“To win in the marketplace, you must first win in the workplace.”
The profoundly insightful words of Doug Conant, the internationally renowned business leader and former CEO of Campbell’s Soup, succinctly go to the heart of a great truth in business today.
It is this: a company’s ability to take care of and nurture its employees shapes corporate culture, a strong culture shapes an organization’s reputation in the marketplace, and today’s candidates want to work for organizations they admire.
More and more companies are investing in this beautifully virtuous circle of cause and effect. Over the last five years, the concept of employer branding has emerged as a top priority for many corporate executives throughout the world. According to the Harvard Business Review, over 60 percent of CEOs report they have developed an employee brand proposition.
A major reason for this is the increasingly intense war for talent.
As a B2B corporate branding firm we are finding that employer branding is becoming an essential component of corporate brand strategy—not just to attract the best employees, but also to retain them for the long term.
What is Employer Branding?
Employer branding is the term now commonly used to describe an organization's reputation as an employer, and its value proposition to its employees.
Its power lies in its ability to shape employee behavior in unprecedented ways—helping them to believe in and deliver the organization’s brand promise through their everyday work.
Leading companies like Apple, Cisco, GE, Sam Adams, Shell, Unilever, and UPS actively monitor, shape, build, and zealously manage their brands and their reputation. They have all made meaningful efforts to build their brands from the inside out as a competitive advantage.
Employer Branding is a critical recruitment tool
Young, idealistic millennials are now the majority of the workforce. They vet the companies they want to work for on social media, checking their reputation, their brand, and employee value proposition. According to Fast Company, over half of millennials are willing to take a 15 percent pay cut to work at a company that matches their ideals.
In turn, they are making new demands on the organizations they work for. They want executives to understand what’s required of them; that they aren’t good leaders simply because they are in a position of authority, they want them to listen, inspire, and create trust.
On the fence about the value of Employer Branding?
Here are some statistics for you to consider.
- Companies positioned as thought-leaders in their industry get twice as many applicants than those with weaker brands, which, incidentally, have to pay at least 10 percent more per hire.
- 50 percent of job candidates say they wouldn't work for a company with a perceived inferior brand, even with the possibility of earning more money.
- 62 percent research companies on social media, with nearly 80 percent using LinkedIn to review employee profiles. If they don’t find information they find convincing enough, they move on.
- 70 percent say they trust what employees say about a company— putting more credibility on their view than that of the company.
- And research indicates that effective employer branding reduces turnover rates by nearly 30 percent.
I will leave the last word to another visionary leader, Anne M. Mulcahy, former CEO of Xerox. She said: “Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person—not just an employee—are more productive, more satisfied, and more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.”