A brand is basically everything a consumer experiences in relation to a product or company. Most organizations attempt to build a brand to communicate with consumers that differentiates them in the marketplace and ideally inspires loyalty within their consumer base. For the most part, consumer branding is spoken about pretty frequently, but what we often neglect to discuss is Employer Branding. Until now.
Employer branding has begun to steal the spot light these days! The business world is rapidly changing, there are more generations working together than ever in history and top talent is in very high demand. So while employer branding is not a new initiative – it sure as hell is a new trend!
The basics. Employer branding is your reputation in the marketplace of your company’s culture, mission, values and everything else as it relates to the experience of working or having been in process there. Companies are now, more than ever, are beginning to place an emphasis on conveying a clear and accurate brand in order to attract top talent to them. Right now, talent has the ability to assess so many diversified work experiences, they also more than ever have the more opportunity to cater their work experience to their specific needs and goals. Just as candidates vie to be chosen by a company, companies are concerned with getting chosen in return by their front runners.
Now that we’ve established that employer branding (EB) matters, let’s talk about how to do it well.
Protis Global’s Director of Marketing + Brand Health, Andrea Hurtado, is our resident marketing (ninja, buff, wizard) with a particular knack for establishing, building, and streamlining employer brands. Hurtado asserts that, though brands are layered and nuanced, there is one property anyone in employer branding must exhibit: EQ.
For those of you who don’t know, EQ is emotional quotient. It’s similar to IQ except it refers to someone’s intelligence in regards to people and their ability to read a scenario and navigate it effectively.
Andrea outlines a few thoughts about creating your EB with EQ.
One thing you should know about employer branding is that there is no perfect formula for you to input the elements and cultural nuances of your company and then PRESTO an employer brand is generated. It’s not math and it’s not science. IT’S AN ART. You can’t fake it and there are no shortcuts.
SOFT SKILLS MATTER – If the person/team establishing, understanding, and interpreting (translating/conveying) your employer brand has a low EQ, your EB is likely to fail and not be real. Employer branding is sharing what kind of environment team members are working in. There has to be a deeper level of observation and understanding present in order to speak the truth.
As important as it is to articulate who you are, it is equally as important to emphasize who you aren’t. Understand what type of person does well at your company but also understand what type of person would not thrive in your environment. BUILD THAT STORY. Highlight your company for the right people by ensuring you are giving a clear impression of what type of worker thrives in your environment.
Don’t miss opportunities to fine tune and speak to your brand. A huge missed opportunity where we see a lack of employer branding is, in my opinion, the most important opportunity. It’s the first impression most of the time. It’s JOB DESCRIPTIONS AND JOB BOARDS. Skills sets are skill sets, great you have them, then what? A check list of skills and requirements is just that… a check list. Learning to tell a deeper story and relay more than a check list will save everyone time. It will attract the write talent to you and you will have less tedious work trying to decipher through countless resumes or inquiries from individuals who just checked off a list. Ultimately, the best person for any opportunity is not just the one who fits the skills and requirements to do that role, but one who also fits the flow of the organization, who can seed and sow into it.
For example at Protis Global we are a gritty, highly driven organization. We are made up of individuals who hold each other very accountable and drive towards success consistently. Now we are also constantly laughing, have a cafe that is stocked with Red Bull, a keg and countless other perks. The reality is to work with this team and excel you have to be self driven, you’ve got to be able to dig into the organizations goals and plant some roots to build every damn day (#everydamnday is literally painted on our walls). So while we always state the requirements and skill sets that do well in our organization we also provide insights towards the above. We are intentional around the words we use and in the way we relay the experience and expectations of working here in our job descriptions and throughout the conversations that are had via being in process with us for a role. Our reviews are proof in the pudding that we walk the walk, and expect that in return.
“To keep it simple,” Andrea said, “I view building an employer brand (or any brand for that matter) in the same way that I would like to build a relationship. There has to be honesty, consistency, communication, accountability and nurturing.” We think that’s a fairly easy way to judge if you’re doing it right. Take what you are doing as an employer brand and put it up against such attributes and if you cringe a little you know you’ve got some work to do.
We know that was a lot of information but there is so still so much more! We’ll continue to share more about employer branding and Andrea’s takes on doing it well. If you have any questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you! Feel free to leave us a comment here or reach out to Andrea Hurtado directly at [email protected].