon Barrow, now chairman of consultancy People in Business, is acknowledged as the creator of the term ‘employer brand’¨ as early as October 1990.
At its simplest form, employer branding is about ensuring that your people brand matches your marketing brand. This involves making sure the messages the business gives out are reflected by the actions of its people at all levels and at all times.
To achieve that, however, you have to consider all aspects of your business to ensure consistency in your messages, behaviour and values.
In a commercial context, employer branding is the glue that holds all the different components of the organisation together to ensure staff loyalty, commitment and performance, which equals customer loyalty, advocacy and satisfaction. This also ensures business growth, profitability and market share, which in turn leads to stakeholders, competitor respect, and becoming an employer of choice.
One of the problems with employer branding is that if you mention anything with ‘brand’ in the title, people often make assumptions about where the issue belongs in an organisation.
It shouldn’t be seen as an issue just for HR or marketing. Employer branding is not ‘soft and fluffy’, and should not be something nice to do when we get round to it.
Equally, it should not be driven by a clinical process. It is not a PR exercise Ð without practical application, you will fall at the first hurdle.
Employer branding is also not just about having a charismatic leader Ð it is far more all encompassing, going to the very heart of an organisation. It needs an integrated process to make it happen, but a process based on capturing the imagination that has its foundation in the heart and soul of every employee.
It’s also about emotional connectivity. While the process may be called employer branding for some organisations, others have not formally named it as such, but still adhere to its underlying principles.
Organisations are increasingly recognising that, directly or indirectly, most brand promises are d