How to Build a Strong Employer Brand in a Hybrid Company
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The concept of Employer Brand, Employee Value Proposition, and company culture can be confusing, we understand! These are broad terms that may have slight variations in interpretation depending on the person you ask. However, based on our experience, we have defined the following interpretations:
Your Employer Brand is the way your company is perceived as an employer to existing employees and potential employees. In other words, your reputation as an employer.
Employer Brand, this is the way people perceive you as an employer. People can be your existing employees and potential ones. It’s your overall image.
When thinking about your Employer Brand, you have to understand that there could be a mismatch between the brand that you wish to portray and the brand that people really experience. Ideally, there isn’t any, of course, but we’ll discuss that later.
The EVP is the combination of tangible and intangible benefits, rewards and recognition that your employees experience while being part of the team.
Your EVP is the one thing that makes your organization stand out as an employer, and in a hybrid company, it becomes the one thing that unites and brings together your workforce, along with your culture.
Your company culture is the set of values that you stand by as an employer and the behaviors & standards that make up your work environment and define your mission and DNA as a company.
Remote and hybrid work is nowadays a reality for many people and many companies. And, of course, the natural consequence is that experiences – work experience – are much more individualized, and as such, employees are much more in contact with the ‘company culture’ and your identity as an employer.
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Why a strong Employer Brand is important
As with everything, the why behind a strategy or an intention is very important. And there are plenty of reasons why having a strong brand as an employer is crucial to establish your position in the market as a top-of-mind employer.
The impact can’t be denied: candidates look at a company’s employer branding to decide on their future. Actually, 75% of applicants want to work at a company that actively manages its Employer Brand (Source: Glassdoor). People want purpose, they want culture, they want to make friends, a way to innovate, they want to learn, and they want to be themselves at work. These things make up part of your Employer Brand, and, as such, it’s important that you think about how to handle them when you’re crafting your employer branding strategy.
The way you handle these aspects should also be clearly communicated because a large chunk of the candidates out there – namely, 68% of Millennials, 54% of Gen-Xers, and 42% of Boomers – scour social media to evaluate a potential employer’s brand (source: Glassdoor). These are the candidates who are going to be looking at your career website and vacancies on Linkedin – and the way your brand is going to be a determining factor in their decision.
And, as a natural though maybe not so obvious result, we also see that employees play a big role here. Employee voices are more trusted than, for example, a corporate voice like the CEO’s (source: Glassdoor)– they are more credible and more impactful when it comes to communicating or embodying and shaping your Employer Brand. So, if you want to convince applicants or your audience in general of your brand's authenticity, you should consider this
Why employer branding is important for you
If you want to really make an impact with your Employer Brand, then it's crucial to consider why you're doing it and why it's essential to your company specifically — and you should think about this when designing your employer branding strategy.
Only if you as a company believe in the 'why' the results will follow. This will increase authenticity and the long-term impact of your efforts: employees will only accept and trust your strategy when it's aligned with the truth, and the impact will be much greater when you're true to yourself, your brand, and your DNA.
When identifying why it's essential for your company, we like to trace back to its DNA and culture. Excellent employer branding builds culture from within and embodies the company's core values and product messaging.
The attention and intention behind employer branding
Attention and intention become very important when talking about hybrid work environments. When your workforce is scattered, people are likelier to not pick up on the morals, attitudes, and behaviors you stand for and that you’re trying to promote in the way you work because their experience is more individualized – they’re only digitally connected and not physically. And if you don’t pay attention, employees can easily and gradually come to feel more detached. That’s where the intention comes into play; when you don’t have a place where people meet regularly, then there needs to be more intention behind the initiatives that bring people together.
For example, saying you’re a flexible company is great. But that’s not enough: you must be intentional about what it means. In this case, define flexibility: is it starting between 7 am and 8 pm, or is it starting whenever you want…? It’s one thing to express yourself in a certain way on paper, but it means nothing if it’s not translated into practice very transparently.
Having structures in place is great, but practicing what you preach is critical. Having leaders act according to that definition is crucial because theirs is the most valuable example to give.
Something often overlooked but still crucial is communicating clearly and frequently about changes and the expectations that come with those. Your Employer Brand is the image you wish to portray and is thus linked to your culture. Your culture has values, and linking behaviors to these values can help employees visualize what each value looks like as it is embodied in their daily work life. Explaining that way can help make them more transparent and show employees how to best align with them.