Newsflash: Your consumer brand is NOT the same as your employment brand.
All too often I see companies focus solely on their consumer brands and neglecting the importance of a genuine employment brand. It is the employment brand messaging that not only attracts the right talent but keeps current employees engaged and eager to refer others to join their organization. Knowing and acknowledging these distinct differences is just the first step. Think about it…when is the last time you bought a pair of your favorite brand name shoes and said “wow, I love this brand, I bet this is a great place to work”…not likely. But on the flipside think about your favorite interview, job, company you’ve worked for, etc. and I’ll bet because you fell in love with the culture and the company, you were that much more likely to buy their consumer products in the end.
Employment branding, when implemented correctly, is done in stages and evaluated regularly. It involves more than just “posting and praying” and if becoming the employer of choice is the goal; then understanding how to engage your current employees to get down to the core of who you are as a brand is the first step. The message you are sending to your audience must be based on human experience and resonate as authentic. If advertisements and recruiters are pitching one brand and in the interview process it is not consistent, credibility is lost. Keep your brand real and start talking right away to the people who live in it every day.
Know the difference between your audiences and use your messaging wisely. Social media and other new forms of digital mediums have a huge impact on branding and are the differentiators between your consumer and employment brand. The way we communicate is being reinvented; interaction and messaging has never been more important in a social space setting, but at the same time, it is easy to get caught up on trying to cover all your bases by spreading yourself too thin amongst different networks and social platforms. After all, you aren’t really looking for more applicants to your jobs, but rather, more of the right candidates. Understand where your target employment audience is spending their time online and provide strategic as well as creative messaging in these portals. You cannot replicate the data and research used for your consumer advertising. The people and/or businesses you want to buy your products are not necessarily the same as those you want on your payroll.
As the great Dr. Seuss once said, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” Your employment brand is unique to your company, it is strategic, competitive and it is NOT the same message you are sending to consumers. Make sure the message is powerful, make it consistent and make it true to your people today and those you want to attain tomorrow.