The most common response our Business Development manager fields when posing our offering of Employer Branding services, is something along the lines of “thanks very much, but we are currently managing the process in house.”
Now this is all well and good, but we thought it may be handy for those brave HR Directors, Employer Brand managers and HR Manager’s to compile a list of why they should be consulting Employer Marketing agencies; as opposed to entering the choppy seas and murky waters of Employer Branding without support or hands on experience of taming such an expansive beast.
1) Employer Branding Agencies have insight into best practice and study what the best companies are doing in this field.
I’m sure it fills nobody with any genuine surprise to learn that Employer Branding agencies tend to be experts in the field of Employer Branding. They study the best practices, they are in tune with the most unique new offerings and they tap into their own creative resource to come up with unique propositions and ideas that come together to help retain and recruit staff.
2 ) Employer Branding is time consuming and complicated
More often than not, Employer Branding is viewed as something of a ‘box ticking exercise’ that HR Teams are eager to get off their busy desks. Employer Brands also have a habit of becoming wild and uncoordinated without the expertise of managing them behind the scenes. It’s of critical importance that a company’s Employer Branding message is cohesive and visually co-ordinated. Everybody from the shop floor staff to the boardroom to the shareholders needs to have a grip on how their organisation communicates with one another and to their external candidate pools.
Your Employer Brand is your reputation as an employer. Every company from two brothers running a DIY store to Google has an Employer Brand, even if they’ve never heard the term. It’s down to the company to control the message and more often than not, it’s a complex beast for one or two HR personnel to manage alone.
3. HR is fast becoming a marketing role and therefor Marketing and Creative Pedigree that is required to be successful.
An HR Director would not be consulted on the latest consumer advertising, so why is Employer Branding placed on their shoulders? Now more than ever, the recruitment market is overrun with offerings in every field. From sales people to Beverage Dissemination Officers, your message and advertising needs to set you apart from your competitors. Thus, HR and recruiting in general become a marketing role. You are quite literally selling the jobs to the market so if your advertising is sterile, dull, untruthful or just deployed in the wrong places, you’re doing the company you work for a disservice.
This is why there needs to be a balance between creativity and analytics. Consumer marketing and Employer Branding are variants on a theme that requires creative expertise. Where a Consumer agency puts themselves in the headspace of their potential customers, Employer Branding agencies put themselves in the headspace of a companies current and potential employees, which is a complex idea without the right tools and feedback in place.
4.Employer Branding should revolve around ‘The Truth.’
If you were to buy a pair of jeans online, and what you received were a pair of three quarter length denim shorts, that were the wrong size, you’d likely send them back. Unfortunately, employees very rarely get the chance to send their jobs back. Once they’re in, they’re in.
Imagine the sinking feeling to find out a few weeks into a role that it isn’t quite what they signed up for, that the advert was untruthful. You’d feel pretty upset one imagines. You’d likely tell other people about your negative experience. That is a real life example of your Employer Brand not being managed effectively and the knock on effect is people feel negative towards the company.
That’s why it’s important that Employer Branding revolves around the truth. What is the best place to extract the truth of what it is like to work for a company you ask? The current workforce.
Employer Branding agencies will go in to organisations and focus group staff in order to extract truths that become the foundations of what a day in the life is like at the company. It also gives a chance for employees to air concerns, share what’s fantastic and subsequently, they’ll feel truly valued and listened to by their company. A win-win. The problem with this is from HR perspective, is that employees will likely be wary of another survey coming from the top, fear for their anonymity and not disclose their feelings truthfully if it is an internal survey.
That’s why a totally unbiased, external agency is essential! They get to the truth, extract great stories and put together a truthful picture of the culture of the company in question that cannot be argued with. Employees are far more inclined to open up with gentle reminders that the feedback is totally anonymous and that the agency is external and there will be no names put to feedback.
In summary, I could have given you forty reasons why any HR Director should consider an external agency for Employer Branding, but Linked In etiquette doesn’t allow for 12,000 word dissertation style essays so I will leave you with this.
It need not be so expensive and time consuming anymore, get in touch with Brand in a Box for your Employer Brand, Research piece, Creative Executions and top of the range Careers Website for just £15,000 on 0161 238 6143.