Your employer brand is all about recruiting, right? Wrong, says Susan Strayer, founder of Exaqueo and head of talent strategy at Evviva. Instead, it’s all about the people, the organization and the story you’re telling, both to current – and future – employees.
Susan spoke about the importance of making your brand reflective of what you really are, what you have to offer a job seeker and the reality of the employment experience.
“We show off this really beautiful experience on one side, but behind the scenes it might look really nasty,” she told an audience of several hundred people at a recent Minnesota Recruiters Conference at the corporate headquarters of General Mills. “Share the reality, show both sides of the story. Give a clear and accurate picture of what it would be like to work for your company.”
One of the starting points is within your own company walls, that is coming to a mutual agreement and understanding about who and what you are as a company, and then getting everybody to tell that same story.
And by everybody, Strayer means HR, biz dev, finance, developers, engineers, sales and marketing and so on.
The former Senior Director of Global Employer Brand and Marketing at Marriott International says there are five steps in creating – or re-thinking your brand.
1) Brand insight
2) Brand strategy
3) Brand expression
4) Brand experience
5) Brand management
“Ask your leaders to maybe take a break for an entire day from running the business, to taking a critical look at it. Don’t focus on the executions of your business, look at the strategies. And make sure you have a solid brand strategy in place before you attempt to measure brand in any meaningful way.”
We throw the word brand around a lot, using it almost to the point where it’s so ubiquitous is loses at least some of its value.
But make no mistake, “brand power” is worth lots to an organization, and represents the actual value of the company.
Brands get you noticed. Brands help make choices. Brands create trust. They provide advance information to prospective candidates for any job openings in your organization. They can help build your reputation as an employer of choice. And brands propel growth, probably more than any other single component.
As a result, it’s critically important to make sure you are delivering that brand promise to your customers – and employees.
“Make a plan. Think about the business itself, and make sure everyone can enunciate the brand proposition,” stated Strayer. “And see it not only through your eyes, but through the eyes of a candidate or new hire.”