Jan 28

Make It Work: Employer Branding II – Implement It!

Stephan Polomski
Stephan Polomski is director human resources, coach and trainer

Just at the moment, the shareholders of the companies I worked for understood that implementing employer branding will affect their whole company, internally and externally, they sometimes lost courage because they where – I guess – afraid of an all pervading change management and high investment. In this blog (and upcoming occasions) I will show you how to implement employer branding with care, fun and lightness although it is a challenge.

In my experience as managing director or human resources director or internal consultant in medium-sized and especially owner-driven companies in Germany and in Thailand I always observed awareness for the topic of employer branding and also the wish to implement it – mainly for the reasons I outlined in the blog “Make It Work: Employer Branding I” which was posted on Oct. 21, 2009.

The reason why shareholders or top managers often hesitate to not only halfheartedly but really go for it might be – as I said – because they realize, that they have to change their organization, their culture, may be their strategy, may be their structure or the approach how to evaluate the performance of employees.

And what some of them might have realized is that the whole issue starts with themselves as person and manager in charge, being, whatever, director, leader, CEO, HR manager, whatever.

Working within the frame of an employer brand, you are the role model. You are the change. You are the living brand promise. You are the daily proof, you and your behavior, your attitude, – the proof what your employer brand promise is worth.

And here it comes to credibility and trust – two values directly linked to leadership. And this is why outstanding leadership abilities are needed to not only conceptualize an employer brand but really congruently embody and thus vitalize it. Live it.

So, the point is: if you go for employer branding you cannot cut out your own person out of the process.

I said you will be able to execute the technical terms of employer branding when you are ready to start with yourself. Starting with yourself is, once again, leaving the comfort zone and taking the risk of the journey.

And in order to make it safe for you in your role as manager, you might get an expert who knows the technical side of employer branding and how to role out a change management process as consultant and who – at the same time – works as a coach with you on your role as leader within the employer branding process of change dealing with soft topics like e.g. leadership attitude.

“In this blog, we look to the technical side, the process of employer branding.”

The technical process consists of seven general steps which I almost always had to deal with when implementing employer branding.

These steps are not so much steps but more perspectives of a system in which one is bonded with the other. If you understand the following seven perspectives lined up in a circle you get a good inner picture how they work together: because if you touch or move one all the others will follow. And in my experience, it is benefitting to start with the first perspective.

However, the real world often requires flexibility and urgent needs in one of the other perspectives which ideally would come later if it were a linear process. And the course is ongoing. Once you reached perspective number 7 you should adjust your definition and outline of your employer brand with the feedback you got from the people involved.

  1. Define an ideal employer brand
  2. Define a recruiting strategy
  3. Define a binding strategy
  4. Define a potential development program (as part of your remuneration model)
  5. Define a performance management
  6. Monitor corporate culture and engagement
  7. Train managers and coach leaders how to walk the talk

1. Define an ideal employer brand

Whatever you are doing, do it in alignment with the existing corporate identity. A corporate identity as the constitution of your company shows a vision, a mission, it shows the company´s values and guidelines which are often at the same time your leadership principles. It also demonstrates how you define how you behave with customers, with employees, with shareholders and with the society you are doing business in. Certainly, you apply the four-stakeholder-approach to business and show the four target groups that you have a holistic and integrating approach to business.

In case you do not have a defined corporate identity, you have to define it. Employer branding without a defined corporate identity is like flying a kite without connection to the ground.

Defining an employer brand then is quite easy: you speak to your employees in focus groups about their working experiences, how they perceive corporate and leadership culture and values during every day´s business. Ask them, what is important to them while working and what they think the success drivers of your company are as employer. Ask them what is currently there that makes them happy to perform or outperform.

And I swear these are golden moments in relationship building because you show real interest and concern with your people – even when they tell you negative things. (Hopefully, they do!)

Sometimes it is useful to segment your workforce in order to adjust your employer brand to precisely defined target groups.

Then do a company-wide and standardized survey on what you found out in order to counter-check the results.

This is the point where you know what your employees have in their minds concerning what your employer brand is really offering to them.

Take a look at the employment market then and at your competitors – what do they do in order to attract and retain talent?

Then check your business-goals: how much recruiting is needed and in which segments?

Do an external survey on what your external target groups are expecting of a good or top employer.

Define a first positioning adjusting the internal and the external results. What will be your brand promise that people trust?

What will you optimize in your company in order to make your employer brand promise trustworthy? In order to attract and retain the talents you want?

On my following blogs I will continue to guide you through the process how to become a top employer.

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 28th, 2010 at 06:47 and is filed under Human Resources, Leadership, Management, Marketing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

Print This Post
Email This Post
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Technorati
  • MisterWong

Leave a comment

  1. [...] branding we now reach item 2. Please, take also a look upon related blogs at The Care Guys: Employer Branding II (28.1.2010); Employer Branding I (21.10.2009); Retaining the Talent of Our Future (6.10.2009); and Employer [...]

  2. Majed says:

    My name is Majed Alrashed. I’m currently doing my MBA in London.
    The area of Employer Branding is so booming nowadays.
    I’m thinking to write my dissertation in this area.
    My question, do you think it’s worth to write about Employer Branding and do you think it will attractive to the academics in the University. Knowing the fact that this area is new and no many academic researchers have explored the ways to implement an effective Employer Branding from pure HR prospectives.

    Looking forward to receiving your advice.


  3. Hi, Majed, if you put people first in your business strategy, employer branding is one the core tasks you should implement and then observe: in internal dimensions and in external dimensions. It depends on your business philosophy to put people first. As labor markets for technological experts get tight, employer branding is the one and only tool, to excell in recruiting. That´s for relevance. Academics – and there is the challenge in academia – need to have a background in HR management as well as marketing communication and branding. As academic teacher you have to change paradigmns and as manager it is the same: both, marketing and HR, have to be united in employer branding. – So, you ask, if it is worth or not to write about employer branding: ask your heart about your true motivation and your brain where your personal and professional objectives are. Find your own case in a company and create it on your own – as every company like humans has a different identity. Write about your own experience and base it on research. Don´t strive for glory, strive for people, if you want to write about this topic. And it is more than ten years, that employer branding exists. There some new publications e.g. in German. In Germany, the topic is hot, as here is more work for less people, when it comes to technology. – Hope, this impluse will helpful for your reflexions… Stephan

  4. seo services in mesa…

    Make It Work: Employer Branding II – Implement It! | The Care Guys…