The need for marketing when it comes to building the image of your brand amongst your customers and clients is taken as a given in today’s marketplace. You would find very few people who would argue that there’s no benefit to investing in developing your brand image and increasing brand recognition amongst the people who make up your market for the products and services you offer. However, many companies overlook the importance of brand image when building a reputation as an employer.
In the contemporary jobs market, brand recognition is as important for companies looking for new members of staff as it is for attracting new customers or building consumer brand loyalty. When you have a recognisable image, when it comes to recruiting the right people to build your business you will much more easily attract people whose values chime with those of your company if your brand is something to which they can relate.
Branding – not just for customers
When the concept of employer branding first emerged in the late 1990s, the academic paper that coined the phrase defined the concept as covering the benefits of working for a particular employer. This included not just how much an employee was paid but also the psychological benefits and reputation that was associated with an organisation and how that would impact on an individual that worked for them.
While the branding of an organisation for its customers may have an overlap with the way it is perceived as an employer, increasing numbers of organisations are recognising the need to build a brand image that allows potential future employees to connect with the company and identify positive attributes to working for them.
What do you stand for?
In order to give potential future employees a clear idea of your company’s employer brand, it’s important to have clarity on what you stand for as an organisation. In marketing speak; this would be called your proposition and sets out what you want people to associate with your company as an employer and what sets your company apart from the rest.
Working with a marketing strategist, you can find a clear set of principles and statements that speak to potential future employees about your organisation and make them want to join your company above your competitors.
How to market your organisational brand
Once you have a clear idea of what you want to communicate about your company and your ethos, there are many ways in which you can go about communicating this with the world in general and the people you wish to recruit in particular. Depending on the size of your organisation, you may choose to go big and market your organisation widely to the general population, building a recognition amongst the public at large and helping to influence opinion before someone even considers wanting to work for you. Some of the big oil companies have done this, blending their customer marketing strategy with their employer brand and setting out their vision and values in large-scale public information campaigns that detail the organisation’s commitment to, for example, environmental causes and public responsibility.
Whatever you decide to make part of your employer brand and however widely you choose to communicate it, a carefully designed strategy can help you make the most of your marketing budget to get the right message to the right people.
Employer branding is becoming a more important part of attracting the right people to the right jobs. Making people aware of what you stand for will stand you in good stead when it comes to targeting your ideal future employees.
Written by Nathan Griffiths who has done research on how branding works.