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Employer Brand (again)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007   

Having spent the past week in the company of one Dr Richard Bandler, I'm compelled to suggest (hmm) that if you get chance to work with him, you might want to jump at it.

Actually, the real point in bringing this up is because something that Dr Bandler said reminded me of the essence of the For The Want Of A Nail campaign: "If what we do creates more wealth, then there's just more wealth".   Likewise, in supporting this campaign in whatever way you do, you are helping organisations to be more productive, operate more cost-effectively and, hence, produce better performance and profits.  In such case, the opportunities for all increase.


The comments I made in the last post regarding employer branding evoked some fairly strong reaction; both from those agreeing with the sentiments - and then also from people who work in creative agencies who felt that their role in the employer brand development was undermined.

My initial thoughts were to write some sort of open apology to the latter group, giving recognition to their valuable part in the process (which I totally agree that they have).  But stuff it - something needed to be said! 

There appears to be a fundamental misunderstanding of what an employer brand is, therefore creative agencies are being brought in to advise on the creation of the employer brand, rather than being asked to capture its essence on a brief from those close up to the critical business and labour market issues.

I've seen employers (including my own company many years ago) waste a lot of money on advertising, brochures, CDs, DVDs and other forms of recruitment-related paraphernalia; money that could have been put to very good use in the same general area, if only the HR and creative people had drawn upon the right kind of advice or information (again, see the last blog post).  

I will concede one use of sloppy language, however, as 'employer brand' and 'branding' are indeed different things.  To help differentiate, think of the Harley Davidson logo as being the branding, whilst the reason why someone would go so far as to have it tattooed on their body suggests that they associate strongly with the what the brand represents.

What's an employer brand meant for?

To help explain why I believe it is important that creative agencies are the last part of the development process, ask yourself what is one of the primary purposes of developing an employer brand?  Personally, I would venture that it is to attract, motivate and retain the RIGHT PEOPLE. 

So, on that basis, how on earth can anyone set about trying to appeal to these 'right people', if they haven't first got right under the operational skin and business plans of the organisation and gained an intimate understanding of what or who those right people are?

As the already initiated know, a strong employer brand is extremely useful in terms of re-recruiting the existing team of employees and maintaining / increasing levels of commitment.  However, patronising, irrelevant, glib yet non-internalised words and phrases will have the exact opposite effect. 

In recruitment terms, get the message wrong and all you'll effectively get is the wrong people into the hiring process and (as demonstrated in one of our case studies) an increased level of churn. However, those employers who understand exactly the kind of people they need in each area of the organisation,......

...gain a massive competitive advantage in attracting the great people, by knowing how to speak the kind of language that gets them going (or so to speak!).


Please, if you understand what this is all about, click the cartoon in the right margin or at the top of this page to share it with someone who you think would like to know


© Copyright 2007  - please credit where shared or reproduced.



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richard bandler.jpg 

Never underestimate the power of words and images!


Harley Tattoo.jpg

Wearing the branding suggests buying into the brand!






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