Sanjay Shetty, head – strategic account management, Randstad India considers employer branding in a digital world of work.
Have you seen Heineken’s ‘Go Places’ campaign with its introductory video on YouTube? It is a smart and clever employer branding effort that shows how their brand revolves around their employees’ persona and aspirations. Besides using different digital channels, the campaign uses localisation techniques to map their beers and featured food relevant to where the video is watched.
This is the crux of employer branding in a ‘digital first’ business environment. It is the ability of organisations to leap beyond the image of mere creators of products or services. It seamlessly weaves ideas, capabilities, product and service features, beliefs and values into an impactful narrative of what companies stand for – as designers of experiences and possibilities, aligned to stakeholders’ dreams.
Digital – Lending extra dimensions to communication touchpoints
Creating strength and coherence in branding needs an ongoing and omni-channel broadcasting of harmonising brand messages. The digital ecosystem is ideally positioned to make this possible. Through its multi-faceted technologies, tools and channels, digital facilitates close and credible engagement to build an authentic and differentiated employer brand.
As with any branding exercise, digital employer branding starts with sound basics.
- The audience for the branding strategy
- The narrative, and the best way to express it
- Characters, touch-points and history milestones to personalise the narrative
The powerful digital advantage lies in the multitude of channels it provides for dissemination – and the tools for consistency of narration across all channels. For example, internal engagement apps can encourage people to read stories about their employers and share them on their personal networks. This gets employees involved in their company culture – and even become brand advocates.
Result? It enthuses employees, clients, suppliers and other partners to be part of the organisation story. It lends relatability to organisation leaders. Most importantly, an organisation’s products and services are inextricably linked to the powerful ‘whys’ of their vision.
It’s all about creating the right experience
Employer branding in the digital context is all about giving the power to the stakeholders to create personalised experiences. With employees, companies need to enthuse them to share their stories – this will inspire engagement, involvement, and advocacy.
Content in digital employer branding goes beyond the normal marketing narrative. It involves nuanced storytelling that is interactive. It aims to invite reactions and responses from all participants. It creates a community of voices that resonates with the organisation’s values and culture.
Social Media Management in the Digital Era
- Go beyond being just a job board.
- Understand how your competitors use LinkedIn to promote their brand
- Leverage the right content to engage targeted viewers
- Ensure critical members, including leaders, have updated their profiles to resonate with the organization brand and culture
- Keep company overview up to date with news, activities, awards and accolades
- Upload the right photos that show happy employees and inspiring activities
- Invite honest reviews of employee experience
- Use ‘Page Insights’ to better understand likes and views – and ‘Audience Insights’ tool for target audience demographics
- Integrate with ATS (applicant tracking system)
- Follow industry influencers and target audience members
- Track and analyze tweet performance
- Use branded hashtag to connect employees and promote company brand
- Transform Instagram account to a business profile
- Encourage use of branded hashtags
- Feed original photos and videos of daily organization life and company events
- Use social media management tools (such as Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Stories or Repost App) to re-share employee content
- Show icons in navigation menu linking site to active corporate social media accounts
- Align ‘About’ section to employer brand message
Equally important is creating the right digital platforms and feedback tools to encourage users to express their points of view. Stakeholders become confident of being heard, and feel that they are part of their organisation culture. With Cloud, mobile, social media and big data disrupting the digital workplace at a rapid pace, companies must digitally engage their people and customers with customised experiences. Near-field communications (NFC) technology, geo-tagging, personalised job apps, and interactive websites are digital tools that will achieve this goal.
Creating a compelling social media presence is a digital must – it is a powerful digital signature. As an interactive communication platform, social media facilitates authentic experiences, builds trust, amplifies reach and creates loyal relationships. When employees personally engage on media platforms on behalf of their employers, they enhance the brand’s credibility.
An employer brand communicates the heart and soul of an organisation – its culture, business vision and values. In today’s digital era, two aspects assume greater importance – the CEO embodiment and a close HR-Marketing partnership. Only then can it percolate to a brand-driven culture where employees become loyal evangelists.