employer branding 102

Post my first blog on this topic I’m left wondering…is the grass greener or is it only perceived / portrayed to be that way?

I’m researching all companies who on the outside project this amazing employer brand; a place everyone, myself included half the time aspires to work in. But is this truly the case, or is this clever marketing? For instance is the vision, mission and culture as it is implied, or is this the vision of HR or the marketer in charge of the employer branding? In other words is it real?

I say this as I sit on the cusp of producing an employer branding campaign / marketing plan for a major player in the NZ media world. I know what I want to project – I know the brand I want to portray, the culture I’ve been working for years to put in place and project. However is this only my mind-set? Am I portraying my loyalty to the brand or that of the vast majority in the workplace? And how do others in my position fare?

It seems to me from my research that it’s a mixed bag. I’ve discovered since my last post that looks can be deceiving. In other words some of those shouting the loudest employer branding praises have little to back it up, and others with zero in the market in this realm do an amazing job. Therefore does it once again come back to marketing and how you package a product? Or does word tend to get around re the good, the bad and the ugly in terms of employers?

Either way my take on it is you have to be honest. Project the positives in the workplace, tell the good stories and promote the progressive culture through employer branding. Be very wary of promoting your take on it if it is not the perception of the majority, and take the time to find this out first. Why? Employees are attracted and retained through employer branding, among other things. If it appears to be false, if they don’t realise it before they come on-board, they quickly will afterwards. To avoid disappointment and disillusionment in new employees, and to quickly build a repertoire and engagement with them, keep it honest and keep it real.

Thus you will position them for a better on-boarding experience and introduction to both the team, the organisation, their mission and values.  This should also ensure that they are indoctrinated to the culture sooner, performing faster and feel a much greater sense of identity with the organisation from feelings and perceptions they’ve formed about the organisation pre-employment. Ultimately, all leading to faster and higher levels of productivity.  But what would the case be if they were to come on-board and find the opposite is true?

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