When was the last time you had an interview or heard about an interview in which the employer highlighted what they are NOT? The usual pitch is what they offer in terms of benefits, pay, perks and all the great enticing things you would expect when a company is trying to whoo you over. How would you react in an interview in which the recruiter or hiring manager told you specifically what you should NOT expect? Would you be more inclined or less inclined to be interested in the position? Maybe it would depend on the details. At any rate, I believe it would help employers and employees make the right employment decision, whichever side of the table you are on.
Sometimes, companies forget that hiring the wrong folks can be more damaging than not hiring any folks at all. One way to prevent this, especially when we are talking about the brand (internal and external), is to be completely open about who you are, as well as who you are not. I recently saw that Ikea communicates in their recruitment efforts: “leave your ego at the door.” They specify that they don’t have tolerance for anyone with a big ego, as teamwork and humility is part of their success. Think about your organization and what you can relay to potential candidates that would help you prevent hiring the wrong employees. Send me a note and let me know or post your comments here.
A colleague of mine who is a brand strategist, launched a book this week about story-doing – as opposed to story-telling. What’s the difference you may ask? Story-telling seems to be more about what a company wants to be, rather than what it actually is – which is what you get with story-doing. The company’s story gets defined by actions, not words. I like Ty Montague’s inner message which is about authenticity, which connects to my approach, The Brandful Workforce. For a company to be good at story-doing, they would necessarily need to have their employees onboard as part of those who are actioning the story.
I agree with Ty when he says: Instead of building a business around a product or message, you have to think about building your business around people, and what they want to share with their friends. And I would define “people” as both consumers and employees. In many cases, employees are consumers and I would argue that some companies can aim to have all employees as consumers (provided it’s the right industry like retail or hospitality). When both employees and consumers are equally passionate about sharing information about a product or service with a friend – this action – repeated many times over – is quite powerful because it’s authentic.
What’s the deal with employer branding anyway? Basically it attempts to define the organization as an employer for potential employees so they can decide if that’s the kind of place they want to work. But shouldn’t the employer brand be part of the overall brand of the organization? Not only should employees be looking for the right environment, they should be looking for the right consumer brand that they love.
According to those in marketing, a brand differentiate itself from others however I have rarely seen an employer brand that looks different from another. I agree with Mark Ritson when he points out in this opinion piece that employer brands all look the same and have similar values like “integrity,” “excellence” and “innovation.” He also points out that consumer branding efforts identify negative and positive associations so the organization can constantly evaluate whether the organization is delivering its brand promise. This kind of work is also rare in employer branding work. Is your experience in the workplace what we said it would be?
I believe that the type of employer branding work that’s being done today should stop. It should be integrated with the overall branding work of the organization and it could be a lot more effective for both employees and consumers.
In a recent article Google admitted that it could not predict who would be a good hire and who would fail. I’m not sure that anyone has figured this out and it’s certainly not due to lacking analytical capability.
I believe the starting point for figuring out who will succeed in your organization has to start with this question: What kind of an employee do you need to drive your organization’s success? If you don’t know the answer to this, then any analysis you conduct will go in circles. According to my brandful workforce roadmap which helps organizations build a workforce of brand promoters, the entire employee strategy must be driven by a successful business model. Under this method, there is no organization that boasts of having the “best” talent, yet instead they can boast of having a good match for what it is they need to accomplish.
For more information on Google’s point of view, click here to read the article. Or please send me your comments and join in the discussion.