PROOF | internal & employer branding


Employer branding is as important as ever

Building a strong employer brand takes time and effort. So tempting though it may be to cut back in the face of the coronavirus, that’s a false economy. Instead, Wenda Bolink, co-author of PROOF management book ‘The employee journey’, recommends that organisations continue to focus on building their employer brand. Or use the current period to develop a solid foundation for a future employer branding effort. ‘If you want to be able to attract the right talent in the future, you have to continue to build an attractive employer brand now,’ she says.

What if there are no vacancies?
“COVID-19 is reducing the recruitment needs of many organisations. What we then see is that they stop investing in building an attractive employer brand. However, vacancies will appear again in time, at which moment they will have to invest again in positioning their employer brand. However, they will have likely lost ground through being ‘invisible’ for a long time, resulting in a lot of expensive catching up to do.”

Is there more talent than normal entering the labour market right now?
“COVID-19 is changing a lot, and this crisis will probably cause a large outflow of employees. This outflow offers opportunities because it will see more talent become available on the labour market. Talent you might be looking for. Therefore, you need to be visible and recognised when that happens, so that people will consider you as a potential new employer.”

Do you also foresee a need for other types of talent within organisations?
“The corona crisis is forcing organisations to think different and even to reinvent themselves. A different course is likely to impact on the skills and competences that are required of employees. The question is whether you invest in developing the talents of existing employees, or whether you need to attract other types of talent to realise your new ambitions. Employer branding can also help in this respect.”

When you said that companies could use the current period to build a solid foundation, what did you mean?
“It’s simply using the current moment to get your basics in order. Start by mapping out which talents you want to attract now, and in the future, to realise your ambitions. And investigate what matters to them when it comes to choosing an employer and a specific job. At the same time, talk to employees at all levels of your organisation to create a unique and appealing employer story. This story should tell who you are and what can offer potential talent. Then translate it into an appealing and creative concept that brings the story to life. Once you have that, you can use it to communicate with potential employees in the coming years. A communication strategy will give you insights into how to reach the right talents, using which message and which means. Don’t underestimate the difference that working out what means to use can ultimately make. As Steve Jobs once said: ‘To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They’re just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.’”

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