Employer Branding

The Difference Between An EVP And An Employer Brand

Being an Employer Brand and Talent Strategy firm, we often get the question, “what is the difference between an employee value proposition (EVP) and an employer brand?”. Let’s dive right in…

An EVP is the “why” around an organization – it’s the attributes of an employment experience that attract and retain top talent. It’s what employees value most, how a company separates itself from its competitors, and the company’s promise to its people.

An employer brand is the creative expression of the EVP and the organizational identity related to the employee experience – it’s ultimately what the organization becomes know for as an employer. We use tools such as logos, taglines, colours, typography, content generation, social media, etc. to convey messages and personality, but in the end it’s a company’s reputation as a workplace.

An EVP is critical to carving out an employer brand that is authentic, compelling, and memorable. If you don’t know your “why” how can you expect others to want to join the journey?

A brand is a fundamental element to a comprehensive people strategy, as a great brand not only attracts your ideal talent but it also unites your current workforce. Employees want to feel part of something bigger than themselves. An energized employer brand with a high degree of employee participation yields pride and advocacy.

To learn more about employer branding, check out our free employer branding webinar here.

candidate experience Recruitment

The Three Cs To An Enhanced Candidate Journey

In today’s highly competitive talent market, failing to pay attention to the candidate experience will cost you in more ways than one. For starters, there is your reputation that feeds your employer brand. There is the diminished pool of referrals thus leading to other potentially more expensive sourcing methods. There is also the inability to compete with multiple offers. If a few similar offers come in around the same time, may the best candidate experience win! We at Powerhouse Talent also like to consider what is the right thing to do as a human being. Karma baby…we live by doing good.

We look at the candidate experience from the perspective of the head and the heart. What do they need to know and feel to have an outstanding candidate journey?

  • COMMUNICATION- Stay connected! Even if things have started to stall, communicate, communicate, communicate! Explain the process or what may be happening in the organization (a big conference, deliverable or exercise). A quick LinkedIn message, text or call can mean so much. Radio silence is not the answer.
  • CONNECTION- Move over robots or drones… this is a human experience! Treat others the way you wish to be treated. Real connection builds interest. Are those involved in the talent attraction process building real relationships with talent or is your process like an assembly line? Candidates can feel the difference and will walk away.
  • COMMUNITY- Be different and help them visualize life at your company! If your process is a multi-stage one, let one interview be more casual. Perhaps a walk around the neighborhood, grabbing a coffee or checking out the new employee lounge. Let the candidate experience life at your company, meet the team and see themselves working there. We all want to belong. Taking a break from a typical interview venue such as a boardroom helps breathe life into the process.

Keep the three Cs top of mind and you will differentiate yourself from others who have forgotten the importance of being human in such a vulnerable experience.

Looking to being a better candidate experience and employer brand? Check out our employer branding training program with lots of great insight into the candidate journey. LAND YOUR BRAND- Your employer branding training and blueprint.

How to Achieve List Bliss (When Building Thriving Talent Communities) Uncategorized

How to Achieve List Bliss (When Building Thriving Talent…

If you read my recent ERE article on how to use a squeeze page to grow discipline specific talent communities, you may be wondering … now what?

Once you’ve built a compelling squeeze or landing page that is attracting passive talent to your content 24 hours a day, and have captured the emails of the viewers via a voluntary opt-in, you’ve now moved into list nurturing mode.

The goal of this exercise is to help the audience or “list” know, like, and trust you and your organization.

We are not asking for one’s hand in marriage here. We are wooing.

5 Tips to Charm Your Way Into an Employment Relationship:

  • Get them interested. Start with your best content to show your value up-front or they will swipe left. This could be a video or webinar from a thought leader in your organization. Having trouble finding “process excellence” talent? Invite your master black belt to share lessons learned on a transformational change initiative. The sky is the limit in terms of the enchanting content you can create.

Full article can be found on ERE.

5 Things Everyone Should Know About Squeeze Pages for Recruitment Marketing (and Especially Pipeline Building) Employer Branding

5 Things Everyone Should Know About Squeeze Pages for…

If you have not been hanging out in “digital marketing land” for very long, you may not be aware of what “a squeeze page” is. A squeeze page is a landing or lead page used to collect information such as email addresses. They are used primarily for “list building.”

List building? Say what?

List building is the exciting task of growing your audience and following. While social media page likes and followers are cool, there is a lack of ownership. If your account with a particular platform vanishes one day, so does your following.

I know what you are thinking. “Why wouldn’t we just direct traffic to our job postings?”

You can, and should. But a squeeze page is also a great way to get to know and build a unique talent community for a specific niche while simultaneously tapping into the passive market. This technique is intended more for building awareness and community while cultivating a true long-term talent pipeline. Once on the list, you can continue to provide that population value in the form of content in addition to job news. In this process, you are building brand awareness and loyalty. As candidates move through the stages of readiness, they can be directed to a posting or key contacts within the organization.

 

Full article can be found on ERE. Click here.

Employer Branding Employer Branding

What Would Bob Dylan Do? The Classic Rocker Guide…

Employer branding is no longer a nice-to-do, it’s become a must-do in order to attract the game-changing talent we all need in this fiercely competitive market. Talent branding like a rock star requires fearless courage, great stage presence, and a powerful voice – and the yield makes it well worth your while.

In fact, research shows organizations that prioritize employer brand are:

  • 250% more likely to rate their overall talent acquisition efforts as highly effective
  • 185% more likely to have at least a high-level talent acquisition strategy in place
  • 130% more likely to see increases in employee engagement

More than ever, job seekers are sophisticated consumers of content and do their research. Investing in your employer brand strategy helps build a consistent yet distinct message, unity amongst your existing employees, and brand advocacy to help attract your future talent needs.

So how do you make your employer brand sing?

“All I can do is be me, whoever that is… – Bob Dylan

In other words, authenticity matters.

Branding yourself as some bland vanilla organization with the intention of not making waves leaves little to be desired or remembered by job seekers.

On the other of the spectrum of poor branding practices is creating a false impression of your organization and “faking it until you make it.” This depletes brand trust and creates a revolving door for new hires.

Taking the time to go through a brand strategy process pays dividends in the long run. You need to determine who you are, how you wish to communicate your aspirational culture in a manner that is honest, yet inspires your target talent population to hop on for the ride.

Got to build our love on one foundation. – Bob Marley

In other words, don’t build your brand in a vacuum.

Your brand needs to be built on one foundation or “there will never be, no love at all.” The fusion of one’s commercial/consumer brand with its talent brand is critical for building brand equity on both sides. Look for ways the brands intermingle and highlight this marriage in how you articulate your mission.

A great talent brand is founded upon the organizational mission as well as the “why” around joining the journey. This is where meaningful storytelling comes to life. Ensuring the talent brand is not built in a vacuum further enriches the commercial brand and supports longevity for both.

If you plant ice, you’re gonna harvest wind. – Grateful Dead

In other words, the employee and candidate experience matter.

Your brand has a spirit to it. It’s your employee and candidate experience each and every day. Living the brand promise requires an organization to look at each and every touchpoint and evaluate if it lives up to the talent brand that you created.

As famously stated by Jeff Bezos of Amazon, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

Simply put, you reap what you sow. Embody a people first culture and your brand flourishes through employee advocacy. Fail to focus on this critical element and you run the risk of your brand efforts being wasted, not to mention the reputational impact.

According to the CEB, 33% of candidates share their poor experience with friends, and 12% will share it via social media.

You say you want a revolution. Well, you know, we all want to change the world. – The Beatles

In other words, a purpose-driven brand matters more than ever.

Purpose at work matters more than ever. What is your “why”? Embedding purpose into your employee value proposition (EVP) is vital to satisfying this human driver.

From Deloitte’s 2017 Survey, we can see the relationship between organizations with opportunities for social good, and millennials having a more positive opinion of business behavior and improved loyalty.

Keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel. – The Doors

To sum it up, talent branding like a rock star requires leadership. Are you the captain of your own reputation, or is your organization allowing external factors alone to shape perception?

The talent attraction landscape is changing everyday and there is a war out there. Post and pray as a strategy will no longer suffice.

Welcome to the jungle…

 

(Article originally appeared in Glassdoor for Employers)

Employer Branding Employer Branding

Top 5 Employer Branding Must Dos

The importance of an employer brand has never been greater. It is your personality and how you attract talent to your organization. It builds connection and belonging for those presently employed and a reason for prospective talent to join.

If you are not paying attention to your employer brand, you are not maximizing your recruitment advertising spend and more importantly not building the type of unity that fosters engagement and retention. According to a Glassdoor survey, eighty-seven (87%) of organizations cite culture and engagement as one of their top challenges (Glassdoor, US survey 2016).

Organization identity via a thoughtful and authentic employer brand rounds out the applicant experience drawing in great talent to your organization by providing a peephole into your culture. What does life feel like at your company? Who works there? Why do they work there? Sixty-nine percent (69%) of active job seekers are likely to apply to a job if the employer actively manages its employer brand (Glassdoor, US survey 2016).

So what are the top five employer branding must dos?

1) Marrying your commercial brand with employment brand– It’s important not to lose sight of how your commercial brand and employer brand interact. Carving out an employer brand in a vacuum will yield mixed messages and a phony outcome. The relationship between your commercial brand and the employee experience may seem unclear at times. Below are a few ways to find compatibility and love in this marriage:

  • Does your product do good (Healthcare, a non-profit, life-saving technology, etc)? If so, think about the rewarding employee experience you provide and being tied to that purpose each and every day.
  • Look at the charitable work your organization does. While the product or service may not be associated with a “purpose” on that higher plane, how the team rallies together for community or causes speaks to your “brand”.
  • Think about how the product or purpose is perceived. Is it hip, modern and fun? Is it draped in history and a legacy on to its own? Each attract a unique type of employee.

2) Personality– A bland brand = no game. Too often companies try to stay neutral for fear of taking too edgy a position. Per Aristotle, “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing”. Spend the time figuring out who you are and then confidently share it with the world.

3) Authenticity– Marketing yourself like you are a start-up when you are bogged down in hierarchy and process? After finding your personality, it is important to make sure it is real, not who you want to be. Aspirational brand positioning is one thing, misrepresentation is another. You are marketing the employee experience. It needs to be real in order to attract those who will thrive once hired. Embrace who you are…represent!

4) Consistency is king — Great brands don’t regularly change who they are and what they stand for. Train the team and remember, every employee, leader and vendor is a brand ambassador. Brand standards are critical in ensuring a reliable voice.

5) Trust– Consistent messaging also builds trust. Make sure your “brand promise” is honored in all that you do. Honest messaging coupled with a candidate experience that allows talent to understand the good, the bad and the ugly, thus coming into the job eyes wide open makes for a powerful brand, not to mention improved retention.

Use your outside voice!

Ready to power up? Check out LAND YOUR BRAND, our employer branding blueprint. This e-learning course and system teaches as you build your very own employer brand. (Available in the US and Canada)

Employer Branding Toronto Employer Branding

FIVE WAYS TO MANAGE AND PROTECT YOUR EMPLOYER BRAND

It’s a battleground out there. The war for critical, game-changing talent continues.

The best minds have options and do their research. Your employer brand is so much more than pretty pictures and marketing – it’s a peephole into the soul of your company. Why should great talent consider you? What does it feel like to work with your company? If done right, your employer brand can build belonging and unity for both prospective and existing employees. A great brand can build employee pride and connection.

These are critical ingredients to a strong organizational culture. According to Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2015, 87 per cent of organizations cite culture and engagement as one of their top challenges. If you are not making your talent brand a priority, you are in the minority. Compared to last year, 59 per cent of organizations are investing more in their employer brands, says a LinkedIn study on global recruitment trends.

Here are 5 ways you can protect your employer brand:

Get a voice

Let your voice shape your brand, not others. Whether you realize it or not, you have a brand, a reputation and an image. It may be bland. You may not like it. You may not have even been in control of shaping it, but it is out there. Now is the time to take control. A strong brand starts with your voice sculpting an authentic and meaningful image of your organization’s personality. It is so important to be honest about who you are and what you stand for.

Sir Richard Branson once said, “Too many companies want their brands to reflect some idealized, perfected image of themselves. As a consequence, their brands acquire no texture, no character and no public trust.” Not only is there a trust issue brewing if your brand is contrived, disingenuous or downright false, but your recruitment efforts will be wasted.

Great employer brands start with purpose. They know what they stand for and draw others to join through amplifying this purpose via relevant channels. What they market as the employee experience is genuine. They have found their distinguishing factor, owned it and proudly share it with the world. This then becomes fundamental to the organizational culture and creates community. If you are looking to pivot your workforce and culture, your brand building exercise can still be sincere. The strategy would centre around the aspirational culture and brand with thoughtful storytelling and not misrepresentation.

Monitor it

Monitoring your brand is very important. If you are a larger organization, you may have a public relations or communications team monitoring external activity related to your organization. Small companies can benefit from tools like Google alerts. Understand the employee experience better via engagement surveys, reading review sites or other communication mechanisms. While this may not be a comprehensive view of your image, it can help you sniff out risks.

Lindsey Frimet, marketing manager and category team lead at the Clorox Company of Canada, is a thought leader in marketing and brand with over a decade of experience cultivating powerful brand stories.

“Looking at employee engagement and their understanding of company core values is a great gauge of employer brand strength,” said Friment. “If your team lives those values, they will be demonstrated in the work they do every day. This not only solidifies brand image, but it makes that brand stronger and more unified.”

Channels are key

How are you communicating? Does it match your target talent personas? Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Figure out what your critical future workforce needs to look like, identify target talent profiles and select ideal channels in which to amplify your brand. Channel selection may include social media, speaking engagements, print and digital media and community involvement such as mentoring programs.

It is important to remember the candidate experience. The talent attraction team plays an important role in exemplifying the brand through their actions. Training is critical in ensuring consistency and a broader understanding of the brand vision.

Who you work with is paramount

Search firms can play an important role in your sourcing strategy. They can build capacity when you need it, search confidentially and tap into passive talent, but not all recruiters are created equally. Many external recruiters have no formal background in HR but are actually sales professionals. This can open the door to risk, both legally and to your reputation. Finding the right search partner can enhance the candidate experience and, ultimately, your brand. The right search partner can actually be a brand enhancement if they see the bigger picture, prioritize the candidate experience and ultimately demonstrate the types of business partnerships that are meaningful for their client.

You have a reputation to protect

Reputation management is critical in preserving your employer brand-building efforts. Strategies to counter reputational risks can be overt and direct or more subtle. Some organizations may consider countering poor reviews with the use of another channel to round out the overall content that is circulating about your organization. A candidate reading a few poor reviews may have a more complete picture of the organization if they see an Instagram feed with happy employees and positive comments and likes. It does not mean the feedback in the review is false, but it demonstrates that there are other employees with a vastly different employee experience. Other companies may choose to tackle the feedback head-on and reply to a review or negative comments.

Glassdoor found that 62 per cent of users agree their perception of a company improves after seeing an employer respond to a review. Selecting the right reputation management approach will depend on the nature and severity of the risks. Working with a branding specialist can provide expertise and added capacity to manage this important work.

Another important element to reputation management has to do with the candidate experience. The task of attracting talent to your organization does not end upon application. Ensuring candidates have an optimized and human experience can bring the brand to life. According to the CEB, approximately one-third of candidates will share poor experiences with their friends. Twelve per cent will share via social media. The reputational risks are a drop in the bucket compared with the broader impact it can have on your commercial brand, thus impacting the bottom line.

The most important first step in managing your employer brand is to make sure you are at the helm, not leaving the external perceptions to chance. The rewards are so much more than a savvy public relations campaign to attract talent, but rather a heightened employee experience so rich in culture that it magnetizes others to join the team.

Alyssa Krane, CHRL is chief talent strategist at Powerhouse Talent Inc.

Article originally published in February 2017 in HR Professional Magazine