When Employment Brands Go Astray

Topics: employment branding

Posted by Lisa B. Radloff on May 22, 2018 9:00:00 AM

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Your employment brand is key to communicating what it is like to work for your company – and why candidates should join you. However, we often find that organizations let their brands stray from the original purpose. Here, we explore a few scenarios where employment brands can become disconnected from the reality of your employment proposition.

1. Not Telling Your Story
If you find that when you interview candidates they don’t really know who you are, what you do or what your organization is like as an employer, you need to create an employment brand to tell them.

Many companies use bland phrases, stock photos and clichéd copy on their career sites and marketing communications, failing to set themselves apart from competitors. Your employment brand should be personal to your organization, focusing on what sets you apart and why people would enjoy building an ongoing career with you.

2. Telling Someone Else’s Story
Your employment brand needs to be true to your company, not overly aspirational or based on buzzwords or what you think candidates in your industry want to hear. It’s not about depicting the candidate’s ideal employer, it’s about showcasing your company at its best and using that to make the sale.

It’s important to tell your story by finding out what your true employment value propositions are and then creating a verbal and visual framework that supports that messaging. Candidates can often sense a false promise and, even if they fall for it, you are just setting them up to find themselves in a place they do not recognize. Authenticity is the best policy.

3. Falling Behind the Times
The strongest employment brands are aligned with their corporate – or external – brand. If your organization has undergone rebranding, it is essential that your employment brand be aligned accordingly. Otherwise, you are potentially enabling confusion and disconnect when a candidate or employee sees the new branding against the “old” brand that HR is putting out.

Organizations often undergo corporate branding, with new external brand messaging, logos, colors and corporate brand standards that are expressed on revamped websites, social media sites and marketing communications. Make sure you stay in synch with these efforts. Even if your messaging is still fresh, update your visuals to stay in tune.

One word of caution: you want to tie your efforts into the core of the marketing brand – the attributes that will remain consistent over the long term – not an individual marketing campaign that may change on a frequent basis.

MLH_employer brand
See the employment brand we developed for Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare (MLH)

4. Ignoring the Shifting Tides
Similar to external brand alignment, strong employment brands are aligned with and reinforce the organization’s culture and strategic mission. Typically, an organization that undergoes a culture change and a shift in strategic direction will end up with a dramatically different talent landscape, including new talent requirements and expectations related to employee performance and behavior.

Your employment brand should reflect your company’s purpose. Aligning your messaging with any changes can help current employees make the transition, while also communicating that new set of attributes externally to candidates, to attract the particular type of individual your organization needs.

Every organization is unique. An effective employment brand that resonates with candidates must reflect your distinct voice and competitive advantage. Take a look at some of the creative work NAS has done.

Lisa B. Radloff

Since joining NAS in 1998, Lisa has used her strong conceptual skills, sharp ear for dialogue and keen understanding of candidate behavior to produce concepts and copy for print, radio, television and online media for a vast range of clients across many industries. As Senior Interactive Copywriter, she specializes in creating targeted website content for clients such as Tower Health, USAA, Toyota and others, and is the lead writer for the NAS proprietary candidate attraction platform, ACTIVATE™.

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