HR is increasingly receiving attention by the organization as a critical strategic partner, assuming stunningly different, far-reaching, changing roles and responsibilities. Human assets are the most important priority in the organization and are responsible for transforming the lifeless factors of production into useful products for the betterment of consumers.
It is time for Human Resources practitioners to rethink their role and that of the HR department, not only for the purposes of contributing to the organization’s bottom line, but also for their own survival. This is why employer branding is a key concern of HR.
Your employer brand is the image of your organization as a ‘great place to work’ in the mind of current employees and key stakeholders in the external market. Employer branding is therefore concerned with the attraction, engagement, and retention initiatives targeted at enhancing your company’s employer brand.
Branding of Human Resources
When it comes to marketing, branding raises an image in the minds of consumers and can be the determinant of a consumers’ product choice. The importance of mastering the concepts and skills behind branding has far-reaching implications for Human Resource professionals worldwide. HR plays a strategic role in fitting the right people into the right places across the organization, ensuring growth and success. HR is the face of an organization for a prospective employee.
Consumers differentiate companies based on their products. Marketers have a common concept and traditionally use the “4 Ps”: Product, Price, Position and Promotion, to set their products of their company apart from competitors. Similarly, employees now differentiate their jobs by HR branding and features in the job description. The 4 Ps of HR are People, Pay, Position and Prospects. As the functions of HR spread across the whole organization, the services rendered by the HR department to its employees can be treated as if they are selling services to outside consumers. Thus, the HR department should care for its brand identity by retaining its image to the acme.
The most successful organizations have compelling people strategies that are appropriately matched to the organization’s business strategy and overall vision. Once the people strategy is matched to with the business strategy, you can create a peaceful work environment for employees of all levels. Ideally, the HR brand has to be congruent with what the company delivers to the employee, consumer, beneficiaries, general public, shareholders and key stakeholders.
Employer brands have the influence to:
- Increase candidate feasibility and development
- Highlight your opportunity from the competition
- Find and attract new talent at the job level
- Enhance job performance through highly engaged employees
- Increase retention rates through better alignment with your organizational culture
A good employer brand delivers a message to its audience, communicating: what is the job, how to perform it, how does it deliver on a company’s brand promise, and what does it mean to the people doing the job in this field.
The benefits of building an employer brand include:
1. It improves credibility and strengthens the bonds of trust between HR department and employees.
2. It acts as a catalyst for pushing change.
3. It is communications shorthand for getting the message out.
However, as with any initiative, certain limitations are present:
1. Employees perception at all times may not be the same.
2. There is no standardized method for prioritizing different prongs of the strategy.
3. HR personnel may have limited knowledge about branding and marketing.
4. Marketing and branding very often overlap and create confusion.
Etablishing Your HR Brand
The HR brand can be established by considering the elements that influence the expectations of an employee, such as:
1. Reputation/ integrity
3. Recruitment process/ orientation
4. Compensation and benefits
5. Work/Life balance
6. Leadership and management
7. Performance management
8. Growth and development opportunities
Of these factors in the employer branding model, four have proven to be crucial for a majority of high performing employees. These are:
2. Pay and benefits
3. Leadership and management
4. Performance management, growth and development.
The following are ways an employee’s preference for your employer brand is influenced:
- Services Offered: It is the bundle of services that the brand renders to its consumers of different levels. If the offer is complex in nature or it is difficult to elucidate, then it would be very tough to communicate the offer to the target segment. Hence, the offer should be clearly described for a brand to be successful in the short and long run.i.e.: Appropriate remuneration packages, effective executive & training programs, employee assistance and welfare programs, a lucrative and inspiring working environment and other necessary facilities etc.
- Brand Identity:Identity is responsible for attracting attention, setting expectations and making an impression in the long term. Names, logos, slogans, advertising, packaging, vision and mission statement of the HR department make up the brand identity. This provides information to employees to form an impression of the organization.
- Brand Experience: Brand experience is the total sum of all the perceptions that result from the interactions with a brand and people’s choice. But all the experiences are not equal, in reality. Employees assign different levels of importance to different facets of their experience in practical life.
- Brand Image: It is very important to identify the organization’s status. Brand Image is what people think of the brand. This is primarily based on the interactions with the HR department of any enterprise.
A good employer brand clearly articulates and demonstrates how a specific position fulfills a company’s brand promise to its stakeholders and consumers, and how a company’s employment promise is delivered back to its employees for that particular position.
In conclusion, why do we go for brands? The answer is simple– reliability. It’s the popular brands which provide us with reliability. Attracting knowledge workers has become a Herculean task for the HR department. Only the best practices and the best environment can assure their interest in working for the organization. The practices and policies of the HR department and its outlook create a certain brand for entire organization. The better the brand, better the chances the organization will attract the best talent.
By : Mohammad Mosaddek Hussain – HumanResourcesIQ