Eugénie Bertrand

[En] Employer Branding

People&Culture

8 mars 2022

4 min

Employer Branding. Yes, companies as well as individuals - and maybe even more than them - have to care about their image!

The concept was born in the United States (once again) in 1990, when Tim Ambler and Simon Barrow suggested to apply the techniques of brand management (marketing) to human resources management. The term Employer Branding refers to all the issues related to the image of a company not only to the outside world but also to its employees. The objectives of the Employer Brand are indeed multiple: to make the company attractive on the one hand to attract new recruits, to seduce or strengthen relations with customers and partners, and on the other hand to retain existing employees.

Attracting potential candidates/attracting talent

Attitudes have changed a lot in recent years, especially in sectors where the labor market is very tight, such as IT. It is no longer so much the companies that decide to recruit this or that candidate, but the candidates themselves who decide to accept this or that proposal, and this according to criteria very different from those of a few years ago: they are not looking for a job, they are looking for a company** in which they will feel good**, not only economically but also for common values, and they will not hesitate to go and consult specialized sites rating companies on these values such as #glassdoor or #choosemycompany.

Faced with this unprecedented situation, companies must communicate on the most sought-after values, first and foremost their social responsibility, a vast array ranging from environmental impact to child labor, diversity, the fight against corruption, involvement in local communities, gender equality…

Motivate and retain employees, customers, partners…

What is true for a potential candidate is also true for the existing employees: they too must recognize themselves in the image that the company conveys and feel comfortable in it. These are guarantees of motivation and loyalty, as the study cited in our infographics reminds us (https://iopenerinstitute.com/an-iopener-case-study/).

###Some basic rules for employer branding

Certainly LinkedIn is an ideal vector for an efficient Employer Branding communication.

But there are rules. A few tips to make sure you don’t make mistakes:

1. No false promises
Having a socially responsible approach requires honesty and transparency. It is out of the question to hold a discourse that does not correspond to the reality experienced in the company, the effect would be disastrous.

2. Consistency of communication
When one shows interest in employer branding, it must be part of a global approach and be found in all media and all circumstances: website, LinkedIn pages, corporate brochures, product advertisements, recruitment ads, customer service relations, etc… otherwise it will not be credible.

3. Consistency with the company’s products
Not only advocating respect for the environment when manufacturing toxic or polluting products is not credible, it is also counterproductive and amounts to cynicism or lies, two fatal flaws, etc.

4. A shared vision
The values displayed by the company must be understood and shared by its employees, otherwise they will be totally useless. The company’s social responsibility cannot be the result of a top-down approach, it must be a true common project, built together. Well thought out, this joint construction is a formidable motivational tool.

5. Communicating about the Employer Branding
Communicating about the Employer Branding is everyone’s business, not just the employer’s. In fact, practice shows that the best spokespersons for the company’s image are the employees themselves, from managers to employees. When they are proud of it, they show it, and it convinces.

6. Invest in a specialist
The subject is so important that it deserves to be entrusted to a dedicated in-house specialist. It doesn’t matter whether he is called Chief Happiness Officer or Director of Sustainable Development and Social Responsibility: what matters is that he exists, that he is a member of the Management Committee and that he is listened to.

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