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Employment Branding > Talent Acquisition

Why It Pays (Quite Literally) to Define Your Employment Brand

brand savingsIf you read the first part in this employment branding series, you should have a clearer understanding of your employment brand, and if you need to define it more clearly – or simply redefine it altogether. “But why bother?” You might be asking yourself. While it might not seem like it, your employment brand is as crucial to the success of your business as any other initiative. Below are four ways in which having a clearly defined employment brand can literally pay off for your organization.

Higher retention

A clearly defined employer brand will help you determine which candidates will be successful in your organization. More and more companies are focusing their recruitment efforts on cultural fit, because they know that all the skills and experience in the world do not mean anything if the employee is not the right fit culturally. Moreover, one of the major reasons employees leave companies is because they fail to deliver on their brand promise and meet expectations that were set at the time of hire. But how can an employer deliver on its brand promise if it doesn’t even know what that brand is? When defining your brand, know that it is okay to be aspirational (that is, what do you strive to be as an employer?). Your brand should align with an attractive vision for the workplace.
Why it pays: It’s no secret that high turnover costs companies in terms of lost time and costs associated with lost production, termination and hiring administrative paper work, severance pay (if applicable), and time to hire(…not to mention its negative effect on morale.) Needless to say, all of these costs add up – sometimes to as much as twice that of an employee’s salary, by some estimates. Simply put: the more you retain employees, the more money you save.

More relevant applicants

The stronger, more defined your employer brand, the more candidates know who you are as an employer, what type of culture you have and what type of candidate will be successful in your organization; therefore, those who fit this bill will seek you out, while those who do not fit will weed themselves out of the application process. A defined employment brand also communicates how working at your organization is unlike working anywhere else. Chipotle, for instance, utilizes “Day in the Life” videos to portray daily life there. While the fast-paced work environment might scare some candidates away, it draws in those who thrive in this type of environment – that’s a good thing. Six Flags is another company that uses videos to attract the right kind of candidates. Both of these companies know what they offer as an employer, and aren’t afraid to show it in order to draw in the right people. They understand that portraying an authentic work experience is key to attracting the right talent for them.
Why it pays: A defined employer brand will cut down costs associated with time to hire. Think about it: The more candidates who understand your brand and come to you, the less you need to advertise your openings – and the less time you spend weeding through irrelevant applicants (leaving you more time to spend on other initiatives). More importantly, you’ll also build your pipeline of relevant, interested candidates, which will prevent you from making a last-minute, hasty (a.k.a. bad) hiring decision.

Higher employee engagement

Defining your employment brand means defining a set of values your employees can get behind. Take Ford for an example: The company’s recent “Go Further” branding initiative was created with the intent to rally internal employees around the mission to exceed expectations – customers’ as well as their own.
Why it pays: In a 2011 CareerBuilder study, 70 percent of job candidates said they were willing to accept less than their lowest desired salary to work for a company with a strong employment brand.  Why? Because candidates want to work for a company where they feel they are contributing to something bigger than themselves. Not to mention that when your employees are engaged and invested in their work, they naturally work harder, effectively turning out a higher quality of products or services. Naturally, that reflects well on the consumer brand, which leads to customer loyalty, which leads to…do I really need to go on?

Better focus on where to allocate your resources

Your employment brand should dictate the values you hold true as en employer, and those values should be the backbone of every investment you make. CareerBuilder, for example, lives the brand “Growth through Learning”; therefore, every company initiative reflects our support in helping employees develop both personally and professionally by providing ongoing educational and training opportunities.
Why it pays: It’s simple. Once you have a clearly defined employment brand that outlines your priorities and values, the first question you should ask yourself before making any business investment is, “Would investing in this be an accurate reflection of what we stand for as an employer?” If the answer is no, save your money and invest it elsewhere.

Why a defined employment brand pays…for you

Now that you understand the benefits a defined employment brand can bring to your organization, think about how much easier your job recruiting new candidates will be if you do not have to spend as much time and effort sourcing applicants, posting job ads, weeding through irrelevant applications, filling out paperwork, etc. A well-defined employment brand is a win for employees and companies alike, but it’s also a win for you.

Keep an eye out for my third article in this series, where I discuss practical, effective ways to define your employment brand.

Keith Hadley

About Keith Hadley

Keith Hadley is the employment branding practice leader at CareerBuilder. Hadley has over 20 years of experience helping organizations grow by aligning the human elements with business strategy. As a consultant with RSM McGladrey's Strategic Planning Group, Hadley worked in Paris, Frankfurt and Chicago helping small, owner-managed businesses integrate principles of marketing, business development and organizational behavior. Today, Hadley leads CareerBuilder's employment branding practice, building research-based brands and launching them across an increasingly complex and fragmented digital media environment. Hadley works with large and small business alike with a passion to see them attract and retain the people they need to be successful. Hadley received his undergraduate from Baylor University in History and French. He earned his MBA from University of Illinois at Chicago.
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