As you might expect, when creating an Employer Brand, we follow a process. Although tweaked and customised based on timescales, goals and objectives, our approach is tried and tested and delivers an Employer Brand our clients can be proud of and that delivers return on investment.
This is key. Investing in an employer brand is a means to an end, not an end in itself. We would expect to set clear, measurable objectives together at the outset of the programme during a series of kick off, briefing and scoping meetings. We will agree clear timelines, project responsibilities and ‘no more than costs’ for each element (research, creative development, careers site scoping and consultancy).
This is all about laying a foundation of fact to ensure that all decisions are firmly knowledge based. In any environment such decision support is key to the success of any branding process. This is the primary qualitative and quantitative research phase and can include surveys, focus groups, meetings with senior leaders, competitor analysis and employer reputation research.
The objective of the research is to yield the different layers of the way an organisation is perceived as an employer – by its own workforce (at different levels and in different areas) and by its talent markets. We can then factor in the perception we would want to have (generally gleaned by a series of leadership interviews) and are able to identify the gap between aspiration and current reality.
We use the research to then develop your brand attributes and overall employer value proposition (EVP). These brand attributes are the ‘stem cells’ from which we build the message – those characteristics that make the employment experience you offer unique and attractive.
The proposition has to be one that both the market and the organisation will respond to and that the organisation can realistically deliver. This is something we can constantly check by referring to what the research has told us.
From one overarching proposition – the ‘Big Idea’ – we then develop more specific propositions that will have a particular resonance with particular sectors of the talent market. Critically, they will all grow directly out of the core proposition and we can demonstrate precisely how and where they relate to it.
Having identified who you need to talk to and what you need to tell them – and crucially how you listen and respond to them - we then help you select the channels that give best access to all of your talent market segments, and demonstrate the key attributes and qualities of your employer brand.
Having created the EVP, we develop the employer brand – the concept which all attraction and engagement materials use to create a consistent and compelling experience.
The creative expression of your newly developed brand needs to be tested among representatives from your typical talent markets to give objective evidence that it will achieve the objectives set out in step 1. The creative application should cover the full range of communication channels and ensure consistency of style and tone not just in the communications materials produced but through all the relevant processes and touch points.
Implementation should be internal before it goes external. Your people need to buy into and understand the new brand if they are to be able to become its articulate and effective advocates. Measurement to show the ROI is key. It’s not a one off exercise but rather an ongoing process that helps refine what we do over time. In so doing of course we will constantly refer back to the objectives set at the start of the exercise.
Later phases will include rolling the employer brand out across the candidate and employee experience. We want it to live and breathe at every touchpoint, creating consistency and telling a compelling story.
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