Every organization has to attract, motivate, and retain talent over the long term to succeed. Candidates and employees, in turn, want to work for employers that are compelling, engaging, and supportive of their interests and needs. How organizations manage the value exchange (i.e., what candidates and employees seek and what they as employers actually offer in return) defines their employment brand.
Simply stated, a brand consists of the qualities for which something is known. While it is common to associate a brand with a product or with certain companies, the fact is that every organization has an employment brand. An employment brand reflects an organization’s qualities and reputation as an employer, as perceived by candidates and employees.
As the competition for talent intensifies and the need to engage and retain employees continues, organizations that offer a compelling work experience and value exchange will be in a strong position to use their employment brand to reinforce their image as an employer-of-choice.
To develop or strengthen your employment brand, make your organization’s mission, vision, values, goals, and strategies real to your employees. Connect them to these organizational drivers in compelling and meaningful ways. Inform employees about what is important and how they contribute to the whole.
In return, find ways to respond to employees’ interests, needs, and development in ways that foster productivity, motivation, and a sense of mental and emotional connection to your organization. Candidates and employees seek interesting and meaningful work experiences at organizations where they perceive they are making a positive social contribution.
Beyond total rewards, work toward creating a culture, work environment, and leadership that reflects how you would like your organization to be known. Long-term consistency between your organization’s aspirations and actual practice is what will determine your employment brand.