Who would not want to work for a dream company?
It is possible to create a dream culture by creating an employer image that resonates. A strong HR brand helps achieve this by reaching HR goals faster and more efficiently, thus attracting, motivating, and retaining employees. It is also easier to attract experienced professionals to join a dream company.
So where do start? Developing an HR brand can be divided into five main steps.
What is your HR strategy?
The organization’s strategy needs to be defined and prioritized. It is simply not possible to impact everything at once. Decide what needs to be addressed what and needs special attention. What goals you are trying to achieve? For new companies, attracting talent will be a top priority; organizations that are losing talent to competitors may want to develop a retention strategy and mechanism.
Who are your people?
What type of individuals is your company looking for? What is their profile? As part of the HR strategy, you must identify your audience. Are you looking to hire college graduates? Young professionals with experience up to, say, three years? Managers? It is also necessary to choose the right direction for your HR brand and to ensure that it is aligned to the culture you are trying to build, both internally and externally.
If your HR strategy requires a steady supply of young people—for example, for a fast-food chain—it would make sense to start by building an external brand. On the other hand, IT companies usually aim to retain their IT specialists, in which case building an internal brand becomes the priority. Both internal and external brands are interrelated, and as such, setting this priority is essential.
What is your offer?
The employee value proposition — EVP — is one of the most important and popular topics in HR. It covers the entire proposal an employer makes to candidates, from learning and development opportunities, possibilities of combining work and study, how to leverage being part of a global team, and more.
The EVP should be based on the real needs and wishes of employees and/or candidates, but they also need to be more attractive with their holistic proposition than their closest competitors.
How should you reach your audience?
When it’s time to share the company’s unique value proposition, think about how your audience consumes news. This could be social networks, professional communities, articles in the media, or career sites.
Also fundamental to communicating the value proposition is the understanding that the company brand and HR brand are not one and the same. The HR brand can have more appeal that the company brand because HR is known for fostering loyal and dedicated employees.
There needs to be clarity for everyone on the objective of sharing the EVP: to augment and promote the HR brand. This can be achieved using statistics on what motivates employees, and by sharing insights on the level of employee engagement in CSR activities, or any other information that will help position the company as an attractive employer on the job market. It is worth noting that all activities associated with positive branding of the company will in turn have a positive impact on the HR brand.
How do you measure the results?
Fundamentally, employees’ perception of HR demonstrates the strength of the HR brand. The evolution of the sentiment should be measured at each step of the development program, and two metrics are very useful in terms of taking the temperature: The company’s recognition in the labour market, and how attractive the company looks as an employer. These metrics will help the organization assess change and positive dynamics.
The simplest and most affordable way to evaluate the strength of the HR brand is to see if it is being discussed in the press, on forums, and in social channels, and if so, what is being said. Exit interviews are also a good indicator as individuals in the process of changing jobs are more likely to be honest about the merits and/or shortcomings of the company. Alternatively, setting up a focus group made up of the target audience can also be very educational on the perception of the brand.
Finally, understanding the competitive landscape and what you are up against is as important as devising your own strategy. What makes your competitors attractive to job seekers, and what strategies do they use for employee retention?
There is no destination to developing an HR brand. It is an ongoing journey that is worth all the effort and time you put into it. It is a significant cog in building an effective and engaging personnel management framework, and it will, in time, help your organization shine by exceeding expectations.
For more insight on hiring strategies, see Recruiting In The Digital Age: What’s It All About?