Ten years ago, employer branding wasn’t even on the radar of organizational psychologists. But after a Society for Human Resource Management study revealed that over 67 percent of organizations view employer branding as a strategic recruiting tool to attract top talent and nearly one-half identified the employer brand as a top five strategic initiative, psychologists such as Born and Kang at Cornell University began to look it more seriously.
In their new paper “What are best practices in the space of employer branding that enable organizations to attract and retain the best talent?” Born and Kang define an employer brand as a set of attributes and qualities that make an organization distinctive, promise a particular kind of employment experience, and appeal to those people who will thrive and perform their best in its culture.
The researchers recommend the following best practices for deliberately and systematically shaping your employer brand.
Assess and Shape an Authentic, Consistent Message of What Your Organization Values
To attract and retain critical talent, organizations must make a concerted effort to ensure that they stand for something meaningful as an employer. An effective employer brand is a long-term strategy that permeates every aspect of the employee lifecycle, including recruitment, onboarding, retention, and engagement.
Born and Kang suggest evaluating and understanding your organization’s current value proposition, and ensuring that your employer brand message is authentic and consistent with company practices. You want to be certain that the employment experience you promise to potential employees is one you are already delivering. A helpful tip is to appoint an experienced brand strategist or influencer to craft an effective brand message.
For example, Yum Brands, the parent company of Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut, found that the investment in hiring a marketing manager to drive employer branding initiatives across the organization was well worth it. These branding initiatives resulted in improved retention and applications, outperforming fast-food industry averages.
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