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Trade ‘glitz and bling’ for employment branding basics

CEO Kelly Quirk follows up her presentation on employer branding at the recent Australasian Talent Conference with an interview with Shortlist on getting the basics right and aligning the internal and external messaging.

Originally published by ShortList on 13th July 2015:

Employers that stop using employment branding gimmicks and go back to basics can amplify their talent attraction ability, according to new research from Harrier Human Capital.

Fewer than one in five Australian employers have a defined employer branding strategy, despite the fact that companies with a strong employment brand have 28% lower staff turnover that their peers, showed the Turning Your Message Inside Out whitepaper.

Harrier CEO Kelly Quirk told Shortlist creating a strategy to improve an employer’s brand does not necessarily require a big budget.

“I see too many recruiters taking up the glitz and the bling and the gadgets for employer branding, rather than getting the basics right and saying, ‘Who are we? What are we? What do we want to be to our employees?” she said.

To build an effective employer branding strategy, employers also need to canvas existing employees’ views on who the company is and what it’s like to work for, Quirk said.

“There’s a multitude of ways you can measure it, but staff engagement is one [and] external net promoter score is another.

“There are social media tools out there, like Glassdoor, where you can actually go onto their website and you can put in your company name and it will tell you everything everyone’s saying about you in the marketplace,” she said.

Employers must then “reconcile what our prospective employees want us to be…[to] who we are communicating to the world we are,” said Quirk.

“We’ve worked with businesses in the past who aren’t what they say they are externally to the world…The way they manage their employees and their performance cycle could not be any further from what they say they do externally.”

One of the main challenges facing businesses today is the discrepancy between how they wish to portray themselves as employers and how their own employees depict the company, she said.

“If you don’t get your message in line, the messaging the market will get is what your employees portray – probably  through social media. So it’s pretty important to understand who you are, not just bury your head in the sand.

“With the proliferation of social media these days, if you don’t have guidelines in place, your employees will be telling a story that may not be the story you want to hear in the marketplace,” said Quirk.

“Social media now is so significant…[and] when you’ve got a global audience like that, people confuse personal branding with consumer branding and employer branding.”