Your reputation as an employer and your value proposition to employees make up your employer brand, and every business has something unique about its culture and its offering. Yet, glance at many corporate careers pages and you’ll find a great business to work for, opportunity to develop and grow, happy, diverse employees… fairly standard stuff.
Why isn’t more employer branding truly authentic?
It’s not that businesses are trying to mislead, but ‘personalised’ employer brands appear only in the minority of cases, with the majority offering vanilla messages that appeal to most job seekers. But do you want to appeal to all job seekers? Getting your messaging right from the outset is actually the start of your selection process – done well it could allow applicants to self-select, encouraging applications from the right people and discourages applications from those who don’t fit your culture.
Just to be really clear here: we’re not advocating a message that talks to a particular demographic or encourages applications from ‘clones’ – diversity and inclusion is non-negotiable if you want to be successful in attracting the best talent. It’s more about core values: does your employer brand authentically portray what you stand for as a business and the characteristics that work best there?
For example, a professional services firm’s careers page might emphasise the ‘generally’ appealing values and the promise of development, whilst saying less about the long hours, frequent travel, and limited work-life balance involved in building a career there. Whilst, at face value this message is arguably less appealing, it’s authentic and speaks to a particular audience.
There are many brands and businesses that embrace this authenticity well. Investment bank Goldman Sachs is clear about its employee proposition: a quick look at the careers site shows employee testimonials describing a culture in which you can grow with support, whilst emphasising that you’ll have to be committed and put the hours in. Netflix is crystal clear about its offering and expects employees to be independent and not focused on process or rules. Neither message is negative or harms the employer brand – they are authentic and personalised.
Let’s be frank…
It might feel easier to paint a ‘me too’ picture of an employer brand or culture but, consider this: your employer brand already exists anyway. It’s formed by the people and experiences within your business every day, across all channels and in person.
Not everyone will want to work for you and nor do you want them to. Where employer brand is concerned ‘authenticity’ really is the best policy.
What’s your view? Talk to us @LaudaleHQ
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