Benefits and strategies of employer branding

By | April 18, 2014

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Table of contents

Employer branding…………………………………………………………………………………………… 2

1.     The definition of employer branding……………………………………………………………. 2

2.     Benefits of employer branding……………………………………………………………………. 3

2.1      Increased attractive to job applicants………………………………………………….. 3

2.2      Increased employee productivity……………………………………………………….. 4

2.3      Increased retention rates……………………………………………………………………. 5

2.4      Strengthened talent seeking………………………………………………………………. 5

3.     Strategies of employer branding………………………………………………………………….. 6

3.1      Company culture – Articulate employer role related company vision and image     6

3.2      Work-life balance – Humanized childcare & work hours……………………….. 7

3.3      Product reputation – Quality product & service……………………………………. 8

3.4      Compensation and benefits – health benefits……………………………………….. 8

3.5      Communications and promotions……………………………………………………….. 9

4.     Conclusions………………………………………………………………………………………………. 9

Employer branding

 

1.        The definition of employer branding

The term branding has traditionally considered as a concept of marketing, but with the change of idea now companies are more and more accepting that promises are delivered by people rather than products (Thorne 2003, p.7). Therefore, the concept of employer branding was born. And it was first coined by Ambler and Barrow (1996) and was at that time referred as “package of functional, economic and psychological benefits offered through employment, identified by the employer company.

Elements of employer branding

Figure 1 The five elements of employer branding

Source: Savignano 2007, p. 14
As proposed by the Corporate Leadership Council (1999) in the Journal of brand management, there are five major elements of employer brand: compensation and benefits, company & product brand strength, work-life balance, work environment and company culture and environment. For example, good employers usually offer external and internal equity in term of compensation and benefits to keep the employees feel that the company has been treating every employee equally and the company pays them according to their performance. Basically the behaviors of a typical good employer could be put into these five dimensions. And it is believed that a mix of good settings in these five categories will help a company to build up a good employer brand. The benefits of having a well known employer brand are a lot; in the next part of this assignment we will elaborate the benefits.

 

2.        Benefits of employer branding

 

2.1    Increased attractive to job applicants

Though it is believed that with an ageing population in the major developed economies such as the US, EU and Japan, it is more and more difficult for employers to attract enough of job applicants and because of this fact many employers are more than ever active in holding campus job interview with the hope that enough of job applicants would be attracted from which the company could select those with the best quality and capabilities. But a good employer brand can still help the companies to attract a large pool of applicants despite the of the reduced size of young labor market. For example, Southwest Airlines, which, according to one company insider, has once received more than 50,000 applications for 500 available, positions (entrepreneur.com 2011). This achievement has been said to be contributed greatly by the company’s employer brand as it has been listed as top employers for many times and most recently, Southwest Airlines was recognized as a Top Employer in G.I. Job’s 2011 list of Top 100 Military Friendly Employers (southwest.com 2011).

 

2.2    Increased employee productivity

Another benefit of owning an employer brand is the enhanced employee productivity. Since the work relation could be simply understood as the employers paid to obtain the job done by the employees, by acting as good employers companies usually provide better pay, bonus and chance of getting further training and promotion while at the same time take care of their personal and family need which is not directly work related and when employers could feel that they are receiving care from the employers, they would also be grateful and repay the employers with better work performance and higher job productivity. Another reason why employees would work harder and more efficiently is because that they are actually accepting and share the vision with the company, and because employees have the same understanding with the management, they tend to be working more proactively and contributing to the goal hitting.

 

2.3    Increased retention rates

 

Retention rate is the ratio of the number of retained, and in the area of human resource management, it is used to express the percentage of existing employees against the original number after a period of time. It is known to us that companies invested in their employees, and employees’ professional skills and work experiences which increase with time would pay back the companies’ investment if they still work in the company. When the current employers seem to be better than other competitors in term of offering competitive salary and also give considerate care to their life, it is reasonable that they would be willing to stay and fight for the companies.

 

2.4    Strengthened talent seeking

 

The benefits of the branding of employer are not separate, for example when there is a high retention rate, high quality talents would be remained, and when these talents evaluate the employer as an employer of choice, they will tent to recommend their friends and classmates to send their resumes to the HR department when there are job opportunities. And also based on the fact that talented people tend to group up and know each other, it is easy for us to predict such a good result of strengthened talent seeking when other talented people are introduced into the company. And also it is believed that new employees through internal referral would be more preferable to most employers. For example, in Haier, a world known multinational consumer electronics and home appliance firm headquartered in Qingdao, China, the company has long adopted a “friend get friend” scheme to encourage the employees recommend their friend to walk in the interview and also the existing employees will get the attractive bonus if the employment is successful at last (Wang 2005). In a word, employer brand will strengthened talent seeking ability of the company.

 

3.        Strategies of employer branding

 

3.1    Company culture – Articulate employer role related company vision and image

The first strategy to create an employer branding is to articulate the company vision which refer to how a company wants to be and what the organization wants to achieve in a long term basis, and because the vision will be shared and communicated to the employees and could be reviewed by the outsiders through official website, it could be convenient for a company to create an employer branding by including the relative good employer elements into the vision and image of the company. For example, a company could state that “we aims at embracing a large pool of talents from various backgrounds and provide them with the promising career life future”. Similar vision could assist the company to build up a good image as a good employer brand. What is more the company could also stimulate the employees to take part in the articulation of the company vision by inviting them to express their opinions about the future vision of the company and their hope about what the company as an employer should focus.

3.2    Work-life balance – Humanized childcare & work hours

 

Though an employee in a traditional way is expected to contribute to the business work, while at the same time there is no responsibility for the employers to take care of the employees’ personal and family life, to show the true care to the employees and become the employer of choice, there are more and more companies that get involved with the personal life of the employees if they need the service and assistance from the companies. For example, Sony, the primary manufacturer of a number of electronic products provides child-care service in term of day care center to the children of the employees to help them focus on the job without being distracted from worrying their children. And also the company also provides advanced salary service for employees to manage their economic and family life with more flexibility (Shelly & Vermaat 2010). Also similarly, many best employers will also provide elastic and flexible work hours for employees who would be in need of them for reasonable causes. So, it would be recommended that companies that want to become employer brands would adopt and provide more humanized service and job setting to smooth the difficulties that employees face in the personal life and work life.

 

 

 

3.3    Product reputation – Quality product & service

 

The product brand and employer brand could be very different, but product brands would influence the employers in some cases. There are three ways through which employers could enhance the image of a good employer brand by keeping a good product branding: the first way is that when if the products that a company makes are consumer products that many potential employees would have used, then employees will not be willing to join the company it the product experience is bad to them; secondly, when the products of a company are much welcome and trusted in the market, many candidates would be rushing into the company by sending their resumes to the HR department whenever there are job opportunities; thirdly, excellent customers service experience and product experience will strongly persuade the existing and potential employees to become loyal to the products and also to the company brand as a employer.

 

3.4    Compensation and benefits – health benefits

 

There have been many reports and news stating that many employers, that pay much to their employees, are considered bad employers, because they did not care about the health of the employees and push them to do too much jobs under high pressure and uncertainties. This is actually considered as inhuman behaviors though the employer did give a lot of money to the employees to pay for their hard work, and even in the eyes of the employees, they would prefer an employer that better care for them especially their health condition.

 

3.5    Communications and promotions

Besides doing a good job within the company to treat the employees as a continual investment to be maximized rather than a cost to be minimized, one more job that a company needs to do is to communicate and promote is image as an excellent choice of employer. The HR department of the company could design, develop and implement promotional brochures and other materials to introduce the company’s culture, value towards the employees and the career life design. And also a dedicated corporate career website which has been adopted by many large TNCs (transnational corporations) could be used for companies to provide a platform for the job applicants to get access to the job information.

 

4.        Conclusions

 

From the above statement, we can conclude that there are a number of benefits of employer branding in term of increased attractive to job applicants, increased employee productivity, increased retention rates and strengthened talent seeking, and for those companies that want to become employer of choice and enjoy these benefits, companies need to do a lot of jobs in the five given dimensions, and some of the recommendations and strategies include: communications and promotions, offering of health benefits, maintaining quality product and service, providing humanized childcare and work hours. And by using these techniques, employers will enhance a good image of employer of choice.

 

5.

List of reference

Ambler, T. & Barrow, S. 1996. The employer brand. Journal of brand management. Vol. 4, No. 3, p. 185

Corporate Leadership Council 1999, The employment brand. United States: Corporate Executive Board

Entrepreneur.com 2011. How to Recruit Top Talent. accessed on 06 Dec 2011 [online] http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/78598

Savignano, M. 2007, The Multiple Identities of an Employer: A Case Study on DHL. Norderstedt: GRIN Verlag p. 14

Shelly, G. B. & Vermaat, M. E. 2010. Discovering Computers & Microsoft Office 2010: A Fundamental Combined Approach. Mason: Course Technology, Cengage Learning.
Southwest.com 2011. Fact sheet of SouthWest. accessed on 06 Dec 2011 [online] http://www.southwest.com/html/about-southwest/history/fact-sheet.html

Thorne, K. 2003, Blended learning: how to integrate online & traditional learning. London: Kogan Page. p.7

 

Wang, S. Q. 2005. Chinese management: reflections, trends and opportunities. London: Emerald Group Publishing