Last yr, we attended an employer branding lecture given by an professional within the discipline at a distinguished Israeli tech firm. There was plenty of discuss Instagram and Fb, together with numerous images of yoga courses and pleased hours.
We checked out one another and knew what the opposite was pondering — that’s not employer branding.
We’re Urica – Erica Marom (LinkedIn), former journalist turned startup storyteller, and Uri Ar (LinkedIn), model and expertise strategist. We each work at Aleph serving to our portfolio firms construct their manufacturers, inform their tales and construct significant experiences. With rising competitors over high expertise, we noticed growing demand from our portfolio firms to distinguish themselves as employers. Why ought to anybody work at startup A versus startup B?
Along with Racheli Kogan, an HR professional beforehand of Fundbox, we determined to share our view of what employer branding actually means and the way it interprets to a technique of constructing a significant employer model that any startup may rapidly and simply undertake.
What’s an employer model?
Employer branding is a basic course of primarily based on making use of your organization story and values to every part you do, from hiring and firing to firm life. Your employer model is outlined by how outsiders and potential workers understand your organization as a office, and by how your workers really feel and expertise your organization and categorical that to others.
Your employer model differentiates you primarily based upon your worth proposition to your workers, past the essential components they’ve come to count on from any tech firm – like compensation, perks and advantages – to the issues they really care about, like influence and private improvement.
It may be tempting to attempt to appeal to workers with foosball tables, recreation rooms and pleased hours. However everybody else is already doing this, so it doesn’t even enable you stand out, and, extra importantly, it’s unlikely to be a significant expression of your values or of your organization’s persona and distinctive vibe.
Each perk, exercise and profit, each firm course of and coverage, needs to be seen each as a chance and a dedication to constructing and speaking your employer model.
Whereas employer branding could also be owned by HR or advertising and marketing (ideally a three way partnership!), each worker needs to be made conscious of and perceive the truth that they’re a consultant of the corporate and have the chance to be an evangelist of the employer model. The very best evangelists are true believers –so you need to make certain your Kool-Assist is value ingesting. 😉
How do I construct an employer model?
Model is a relationship. Branding is all about constructing relationships, setting expectations and defining your commitments. It encompasses each single factor you do as an organization, and it’s guided by your values. Whereas values can typically be thought-about clichéd fluff, in our minds your values are your dedication and your promise, your touchstone by which to measure every part you do. Each encounter together with your model is a chance (and a problem) to precise that relationship – from how briskly your web site masses to your advertising and marketing copy to your product usability to the expertise of being employed by your organization.
An employer model is derived out of your overarching model and values. It’s the relationship you construct together with your workers – from the potential candidates who’re studying about and even entertaining the concept of working at your organization, to your precise workers, to those that are leaving your organization.
Earlier than embarking on an employer branding course of, it is advisable to perceive who you’re as an organization and what the values are that information you – as these values shall be your lighthouse for every part you do going ahead.
When you’ve outlined your values, the subsequent step is to look at all your firm lifecycle functions: hiring, onboarding, recognition/analysis, inside communications, exterior communications, tradition, welfare and termination. Then begin desirous about the best way to infuse your values into each one in every of these functions with a view to construct an employer model that resonates all through day-to-day firm life:
- Hiring: Your entire recruitment course of, the kind of folks you wish to rent, the job descriptions, the way you pitch to candidates, the way you conduct job interviews and the kind of questions which might be requested, candidate expertise, surveys, the way you deal with rejections, the way you select a remaining candidate, and so forth.
- Onboarding: Orientation, care bundle, what the primary day appears like, handovers, how a lot emphasis you placed on coaching vs. throwing into the deep finish, documentation/handbooks, and so forth.
- Recognition/Analysis: What you reward and worth as a company, the way you resolve on promotions, what behaviors you wish to encourage, who evaluates whom, the best way to conduct evaluations, wage will increase, bonuses, how, if and while you acknowledge success and key workers, and so forth.
- Inside Communication: The way you talk with workers (new workers, folks leaving, downsizing, and so forth.), how the manager workforce interacts with workers, how clear you’re, the place you conduct inside messaging, inside channels of communication like Slack/e mail, how (and if) you utilize different channels like WhatsApp, what you talk the place, communication expectations over weekend/holidays, and so forth.
- Exterior Communication: Your profession web page, firm LinkedIn web page, Glassdoor web page, job adverts, rejection letters for candidates, PR (which varieties of articles or lists you wish to be in, and which you don’t), your relationship with the media, Life@social pages (Instagram/FB/Twitter), and so forth.
- Tradition: The way you run your organization, the way you make selections, which methodologies and processes you select, social tradition, hierarchy, firm and workforce occasions, and so forth.
- Welfare: All of your perks and advantages, together with issues like trip, sick depart, maternity/paternity depart, meals, transportation and insurance coverage, fairness, private improvement, and so forth.
- Termination: The way you finish a relationship with an worker, what number of probabilities you give them, are you clear, do you search for a alternative earlier than they depart or not, do you hearth folks across the holidays or if somebody has a tough private situation, the way you deal with downsizing vs. lack of efficiency vs. when a employee leaves on their very own, what number of perks you give when somebody leaves, do you announce it inside the firm, suggestions, and so forth.
These are all the worker lifecycle functions as now we have outlined them. When you have any others which might be related or particular to your organization, be at liberty so as to add them. Our method to constructing an employer model is to assemble a desk through which we then cross our values with every of those totally different firm lifecycle functions. In every sq., we outline the guiding ideas of conduct in addition to sensible concepts primarily based upon every worth.
So, for instance, utilizing the worth of collaboration as outlined by one in every of our portfolio firms and making use of it to the lifecycle software of termination, we outlined:
“After we are ending a relationship with an worker, it mustn’t come as a shock; we must always have interaction in open talks and conversations with them forward of any thought-about termination in an try and collaborate and enhance their efficiency. We also needs to provide steering and help each on their work and their profession path. A call to terminate also needs to be a collaborative course of with related stakeholders inside the firm. If a choice is made to terminate, the worker needs to be clearly notified and be an lively a part of that course of wherever attainable (remaining date, kind of compensation, and so forth.). We might by no means begin in search of a alternative earlier than the worker is notified that they’re being terminated. The remainder of the workers needs to be knowledgeable, and they need to perceive the way it will have an effect on their work. All communication on the subject needs to be optimistic, grateful and respectful. On this spirit of collaboration, we would assist that worker discover a new position within the firm, or perhaps a new job, if attainable.”
This technique can and needs to be utilized to all your firm lifecycle functions, till you have got accomplished the whole matrix.
As soon as accomplished, you’ll have a desk filled with guiding ideas and sensible concepts which you can implement at your organization. You should use these to construct out a long-term employer branding technique that takes under consideration each the bigger, dearer initiatives in addition to tackling straightforward, low-hanging fruit.
We suggest that you simply prioritize these initiatives primarily based on influence versus value and energy – how a lot influence an concept could have on present and potential worker notion versus how a lot cash, time and assets it requires.
For an employer model to succeed, it must be handled identical to every other challenge at your organization. It requires a method, price range and buy-in from management and administration. It requires an proprietor and a devoted workforce. These efforts needs to be communicated clearly all through the corporate so that everybody will get on board.
This matrix is just the start. Each encounter inside the firm is a chance to keep up or strengthen your employer model. The principle concept going ahead is to easily be considerate about each single interplay till it turns into second nature. Taking a minute earlier than you share a social put up, conduct an interview or create a brand new coverage to make sure they’re aligned together with your values will already put you forward of the sport. It’s not nearly profiting from alternatives; it’s additionally about not damaging your employer model by neglect or by doing the flawed factor.
When you’ve adopted an overarching technique in your employer model, you will have to adapt it to totally different folks and different interactions. Whereas the identical firm ideas and values apply to everybody, what influence means and what private improvement means differ primarily based on position, and it’s essential to know what drives them. Take note of the persona of whom you’re interacting with; entrepreneurs, for instance, care about various things from builders. Speaking collaboration through an organization hackathon could also be extra related to builders, whereas for entrepreneurs, collaboration may very well be about model and efficiency entrepreneurs working collectively as a workforce.
Whereas there are many firms nonetheless making an attempt to construct an employer model by speaking about pleased hours and foosball tables, there are some manufacturers who’re getting it proper. Throughout the Covid pandemic, for instance, Lemonade shared a weblog written by the CEO Daniel Schreiber calling for each firm to ask each worker to get vaccinated. Company duty, he mentioned, can transfer the needle and make a distinction. As an authorized B-Corp, Lemonade is all about social influence and duty; they donate further earnings to charities of their customers’ alternative, and imagine that doing effectively and doing proper will not be mutually unique. This weblog, nevertheless controversial – and even as a result of it’s controversial – establishes Lemonade’s employer model in a transparent and differentiated approach and attracts workers that align with their values. It may not be for everybody – however that’s the purpose.
In the end, should you take one factor away from this weblog about the best way to construct a compelling employer model, the trick is don’t be lazy. Don’t simply do what everybody else is doing. When you let your model story and values information you and are keen to speculate only a bit extra, you may construct a significant employer model and lasting relationships together with your workers. We just lately had a portfolio firm efficiently recruit a senior govt (away on sabbatical!) primarily based on their distinctive set of values – so should you construct it, they may come.
Our 10 Commandments of Employer Branding:
- Leverage your EVP (Worker Worth Proposition). Extract out of your values what your candidates and workers really care about and what’s distinctive to you as an organization. What declare are you able to make – that none of your rivals could make – that your workers care about?
- Talk with workers. Always pay attention to your viewers. What brings workers to your organization and what is going to hold them at your organization? Pay attention. One thing that appears trivial to you possibly can be a deal-breaker for another person.
- Arm your workers. Your workers are your finest ambassadors and evangelists. Give them the instruments, the platform and the permission to speak about their experiences.
- Measure what you may. Measuring your work can rally the administration to help and amplify it in addition to enable you enhance your output.
- Take it critically. Construct a method and a price range for employer branding; it is a challenge like every other at your group.
- Focus. Don’t open 1,000,000 channels and unfold your self skinny making an attempt to handle all of them. Open the channels that you simply resolve are related for you and your viewers and give attention to optimizing these. Keep away from posting for the sake of posting; you may hurt your fame with low-quality content material or by being off-brand.
- Thoughts your picture. PR must be micromanaged, not simply managed. There’s such a factor as dangerous PR, and also you wish to make certain each article or occasion you take part in is aligned together with your values.
- Management your on-line presence. Rigorously handle your presence on exterior platforms like LinkedIn and Glassdoor.
- Teamwork. A great employer branding technique is constructed by advertising and marketing and HR working collectively. Be certain everyone seems to be aligned.
- Stay your values. Actually – and don’t be hypocritical about them. Individuals count on you to face by your values.