The term employer branding has been appearing increasingly on the Internet and in social media for several years. Even more, because one could observe that this term has developed into a real trend. All service providers have jumped on the bandwagon to help companies create an interesting employer brand in order to attract the right employees. But there is a bitter taste when it comes to focusing on attracting new employees as quickly as possible.
Employer branding is often nonsense
Now you’re probably wondering why employer branding is bullshit, right? Employer branding is not bullshit, of course, because it serves its purpose. What we mean is that employer branding is often bullshit because companies develop or have developed a strategy out of necessity. There has never been a defined culture or how a company clearly positions itself as a brand. They realize they are not attracting new employees and need to do something about it now.
The focus will be on how to position themselves attractively as a employer brand in the future. The focus is placed on which channels will be used to reach potential new employees with the new strategy. In such campaigns, a company is equipped with great values and a purpose in communication so that interested parties feel addressed and apply to the company.
The truth behind the scenes
If a prospective employee has reacted and wants to apply because of the communication and the great opportunities, the reality is completely different after the hiring. What appeared to be credible and convincing to the outside world, is in many cases not reflected by the new employees once they start working there. The great culture with its values and purpose is nowhere to be found in the company.
There are many reports of people saying this and turning their backs on the company within a very short time. Because what was presented to the outside world as an interesting and attractive company is not reflected in reality. But why is that the case?
A means to an end
The reason is that many companies see employer branding as a way to attract employees in the long term. But the word long-term describes that something has to be done continuously. So even within a company that includes a culture that really lives and acts on what is communicated in an employer branding campaign every day. Far too many companies use employer branding to look good to the outside world. Behind the scenes, nothing of the great employer brand can be found, because they often have not understood the topic of brand.
What should companies do instead?
In short, they should start with the foundation. Start-ups and companies that develop a long-term brand strategy know what position they want to take in the market. They know how they want to communicate and for which customer target group the brand is. Thus, they also know what they believe in and what their goals are, thus inspiring other people to become a part of it. These people, or the employees, identify with the brand and experience a culture that is genuine and exemplified every day.
Employer branding campaigns can be developed with the real and lived foundation of a brand strategy. The best part is when new employees who start working for the company directly experience what the brand promised before. They tell others about how great their workplace is, even rate it on the Internet. But there is another way to make an employer brand even more attractive.
Employees should help shape the brand in the future
One point where many companies still refrain is to give their employees the chance to help shape the brand. In many companies, brand development is often in the hands of management and marketing managers. Employees are usually left out of the loop and only find out at a later stage how the brand is developing. As a result, employees often don’t understand why a brand is revising its strategy or its design and logo. Especially when companies decide to reposition themselves and rebrand, this is often met with incomprehension and rejection from employees.
Therefore, we advise to let the own employees shape the own brand in the future. Modern successful and credible brands are made by people for people. They continue to develop, are different and courageous. They are also strong brands because a culture behind them pursues a common goal. The company’s own employees believe in the brand and want to be a part of it. That’s why they should be able to help shape it by contributing their ideas.
Today, there are numerous proven methods for further developing a brand through workshops at short and regular intervals. These workshops should not exclusively involve people from management and marketing, but every employee should have the chance to express themselves. Brands that are different are bold and this happens through new ideas that go beyond what has been presented so far. Each employee, regardless of position, has a picture of what he or she values about the brand and how to develop that in the future.
By including the employees in brand workshops, they feel part of the big picture and can even help shape it. This approach, or rather this culture, will not achieve a „cosmetic“ employer branding campaign. By setting an example every day, as well as helping to shape it through valued input from employees, they are loyal to the brand. Not only that, they are even more productive and happy to share with others what a great job they have.
Need help with your brand?
If you find yourself in this article, are currently looking for employees or have not yet developed a brand strategy, we should get to know each other. With our Brand Strategy Sprint, we develop your long-term brand strategy with you and your employees. Book an appointment right here and we look forward to getting to know you.