“People will become the key driver for organisations. They always have done and organisations will understand that more.”

Brett Minchington was the opening keynote at Employer branding experience 2011, held in Haarlem, The Netherlands. He started off by telling delegates that if they understand why someone would want to work for their company and why they would not then they are well on their way to successful employer branding.

[Warning – Brett covered a lot of ground, so these are the notes I picked up]

Brett said employee branding is about attraction, engagement and retention but is not a perfect science. Community is the next layer of the corporate experience for branding.

He shared some stats from a global survey of 1,800 employer branding professionals.
Now, he whizzed through these slides at a rate of knots and not sure if we will see the slides. But this is what I grabbed:

Top three functions responsible for employer branding:

  1. HR 31%
  2. Marjketing 18%
  3. Exec team 15%

And 33% of respondents do not have an employer branding strategy but say they are working on one. Career websites are still the number one place for employer branding activity.

Brett said the biggest issue in adoption of strategy is CEOs not supporting it. Winning them over was a key challenge, he said.

He then went on to say that the two key factors for attracting talent are career development and retention and culture. He made the point that these two factors are all about the person and personal values and that this is where emplyer branding needs to connect with candidates – on a personal level.

Metrics should be aligned to the business objectives that undeerpin your employer branding activity – ease in attracting candidates, for example. He made the point that organisations are very good at producing lots of stats and that they should focus on the ones that show the impact of your actions.

Global trends impacting on employer branding

Brett then talked about some of the wider trends that are impacting on the employer branding. These include:

You need a strategic approach to employer brand, he said, and offered these tips:

  1. Take a systems approach to employer branding – CEOs like that
  2. Higher customer engagement is linked to higher employee enagement, so align both areas
  3. Secure executive sponsorship
  4. Attract the right people, engage them and you will retain them for longer
    It is a journey and it takes time – it took three years of development at Barclays.
  5. Align your employee value proposition with local markets, especially if you are a multi-national company
  6. Understand how brands grow – brands have a small number of heavy users. But do not put time in to heavy users – medium and lighter buyers should be the focus. Think of recruitment in the same way – this is what will power talent communities. This means employers reaching out to the ‘lighter and medium interest’ candidates
  7. Build market reach – casting net wide using all channels
  8. Look at the big picture – the employee lifecycle and how needs change
  9. Make inductions count – on day one we bore the day lights out of them
  10. Rethink how work is done – employees want more of their time back – they already work hard
  11. Brand ambassadors – put your people in front of the target audience and target market
  12. How can you give back to society? CSR is important – employees, candidates and prospective candidates care
  13. Integrate employer branding at behaviour level (Brett cited Unlimited Health Group which developed a platform to share feedback between colleagues)
  14. Manage, measure and review all employer branding activity
  15. And finally, future proof for the future generation.