As the leader of an employer brand agency, it's heartening to see that many businesses are now waking up to the benefits that great employer brand and candidate experience can bring. The penny has dropped that candidates are often customers first.
They may have a relationship with the consumer brand of a business for years before they decide that they want to work for it. And if their experience with the employer brand is poor they often stop being customers. This is something that Virgin Media discovered a short while back. They were losing a huge amount of customers and huge amounts of revenue due to such a poor candidate experience.
But while more and more businesses are dipping a toe into the employer brand water, there are three key things to avoid to make sure the project is successful, your team are empowered, and it's not all just a waste of time, money and energy.
1. Dragging your heels.
It's vital to keep up momentum once your employer brand project is underway. Why? Because, unless you have impeccable internal communications, you're in danger that your team will have forgotten all about the project by the time you announce the results and unveil the employer brand.
Of course its vital to do your research, gather the views of your team, look at your competitors and all the other aspects of building a successful employer brand, but you need to keep the momentum up too. The longer things go on the energy and enthusiasm can really start to dip.
Keep up the tempo to ensure you can keep interest and engagement throughout your project. That also means key stakeholders and a high percentage of contributors are still highly energized to help you launch and see the work they contributed towards come to fruition. Plus the longer things take the longer it is before you see the results. Not having results makes it difficult to secure budgets to activate the brand once you've built it.
2. Ignoring key stakeholders.
I can't stress enough that it's really, really vital to get your senior team fully on-board with your employer brand project before you make any kind of start on the work itself. Their awareness, input and energy will be vital in driving the process along. Honestly and openly identify your talent attraction challenges with them, and cross-examine your current recruitment strategy.
It's the seniors on your team that will likely be making budget decisions as well. So having them fully involved makes absolute sense to make sure the project is properly funded to be successful. You don't want to run out of resources halfway through, or, perhaps even worse, just as you near completion. A fully engaged senior stakeholder team will make the project run more smoothly.
3. Delaying creative input.
If you're not involving some creative design input early in your project then you risk bolting something on at the end by trying to involve a creative team that has a lot to catch up on.
It's never too early to time to think about brand guidelines to start to show how the employer brand will come to life. Having creatives in the room to be part of the process of unearthing the brand and the employee value proposition will help ensure that the final brand is fully informed by the process.
Thus, the colors, fonts, style of photography, and so on--the "look and feel" of the brand--are fully in line with the culture of the brand and the team. Plus, you'll need to align the employer brand to the consumer brand, and creatives will ensure that alignment.
The look and feel will carry through to the internal and external communication of the employer brand. Everything from job adverts, social media assets and internal signage and stationery. Don't make the mistake of leaving such a vital element of your project to the last minute.