HR brand as a business development tool. How does it work?
Of course, you know what an HR brand or an employer brand is. Today, organizations spend a lot of money and time on research and promotion of their own brand. They look for ways to improve their image in the eyes of potential candidates, engage in PR activities, work out a strategy for improving corporate culture – often forgetting one simple thing. There is much more to an HR brand than just basic components, such as the use of corporate identity and logo.
Everything matters, or What an employer brand is built on
So what is an HR brand? This is the image of a company with which you want to cooperate. But what influences the formation of this desire?
How a recruiter organizes a selection or conducts an interview is directly related to the result of attracting the right candidate for a vacant position. Should we say that even the speed of reacting to a candidate’s response determines the level of an HR brand?
How an HR manager conducts onboarding of new employees affects the desire to continue working in the company or lack of it. According to SHRM, about 20% of employee turnover occurs within 45 days after hiring.
How team leaders introduce new employees into work processes affects their involvement in the corporate life of the company.
And the way the company’s management organizes workplaces forms the desire of people to transmit the company’s values and tell others about them.
It becomes clear that in order to build a strong HR brand, or, in other words, a company you want to work with, you need to cover all the processes in which you communicate with employees, customers, partners, and the community.
Employees are the carriers and reflection of your HR brand. Making them ambassadors of the company is your main task. In this article, we’re sorting out how to achieve this.
But first, let’s elaborate on the foundation of an HR brand to make sure you didn’t miss anything.
HR brand foundation
So, what is the basis of a company’s HR brand?
Mission and values
You have definitely worked on this and have long formed the values and mission of the company. But the question is: how do you use it? Many companies still make the mistake of thinking that mission and values are written to be taught and respected by new hires like a mantra. However, the point of promoting values and mission of the company is to attract like-minded people to the company and stay away from those who cannot share your ideas. Most importantly, the company’s management must also adhere to the communicated values.
Identity and brand book
In order to clearly communicate values and ideas, companies usually create their own style, that is, an identity. If a brand is an image, then an identity is the features, character and habits of a brand. All these properties form the peculiarity of the company. Therefore, in addition to reflecting the mission and values of the company in the identity, remember to endow the brand with the character of the people working there.
If you have an identity, you also have a form of its visualization. Most often it is a brand book of the company. A document that regulates the use of all agreed visual components: the use of the logo, corporate colors, adaptation of materials for different media.
The basic rules for using a company’s identity should be understood by all employees, not just marketers.
Tone of Voice
You already have a foundation on which to build communication with employees and potential candidates, and you already have an idea of what to communicate, but the question “how to communicate?” remains open. If this is about you, you need to find the brand’s Tone of Voice. In our case, HR brand’s Tone of Voice.
“Tone of voice is not WHAT you say, but HOW you say it”
Imagine the company in a few years. What kind of people can lead the business to this point of growth? Now imagine your key employee. How will you communicate with him or her? Is the chosen communication style consistent with the mission and values? If not, go back to the first point and work it through again.
Communication in social networks, on websites, in mass media
Check communication channels. Does the content on them correspond to what was covered in points 1-3? If you were honest with yourself and the audience, communication in your social networks, websites and media transmits your values, exists within a certain identity and an agreed tone of voice. If you see inconsistency and randomness in your communications, we advise you to check your starting positions. Follow a consistent strategy across all messages you communicate to the right audience. In addition, your web resources should have an intuitive interface and mobile adaptation.
And now the most important thing: how to make employees ambassadors of the company? And in this area of building an employer brand within the company, the HR contribution is huge.
How to build a strong HR brand with the help of employees?
Self-motivated employees are the result of successful work with an internal HR brand. Are there any on your team? What is their percentage? Anyway, the task of HR is to constantly work on the loyalty and involvement of employees.
In case of conducting a survey on payday, you might think that employee loyalty is very high. But when it comes to drawing conclusions or evaluating employee performance, management is left with overdue deadlines and poor performance of their teams.
What can be done about it? Moving on to the next step in building a strong employer brand:
Organize a work environment that meets employee needs
No, we’re not talking about a comfortable chair or a new desk. We are talking about the environment where work processes take place and in which, in fact, the employee works. For example, for a new employee, this is a clear and well thought-out onboarding process, in which he or she gets quick access to the onboarding plan, work information and personal data, monitors his or her achievements, goals and performance, and is provided with constant feedback.
HCM solutions help to bring consistency to onboarding, goal setting, performance assessment and competency development. And for greater involvement in the corporate life of the company, it is appropriate to introduce a corporate portal. A single environment will allow you to store all corporate information in one place, speed up communication and improve interaction between employees.
In addition to automating HR processes, which will allow you to better manage your talents and increase overall productivity, you will gain employee loyalty to you as an employer and significantly strengthen the position of your HR brand.
Provide conditions for talent training and development
In connection with the current situation in Ukraine, “re-profiling” of employees has become common, because some positions are now becoming irrelevant. It is extremely important to keep key people in the team by offering them rotation to other units during the war. This approach will improve the value of the employee as a specialist and give a sense of security and care for him or her.
In order to maximize the potential and competencies of employees, it is desirable to create conditions for their training. Corporate e-learning or LMS system involves creation of a single center for remote and local training of employees. In addition, the LMS solution helps to set up an onboarding training plan that an employee passes without involving HR managers.
Of course, the combination of HCM and LMS systems will ensure greater involvement of employees in the processes. And remember that the best investment is an investment in employee development.
Support career ambitions
Talented professionals want to work for a company that helps them develop professionally and provides conditions for career growth. Take care of it. Arrange regular 1:1 meetings with each employee to understand their expectations of development in the company. Create individual development plans with clear and consistent steps for an employee’s career growth so that they accurately understand their path in the company. Firstly, it motivates the employee, and secondly, it encourages them to get involved in the company’s corporate processes.
What will you do if a key employee decides to leave or retire tomorrow? Who will take their place? Do you have a plan? It can take a long time to find a replacement if you don’t have a talent pool.
Succession planning is when you prepare talented people within the company for future leadership positions in advance. In other words, the company trains and develops people who can take on responsibility for a new top-level position when the time comes. This is reflected in the personal development plans of the employee, which is an additional value for them.
What is important for an HR brand is that the values and strategic goals of the company remain unchanged, since its key positions are filled with people who carry them.
Implement technological tools
Once the company has identified its needs and chosen the path for further development, there will be a need for tools that quickly set up the process of transformation in talent management. It is the HR manager who should initiate the changes and implementation of such tools.
We recommend choosing technological solutions that encompass a set of HR tools and have advanced integration options with your ERP, CRM, and Payroll systems.
An example of such a solution is SMART HCM & LMS for automating recruiting, onboarding processes, performance evaluation, goal setting and competency development. The chatbot provided by the platform will serve as a personal assistant for employees on all HR issues, and the gamification module will turn learning into an interactive game.
Social responsibility is more important than ever
Today, the focus of the HR brand needs to be shifted to caring for people, resilience and corporate social responsibility of the business. The life, safety and health of employees must be a priority. In addition to health insurance and paid vacation, which are the basic benefits, it is worth taking care of the mental state of your employees. For example, to attract an experienced psychologist to the team.
Ask employees what exactly they need. Together, you can create your own unique strengths that will increase the effectiveness of your team and make your employer brand stand out from others.
Strengthen corporate culture
One of the main challenges in building a strong employer brand is to create an environment conducive to the development of employee talent. It is no coincidence that we mention this aspect of building an HR brand last. After all, corporate culture is not only a system of values and patterns of behavior shared by all employees of the organization. Corporate culture is built on a combination of the above points, such as:
- organization of processes and working environment to achieve the common goals of the company;
- interaction with the team, customers, partners and community;
- involvement of employees in the corporate life of the company;
- motivating employees to do their best work.
So, review your HR strategy. Assess the corporate culture of the company. Find weaknesses in your HR brand. Initiate change.
Your HR brand is your people
It is important to understand that your employees are the carriers of the HR brand. People communicate with each other, talk about their work and share experiences.
“Your HR brand is not what you say it is. It’s what employees say about you.”
Your task as an employer is to create conditions under which your employees want to work in the company, tell their environment about the benefits of working in it and recommend cooperating with it. In such case, your HR brand works for you!
If you need to consult on the selection of HR tools and want to test them for free, send a request here: email@example.com
Good luck with building a strong HR brand!
Best regards, SMART business