HRO Today – Strategic Storytelling

May, 2016

Communicating an authentic employer brand is an effective way to get the attention of today’s top performers.

By Russ Banham
Employer branding has become a highly useful tool in the tight labor market, distinguishing companies by engaging job candidates with a compelling illustration of what they can expect post-hire.
Gone are the days when people simply applied for a job based solely on compensation. In fact, according to a 2015 survey by Korn Ferry Futurestep, companies that focus their recruitment efforts on promoting higher salaries are less competitive in obtaining the talent they seek.
Today, many Millennials and older generational cohorts want to work for organizations that offer more than big pay packages, seeking such opportunities as flexible working conditions, employee benefits like wellness centers, longer paid leave practices, and a culture that is exactly as the employer has made it out to be.
The latter point is especially critical in today’s recruitment space. Tell-all sites like Glassdoor.com give employees the means to anonymously voice severe criticisms of the companies they toil for, tarnishing the employer’s reputation as a desirable place to work. “You can’t give a prospective employee the glitzy, glam Ferrari version of what it’s like to work at the company, and then on day one the person gets a beat-up, old Chevy experience,” says Neil Griffiths, global practice leader, at talent acquisition and RPO provider Korn Ferry Futurestep.
Regrettably, this happens more often than many companies would like to admit. The reason isn’t that they’ve embellished their employment brands to the point of incredulity; more often they just have no sense of what it is truly like for their employees to work at the organization.
Each company is also different, yet these distinguishing features fail to be captured in the recruiting message— not a good idea when unemployment rates are at their lowest level in nearly eight years.
“Companies are competing for the best talent to the point where there are bidding wars,” says Liz Weeks, head of employer branding and attraction for the Americas at talent acquisition and management provider Alexander Mann Solutions. “Winning these people is not just about salary,” she asserts. “Equally if not more important are the meaningful aspects of the job—the things that connect with job candidates. That’s your brand as an employer.”
She adds, “Every organization has a living, breathing employer brand whether they’re actively communicating it or not.” 
To read the article in full, featuring Korn Ferry Futurestep Global Practice Leader, Talent Communications & Employer Brand Neil Griffiths, visit the HRO Today website here