If you have been working hard on developing your new employer brand, you’ll want to launch it to maximum effect, right? To do that well, your existing employees are going to be your most important audience.
A clearly communicated employer brand can be a highly effective way to engage employees, especially in these challenging times. With many employees facing yet more remote working, missing their colleagues and struggling to find purpose and meaning in their work – your employer brand has the potential to remind them about what you stand for. And a lot more too.
It helps your people understand how they fit in and why their values are such a good match to yours. The feeling of inclusivity from a powerful employer brand also brings benefits in terms of productivity and retention. What’s more, engaged and motivated employees tend to go down well with customers too.
This post covers our employer brand launch tips with some practical client examples. It’s been written to help your new employer brand fly high, right from the start.
Where you might be now
You’ve put the business case for your employer branding project and got sign-off. Your HRD has been on-board and you’ve worked with your resourcing team and others from outside the business, possibly to help with the all important research. You’ve developed your Employee Value Proposition and a creative platform which may also include a brand new careers website.
It’s all ready to go live. So why risk it falling flat from day one?
Whatever you do – don’t do this…
After all that hard work, things don’t always get off to a good start. Make sure your launch gets the attention it deserves by spotting these no-nos.
Someone has called it your ‘latest recruitment advert’, you’ve been offered five minutes at the end of your latest HR team meeting or maybe you could just send out an email, that would cover it off right? Er, wrong. You know all this of course, but you may need to convince others to get behind it too with some thought to the communications strategy.
Your employer brand is just like any other brand launch – it needs a planned campaign of activity and involvement and support right from the top.
Get your leaders involved
If you’ve already got buy-in from your leadership team your employer branding project won’t be a surprise to them, they’ll have been involved in the process too. They’ll have realised it’s about far more than recruitment and is a major strategic issue. It’s a good idea to present the employer brand back to the leadership team and let them ask questions. Where were you at the start, where are you now? The clearer they are, the more engaged they’ll be themselves which helps move it from what can be seen as an HR initiative to something organisation-wide. And why would they not want to, when there is so much ROI from an employer brand?
Can you imagine Sir Richard Branson or Tim Cook from Apple not wanting to support their employer branding efforts when it also boosts productivity and profits? Of course not.
Present back the creative message
Many of the employer brands we’ve developed with clients have featured their own people. It’s an absolutely essential part of building an employer brand that looks and feels authentic and builds an emotional connection with employees (and candidates). Our award winning work for clients like Hastings Direct and Toolstation in particular have made ‘stars’ of employees who are now recognised as the face of the business – and they’ve had great fun in the process. Likewise, our work for Derbyshire Constabulary also featured their own people which helped to bring the force’s recruitment proposition to life, reflect their culture and change the way people see them as an employer.
In most instances, your people will be aware that you’re been involving them in something exciting – so presenting back to them how and why you did it really helps them to embrace the new brand with a sense of pride. Get your designers and agency involved in the launch too, it can help elevate the process and shows the effort that’s gone into the brand development. And they can an entertaining bunch too – or so we’ve heard.
Which brings us to…
Show your people first
It almost doesn’t need saying but, this article is about getting the launch right. So don’t, please don’t, go live with your new employer brand in a recruitment exercise before your own people have seen it. It will completely take the fun out of an internal launch and, after so many people have been involved, it’s a bit of a let down for them. Imagine if a wedding photographer posted their pictures live before showing them to the happy couple. It’s just not what you do.
Use multiple comms approaches
We all need to hear things several times to get the message and in several formats. The CEO might make a video – great idea – but not everyone will see it. You’ll organise that internal launch call, but not everyone will make that. So, think about ways to sustain the launch. Trickle down the message for team meetings, get line managers briefed and, if you really want everyone to feel a part of it, reach out a little further. Remember, many of your people are sat at home – that’s a challenge but also a great opportunity to engage them.
Make it personal
Good employer branding is derived from what your employees feel about working for you. So, build excitement with your people when you launch what is in effect their brand too. Back in the days of offices, we used to create mugs, print notepads and other collateral that would be left on desks. There’s nothing quite as effective as the personal touch, especially when it arrives by post. How well received would that be for someone working alone and now seeing their team via a Zoom call?
Your new employer brand is about your people – so take it to them and celebrate it.
Ask for content – and get social
Once you’ve launched the employer brand, don’t stop there. Ask your people for their ideas, their feedback and especially, their content ideas. In every organisation there are great bloggers and video makers – and, when it comes to your candidates, these are the people they are really interested in hearing from.
And the more proud your people are, the more they’ll talk about it on their social networks. Two years ago The Telegraph, quoted research suggesting 76% of millennials are happy to share photos, videos and information around their employer’s corporate social responsibility efforts over their personal social media channels. Social reach can really boost awareness of your employer brand.
A successful employer brand launch calls for planning, time, and resources and needs to be launched internally before it goes into the outside world and forms part of your resourcing strategy. In times when many are losing sight of who they work for – and with – it’s a powerful communication opportunity. It also links through to productivity and employee engagement – and therefore, profitability. Launch it right and it’ll reward you for the long run.
For further information
If you feel that you’d like some help, support or even a little chat around protecting your employer proposition just drop me a line. After all, much of our best work has started with a cup of tea, a biscuit and a Zoom call.