Develop Your Employer Brand to Attract and Retain the Best Talent

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell in May, causing the number of Americans on unemployment to be the lowest in the last 28 years. This points to a rapidly tightening U.S. labor market. Labor market strength, coupled with a sharp rebound in job growth in April, has left some employers wondering how they will maintain a competitive edge for the best talent in their fields.

How do you stand out from the crowd when the game has changed? Where once the employee had to “market” themselves, now employers need to think about their own value proposition – their “employer brand.” Strong employer brands increase their organization’s ability to attract, retain and motivate people. They support the company’s ability to deliver higher levels of customer satisfaction, regardless of whether the customer is a consumer or an employee. In a poll conducted by Gallup, research found that engaged employees show much higher rates of productivity, profitability, safety incidents and absenteeism as compared to disengaged staff members. Furthermore, engaged workers resulted in 2.6 times the earnings per share growth rate compared to organizations in their same industry with lower engagement. Improving employee engagement and commitment to your employer brand is strongly linked to higher revenues, profit margins and an overall higher return on investment.

What is your brand strategy and how do you build it? Employer branding is more than a communications strategy. You need to offer the experience, reinforce values and deliver an optimum environment. Your employees dedicate about 50% of their waking life to work. They are behind-the-scenes as well as on the front line. They are affected by every business decision you make. Which means that, as an employer, you cannot promise anything other than who you really are. Your brand identity is a function of every conversation by the water cooler, every testimonial from an exiting employee, every company policy and procedure, every individual and collective functional, economic and psychological experience throughout every stage of the employment life cycle.

Just as the most powerful product and service brands are founded on a multi-faceted approach to experience building, it is equally important to adopt a strategy that utilizes a wide range of tools and techniques to acquire the insights necessary to develop and manage an effective employer brand through the employment experience. In other words, you cannot choose to not “do” employer branding. This is not management speak. The employer brand is established in real time. It determines the quality of your workforce. It drives the level of engagement, motivation and retention.

Intellectually, you know all of this. You know that if your employees are disengaged, unmotivated and uninspired, your business will suffer. So then, what is the strategy to help you create an environment where growth, innovation, engagement and productivity occur spontaneously? Employer branding is not a label, it’s an experience. What’s yours?

Contact MMA for assistance designing a strategic benefit plan, to attract and retain top employees. Learn how to become an Employer of Choice.