Employer Brand

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  • Employer brand = set of attributes & qualties which make a business distinctive e.g. google brand = distinctive because of fun & innovative environment
  • Originally was HR & Marketing coming together to enhance recruitment but now is focused on long term people planning by showing what company offers & expects (helps ensure a FIT)
  • i.e. Employer brand now sells a lifestyle rather than a job e.g. John Lewis portrays it's ethical & fair to employees because it is owned by 'partners' who share the profits& have a say in how its run 
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3 Key components of employer branding

  • Purpose
    • external marketing, CSR, Senior Leadership
  • Culture
    • Internal communication, Reward, Development, Service Support, Measurement systems
  • Employment
    • performance appraisal, team manageent, Recruitment, Working environment

Harvard Business Review: people look for a business they can trust, that enhances their daily lives through work life balance etc., is ethical, they connect with & that contributes to society (This is all reflected in employer branding)

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Internal Employer Branding

  •  This type of branding is connected to the company's corporate culture & illustrates the organisation's climate
  • It's about achueving empoyee engagement  & it helps to build the internal relationship of employers
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External Employer Branding

Once internal branding has been established a business can focus on external strategies through:

  • Career Websites
    • A good career website example according to ERE recruiting is Hymans because:
      • it's also advertised on the company website,
      • it's slightly different from the company website which shows that they put effort in
      • has job titles on separate pages -> more hits on google because it's easier to index,
      • has a good FAQ section 
      • it's filled with key words which reflect the employer brand
  • Social Media
    • For example, Innocent Smoothies has a brilliant social media presence with fun tweets and Facebook posts of animals, smoothies, careers informaion and jokes
  • Employer Ranking sites
    • For example the times provides a ranking of the top 100 companies to work for every yer e.g. Jaguar Land Rover was the winner in 2016
    • It's based on job satisfaction and whether employees would recommend working there -> illustrates how internal employer branding must come first
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Psychological Contract RECAP

  • Written contracts = only necessary when things go wrong
  • Employer Brand = used to create positive psychological contract, in order to increase employee performance level
  • Employer brand can be seen as an articulation of the psychological contract

Positive Psychological Contract: when contract is met

Psychological contract breach: when contract not met -> decreased commitment

Psychological contract violation: when contract is broken despite explicit promise -> anger/betrayal

Note: what's seen as a psychological contract violation differs per person e.g. older worker more likely to see  discrepancy in job security as violation

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How employer brand = developed

Have to look at strategic objectves, corporate culture, senior staff prepositions and have to consult stakeholders e.g. employees/suppliers

CIPD: developing employer brand involves creating a clear picture of what the business stands for

This = communicated through internal employer brand (e.g. employee exits, behaviour)  & external employer brand (e.g. marketing). 

The effectiveness of employer brand can then be reviewe by things such as employee surveys

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Positives of employer brand

effective employer brand helps to attract human capital -> higher employee engagement, reduced people costs. CIPD (2013)- £8,000 for senior manager, £3,000 for general staff & This is key in the age of the ‘war for talent’ -> Startup Outlook Survey UK 2016found that 95% of UK business leaders believe it’s challenging to find people with the right skills to help grow their business! Employer brand helps to address concerns of global reputation It helps to create people’s social identity! Highhouse et al -> membership of an organisation with a strong employer brand also have a stronger identity tied to that brand -> enhances commitment and employee engagement In an age where companies can’t hide from people’s experiences at work it is very important to have a strong employer brand & to ensure the psychological contract represented in the employer brand is not breached E.g. glassdoor.com is used anonymously by employees to write in depth reviews of their workplace for job searchers-> Layfield & Barrett, a law firm, recently took glassdoor.com to court over negative reviews

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Negatives of employer brand

A lot of the time employer brand does not match the company’s real corporate culture leads to a psychological contract breach or violation. E.g.  Enron because it suggested that one of its values was integrity BUT this clearly wasn’t mirrored in the behaviour of the organisation or its employees. For example, the Enron scandal involved lies about profits as well as debts beings concealed It is likely that a change in employer branding, as with any change of corporate culture, would lead to a loss of current employees as they would refuse to change with the organisation. This could lead to valuable human capital loss Employer brand can limit organisations e.g. by restricting diversity *A survey of HR professionals, employed and unemployed professionals in 2015 found that Negative product reviews appear to be more damaging than bad remarks on employer review sites. i.e. not always about employer branding! It’s also about the products the company sells 

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More positives....

A survey of HR professionals, employed and unemployed professionals  in 2015 found that 75% of job seekers consider an employer’s brand before even applying for a job. Almaçik & Almaçikconducted a study involving 600 individuals and found that the social value of an organisation was the most important factor when seeking employment. This involves the following aspects : 1. career enhancing experience 2.Feeling good about working there 3.Feeling of belonging 4.Having a good relationship with superiors 5.Feeling valued by the organisation 6.Good promotion opportunities 7.Recognition for work 8.Job security

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More negatives..

Not every company has the resources to implement employer branding! survey of HR professionals-> UNDER 60% of companies have an employer brand strategy. Almost half didn’t have the tools or internal support to implement employer branding initiatives There are other ways to enhance the recruitment process e.g. CareerBuilder found that 70% believed increased salary would improve employee retention. Findings suggested that this was the deciding factor for employee retention Almaçik & Almaçik : gender differences in what is important during a job search. Women are more likely to look for social values in comparison to men -> Importance of employer brand may differ based on percentage of men/women working there! 

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Future Changes

In the next five years it has been predicted that companies will be focusing on Securing long term employees Building a more global employer brand rather than a local employer brand Further differentiating from competitors *Aligning consumer brand and employer brand

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