Last Tuesday, our CEO, Tom Gimbel, joined Ellen Smith of IBM, Wes Sutkin of Dr. Pepper/Snapple, J.T. O’Donnell of Work It Daily, and Kirsten Davidson of Glassdoor for a Power Panel about the Employer Brand.
The conversation centered around approaches to employer branding, why it’s important for companies to prioritize, and how it will play a defining role in which companies thrive in 2017.
Here are some key quotes and actionable takeaways from the panel for companies of any size:
- ► “The rhetoric has to match the reality…You can’t fake it anymore.”
- – Wes Sutkin
Too many companies preach values that don’t reflect in their actions. For example, a company preaching sustainability needs to be doing things that back it up. They also have to document it, because the brand doesn’t benefit if nobody knows.
By not actively building a brand, O’Donnell added, your company projects any of three things – you’re not tech savvy enough, you have nothing to be excited about, or you have something to hide. Job seekers aren’t looking for perfection. They’re looking somewhere they can make mistakes and grow. Focus on authenticity over what you envision as perfection.
- ► “Pick what you believe is the right message and stick to it.”
- – Tom Gimbel
There’s no wrong story to tell, but building the brand must be authentic.
Internally, it begins with the CEO. From the top down, people need to buy in to company values so they spill over into the work and the product. It’s often overlooked, but it’s important to represent the brand in interviews, too. Even if a candidate doesn’t come away with a job, it’s important that they have a positive interaction with your brand.
Externally, the message has to be conveyed clearly. Get creative.
- ► “Glassdoor is becoming the B2B Yelp…Brand or be branded.”
- – J.T. O’Donnell
Glassdoor already played an important role in branding for companies. But now it’s more than just a tool for candidates. Other businesses are using Glassdoor to analyze companies and make decisions about working with them.
The lines between “employer branding” and “branding” are blurring. As Glassdoor becomes a one-stop shop for company brands, candidates, customers, clients and the public all have to get the same story.
- ► “Data gives you a clear objective.”
- – Ellen Smith
Decisions about the brand should be informed by metrics. Gathering data is the best way to understand what’s working.
The metrics that matter will vary by company. Figure out which ones help you understand how your brand is working, and monitor them closely. If you can’t in-house, it’s a good investment to hire a consultant to crunch numbers and craft a story that provides ideas for the brand.
Sutkin added that it helps to visualize metrics. Put goals on the walls for all to see. It gets everyone involved and ties back into the idea of creating a culture internally of people buying into the brand.
The one metric that all companies should prioritize is employee referrals. What are your people saying about their experience? How many hires have you had from employees recommending the company? Having a high amount of referral shows high employee engagement, which is great for branding.