Bobbins. Definition; Cockney Rhyming slang, “bobbins of cotton” = rotten.
There are many reasons why millennials find some Employer Brands really poor. I’ve highlighted three repeat offenders that you should avoid like the bubonic plague. But only if you want the average age of your employees to be anything below 56.
You see us millennials are a cynical bunch. You’ve never dealt with a group of people more turned on by the idea of politics. We want to change the world. We want a platform to be encouraged to do so. We want our ideas to be heard, valued and actioned. We want to be mentored to be the best in our field. And if you do all of the above, we might consider working for you longer than two years. Maybe. No guarantees on the last point though.
However, over the years (I’ve now worked in the recruitment-sphere then moved across to employer communications), I’ve found myself nearly snotting orange juice through my nose -laughing at the ideas that some companies have when it comes to attracting and retaining millennials. I thought it wise to come up with my top three offerings as to why millennials may think your Employer Brand is bobbins.
1. It’s disingenuous.
Look. Employer Branding isn’t something you can opt in and out of. But it’s something you can control. My first tip is - tell the bloody truth. If you’re branding yourselves as a top of the pops, super swanky, diverse, chilled out and ‘woke’ business, and your CEO and Board are eight white middle class dudes whose three favourite letters of the alphabet are K, P and I, your revolving door is going to be spinning quicker than people running away from that fella at Ted Baker who was dishing out hugs. Shudders.
Brand yourself truthfully. If your company isn’t for the feint hearted and the easily shaken, promote that. If your company does rely on performance-based targets; say it, I dare you! Hiding the negatives is one of the stupidest things that companies do when branding themselves to potential employees. Obviously don’t just focus on the negatives, but this can act as a great resource to candidates when it comes to applying for the roles. Give them the opportunity to think “no, this isn’t for me” and it’ll save you a whole heap of trouble in the long run and go along way to manage your reputation amongst candidates who do leave and stop them feeling as though they have been mis-sold to.
2. Us millennials are cynical about branding and advertising of any kind.
Head into any trendy bar and ask a group of moustachioed millennial chaps what they think of advertising. They’ll tell you how your phones are listening to you, the internet is our enemy and advertising is worse than global warming. In part, they’re right. There is a cynicism when it comes to whatever could be perceived as manipulative messaging/advertising which Employer Branding could fall into the category of (if executed poorly). However, Employer Branding is both a safety net for employers to ensure that they’re attracting the right candidates, and to candidates to ensure they’re moving to and staying with the right companies.
The brand has to be a truthful, authentic and an honest reflection of the employees, to be received in the right way. The only way to do this is to open your ears and listen to them. Be humble. Acknowledge your faults but also celebrate your achievements. Your business will be respected for this approach.
3. Your attraction campaigns with the glitzy Employer Branding collateral are likely to play second fiddle to cold, hard, research.
Millennials have grown up in the age of the internet. We now spend more time on our phones than talking to our loved ones. Sad, but true. There is an opinion for just about anything on the internet, including, working for your business. Let’s be serious, I’ve spoken with dozens of companies who tell me that they ask their employees to leave positive Glassdoor reviews. I shake my head every time. If there are thousands of positive reviews that all name check their managers and the CEO as being the greatest thing since sliced bread, the likelihood is that these reviews are going to be seen as not genuine (because they aren’t). Why don’t you offer your employees the chance to give honest feedback through a number of mediums, to contribute to your Employer Brand in both a positive and negative way. And always respond in a positive and polite way, especially if you feel the negative feedback is unjustified.
So there you have it, the three top reasons in my mind why millennials might think your Employer Brand is bobbins. Written by a millennial. Me. Dean Tranter. Deano to some.
If you’re working on your Employer Brand currently, and would appreciate some honest advice and assistance from an Agency who’ve done and seen it all, feel free to give us a call on 0161 238 8110.