BY JUSTIN, MY JOB GLASSES MENTOR, EMPLOYER BRANDING CONSULTANT AND TALENT ACQUISITION SPECIALIST
The difference in people makes the difference in performance within a company, a fact that the entire business community agrees upon. However, it is the best talents and high potentials that are at the origin of this comparative advantage. Based on this belief, companies engage in the so-called “war for talent “ in order to capture the best human resources from the labour market.
The arrival in the market of new professional profiles, generations “Y” and “Z”, also known as “Millennials” or “Digital Natives” has changed the situation: we have gone from a market under the dictate of the employer to a market conditioned by this new generation, with its own expectations and characteristics.
With this in mind, HR Directors, HR Managers and recruiters are increasingly learning to use marketing techniques and tools to attract their future employees.
Practising HR marketing via employer branding has thus become necessary, even essential, to optimise recruitment.
EMPLOYER BRAND STRATEGY: DEFINITION AND EVOLUTION
Every company has an employer brand, regardless of its size, as long as it has a vocation to employ. First mentioned by Ambler and Barrow in 1996, the employer brand is the package of functional, economic and psychological benefits that emanate from the employment relationship. It is the sum of the personalities of the employees, combined with the DNA of the company, that will make the “employer brand”.
Far from being a generic buzzword, employer branding is rather a state of mind and way of acting that suits the generational evolution of the last decades. With their sometimes controversial characteristics and constantly changing expectations, generations Y and Z are particularly looking for new approaches in terms of human resources. Generation “Y” refers to young people born between the 1980s and 1990s. It succeeds the Generation “X” which itself follows that of the “Baby Boomers” born between 1945-1965. Generation “Z” refers to individuals born from 1996 onwards who grew up with touch screens and social networks.
HOW AND WHY DEFINE AN EFFECTIVE EMPLOYER BRANDING STRATEGY?
In order to define an effective strategy, the company must look at itself, carry out a sort of introspection**. It is a strategy that needs to be built on all of the objective elements that make up the company’s specificity, its employer identity, but also its subjective dimension.** The mix of these different components will make it possible to define the lines of attraction around which the company will develop its employer brand strategy.
A company’s employer brand is 2x more likely to arouse interest in the positions it offers than for its brand image alone. It is therefore necessary to work on its attractive elements in order to facilitate recruitment and find profiles that stand out.
It is also necessary to take into account the changes brought about by the arrival of new generations on the labour market in recent decades: while it was possible for previous generations to spend most of their career in the same company, today young people like to be versatile and see different horizons. It is therefore becoming essential to offer a personalised career path for each employee.
HOW TO BUILD AN EMPLOYER BRAND STRATEGY?
The DNA (or corporate culture) is one of the distinctive elements of the organisation. It is what makes it unique and allows it to differentiate in the job market. Maurice Thévenet hammered this point home several decades ago: “A strong culture motivates people if it is based on a coherent operation. Here are the different components of an employer brand:
1. Values Values are ideas, shared beliefs, collective preferences that can be displayed or not. As Christophe Laval points out, “An employer brand is a reflection of its leaders, their values and their attitudes.”
2. The history The company’s long history can often signify a certain know-how: highlighting it in its employer brand can be a very good element of identification.
3. The founders There are sometimes emblematic leaders who have carried the company’s project and who are associated with the brand. For example François Michelin for Michelin, Steve Jobs for Apple, Serge Kampf for Capgemini, Coco Chanel for Chanel, etc.
4. The codes These are the symbols, codes of conduct, habits and customs of the company which become points of reference for employees. These are, for example, the use of first or last names, the organisation of end-of-year parties, annual seminars, etc. There are also dress codes.
5. Prohibited or taboo subjects These are subjects that are never mentioned. Certain practices may be forbidden in the company, as they may disturb the internal and external image of the company.
6. Organisation and hierarchy It is based on the style and quality of management, the quality of the relationship between managers and employees, the style of language and the way the company is run.
7. Other Attributes Employer branding is also related to employee remuneration, working conditions, social benefits (health insurance, CNSS, luncheon vouchers and gyms, etc.).
The employer branding strategy is a powerful weapon in the hands of HR professionals: it allows them to better recruit tomorrow’s talent while giving them a guideline for their work in the company. It is the very essence of a company that allows to create a real excitement and a real motivation to produce on the part of a future employee. To build yours, you can even call on your employees to help you define a comprehensive strategy!
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