A small observation: Generally, Employer Branding strategies are mainly focused on attracting new talent. At least that’s my feeling from the different companies and projects I’ve come across over the years. I think we need a little (a lot) more emphasis on ”retain” in Attract, Recruit and Retain. In the long run, focusing on creating a great place to be from, rather than a great place to go to, is the winning strategy for the business. Which really is the whole point.
When people talk about setting a strategy for Employer Branding they usually mean creating a full Employer Value Proposition (EVP). And by that they mean flashy webpages with nicely produced videos and tag-lines. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s important and a sign of organizational maturity if that’s in place, but the core of this strategy is purely to attract new talent – and in the process leaving out the people already working for the company.
Compare this to the business focused on attracting new customers, always campaigning with signing discounts, forgetting about basic customer care. There is zero value of staying loyal to this business. It’s better for me to be a new customer, rather than a returning one. The acquisition cost of a new customer is generally higher than getting a second purchase from the existing customers. The same goes for employees.
A couple of years ago, I saw a TED interview with Netflix’ previous HR director Patty McCord (see the clip below). She’s the first person I’ve heard talk about employer branding in that way and it’s stuck with me since. Instead of being hell bent on attracting and competing for new talent, focusing on developing your current people and making sure they are highly desirable after they’ve decided to move on makes you automatically more attractive to new talent. And by making sure your people have the best skills, grows and develop while in your care doesn’t only give you a great work satisfaction score, it means your business will benefit from all the innovation they can create while growing.
I’m not saying we should stop creating good career pages with nicely produced videos and tag-lines. I’m saying that in order to create a strong Employer Brand, focus more on the current people. In this case, “if you build it they will come” is true. Or to paraphrase the old saying Happy Wife, Happy Life: Happy Employee, Good Business Guarantee!