How does Delivery on Promise lead to powerful Employer Branding?

Rolls Royce may no longer be manufacturing the cars that made the company a well-known name, today it says ‘We create power’ as the group continues to be one of the world’s leading power system companies providing power for aircraft, ships and land applications. It employees nearly 54,000 people worldwide and is committed to nurturing talent. This commitment is reflected in the fact that today about 30 per cent of the company’s senior management once started out as apprentices (WOW!!!). The company felt that though they always had an employer brand yet needed an active employer brand strategy to convey who they were and what they offered in the most effective way.

After conducting interviews with employees to find out whether their experience lived up to the promise made by the marketing team, an ambitious branding strategy and multi-channel communications campaign to reach out to prospective and current candidates was designed. Rolls-Royce very often makes it to the list of awards as a preferred place to work, especially for people in the age group of 18-29 years, who are more interested in career opportunities and working for a global leader and less bothered with pay and job security.

The Rolls-Royce example suggests that in these times of war of talent, even though a company may be sitting on a huge and famous brand name to propel it in the minds of candidates, it still needs to innovate and implementation strategies through active management of its employee value proposition (EVP) to be able to make its mark today.

If you want employees to be active advocates of your organisation and ensure that they deliver what you promise to the customer, then as an organisation you first need to bridge the gap between promising and delivering what your EVP offers them at the onset.

It is important to keep into account who makes up your work force and what do they want. Such important insights will help you innovate and plan as well as implement strategies for easy brand recall. Millennials who are gradually taking over as more than 60 per cent of world’s working population are extremely focussed on learning and development. 

Singapore Airlines is a prime example to consider if you want to look at an organisation that believes and puts its own people first. Singapore Airlines demands exacting standards from its employees but also invests in helping the employees meet them. This help and investment is not only limited to their selection and training the staff but also in helping them run their lives smoothly so that they can focus unhindered on work. It must be this deliverance of the promised goods that makes roughly 18,000 people apply for the 600-900 cabin crew slots that open up annually within the company.

Brand loyalty, commitment and recognition- all kind of brand attitudes result from when the promises made to the employees are delivered with minimum fuss. Ultimately these promises influence the manner in which they deliver their services to the brand’s customers.

Image: https://www.rmagency.com/living-brand-promise/

5 ways to Differentiate your brand in the world of cut- throat competition

If you are a business owner then it is quite possible that you might know the following statistic very well. Only half the businesses make it past first five years and only one-third make it past the 10-year mark. Now there can be many reasons behind why a certain business fails but many a times lack of a differentiator-something that sets it apart from its competitors- is hovering somewhere at the top among the reasons of failure.

While there are no sure shot ways to know what might work and what might not, there are some simple practices that can be used effectively to ensure that your brand comes to be known as different from its competitors.

  1. Excellent service: Customer is king is not an adage that is restricted to the advertising world. Providing excellent service and customer support makes people want to come back to you again and again. A shoe company called Fleet Feet, fits its customers for running shoes. They watch you run and walk and then suggest a shoe. They let you run in the parking lot to know how the shoes feel and even after you have purchased their product, they let you return it after weeks and months if unsatisfied. If as a customer you get this kind of extraordinary service, would you want to go somewhere else at all for your shoes?
  2. Own up when you make a mistake: Nobody likes to be made a fool of. Customers equate the brand with their own experience and one bad experience is all they need to write you off. So, when you bungle up somewhere, own it up. In July 2011 Netflix angered consumers when it announced plans to hike up subscription rates by 60 per cent in an attempt to boost revenues and splitting the business into two. Seeing the reaction from the public, CEO Reed Hastings, sent out mass emails apologising to users explaining how he had ‘messed up’ and ‘owed everyone an explanation’ when the Qwikster plan had to be scrapped within a month of its launch. 
  3. Be the expert: Domino’s Pizza has set itself as a household name in pizza delivery thanks to its expert home delivery and 30-minute guarantee. Using what you are best at as a differentiator is a smart move because like Dr Seuss said that ‘no one is youer than you’ and that’s what will make you unbeatable and unparalleled.
  4. Get yourself a mascot: A talking lizard that has nothing to do with insurance, helps millions of Americans believe that there is something different about the insurance company GEICO with a touch of humor.  
  5. Create a powerful offer: Every day the online selling space sees the arrival of yet another e-commerce website. Zappos gives its customers a year to decide if they would like to return a pair of shoes brought from their online store. And no one probably in the whole e-commerce business can or does offer this kind of offer eliminating any hesitation in making a purchase thus leading to high sales as Zappos.

Differentiation is a strategy that you have to have in a place to make sure that no one can take your place.

How can an Employer Brand influence new hire staying power? 

High attrition rate is causing companies heart ache everywhere. The costs of hiring a new employee are going above $4000 and so no wonder a recent study reveals that 87 per cent employers state that improving employee retention rates is one of their top priorities. 

Employer Branding is becoming central to Human Resources in this respect. Look at Starbucks, a company which does an excellent job of building its brand via its employees. The employees are referred to as partners and with that title it instigates a sense of pride and bonding amongst its workers old and new. Further, the Instagram and Twitter accounts of the company are used specifically to interact with potential employees and promote the employer brand.

Each year the Randstand award is presented to the most attractive employers in different categories. Every year the usual suspects- Microsoft, Amazon, Hindustan Unilever and the likes make the beeline. This begs your immediate attention because these awards are based on the outcome of world’s largest public opinion survey in employer branding, bringing home the point that employer brand can help you attract and retain talent. 

Likewise, LinkedIn publishes its list of best employers and it is also reflective of the fact that companies investing time, money and effort in building and communicating their employer brand are some of the places with lowest attrition rates.

Understanding your employees well, is probably the first step that you need to take to make employer branding strategies which help you retain the new hires. The Timberland Company- known for making and selling boots- is known for high levels of employee engagements and profits it makes. A ‘purpose’ company, it focuses on sustainability and supporting volunteer effort. Because the company knows itself so well, and completely believes in the higher purpose than making money, it knows the kind of people that it wants associated with itself. What we can deduce from this example is that the most engaged employees are the employees who mirror the values and traits of the company. The engaged employee is a happy and satisfied employee who isn’t looking for another job anytime soon.

According to LinkedIn’s Employer Branding Playbook, more than 80 per cent leaders feel that having a strong employer branding strategy is the need of the hour in these competitive times. Studies also point that a strong employer brand in recruitment not only means 28 per cent reduction in organisation’s turnover but also mean 50 per cent reduction in cost-per hire. 

Investing and curating the right message that showcases the company’s true character and is consistent across the board are essential to convey your employer brand. Google, though known for its perks and benefits as an employer felt that the core message of innovation was missing from its brand’s theme. This led to the introduction of the Google 20 per cent time policy, under which employees were encouraged to devote the 20 percent of their time to creative and innovative pursuits. This gave such a boost to the employment satisfaction and performance index, that Google features invariably in every list of preferred employers world over.

In 2018, the number 1 reason due to which people (read millennials and Gen Z) quit job was because they were bored. By allowing your employees to continue learning and offering them opportunities for growth beyond their current job, you showcase the company’s commitment to continuous learning and improving. This will also make sure that the employees never feel bored and thus improve retention. Take a cue from HubSpot. It helps its employees see ahead and beyond their current roles very clearly via ‘Here’s How We Can Help You Grow’ on their career page, showcasing the company’s  commitment to its employees growth.

For companies struggling to hire and retain, it is high time to calibrate their employer brand.

Image: https://resources.workable.com/new-hire-first-day-checklist

How can you improve your candidate’s job application experience and why should you do it?

When in the year 2011 Airbnb grew from 50 employees to 500, the hyper growth began to take its toll. The company knew that something had to be done immediately about their hiring experience which they felt was suffering the most. They invested in mapping out the ideal candidate from finish to start and then took various other steps to train hiring teams, fostering a candidate-centric culture and invest in recruiter communication. And look where that has got them- consistently among one of the most sought after places to work at!

Candidate experience has become important more than ever today. This buzz word of the Human Resource department is no longer just limited to the recruitment process. It has become closely linked to Employer Branding. Employees, both current and prospective, have become well informed and better connected, making companies pay great deal of attention to a candidate’s job application experience.

Why does this deserve your attention?

Studies show us that 70 per cent of the graduates are put off by someone else’s bad experience with an organisation. In these times of social media where the bad word travels faster than light, it comes as no surprise that 59 per cent of candidates with negative experience intend to share the news publicly via social media whereas 42 per cent of the candidates who have had a negative experience intend to shift their loyalties and stop buying from the company.

On the flip side, a good candidate experience not only yields happy applicants but almost all applicants with a positive experience when interviewed for a survey said, were likely to accept the job offer. Better still, 81 per cent of them intended to take to the internet to tell their friends, acquaintances and family members about their experience and 71 per cent were likely to buy products and services from the company in question.

How can you improve candidate experience?

  1. Convey your employer brand: Your employees are your greatest advocates. Start conveying your employer brand via video testimonials, employee reviews right on the career page or website. Zappos puts sliders with information on team members on its website. This helps candidates to build a rapport with the interviewer and learn about the company culture. Netflix has a podcast on its website that tells people everything about work and life there. They are looking for people who will challenge their assumptions and push them out of their comfort zone.
  2. Put your process everywhere: A candidate will like to know the full process from start to the end and what they can expect at different stages. Make sure this information is available to them in form of tutorials and videos or infographics or even flowcharts. The transparency and ease of doing this will never go unnoticed. Take a look at what PwC does for their Middle East job postings- https://www.pwc.com/m1/en/careers/student-application-process.html
  3. Put some thought in the communication: Online interaction can sometimes sound severe and often lack human touch. Only 14 per cent job seeking candidates in a survey conducted by Career Builder consider employers responsive. However, software makes this easier to tackle- keeping the qualified ones in the loop and informing others to move on.

Image: https://www.recruiting.com/blog/the-case-for-providing-a-positive-candidate-experience/

How can your Career Page convince a Candidate that you are the BEST Employer ever?

Netflix, the American entertainment company that specialises in providing streaming services as well as fantastic movies and original Netflix series has some fantastic videos on its “Jobs” page (https://jobs.netflix.com/). But no biggies from Hollywood feature in them instead you can meet the real heroes and heroines behind team Netflix there. Besides the videos there is a section about company culture and the company’s take on the future of internet entertainment. 

The business world at the moment is galore with wonderful examples of companies working hard to woo talent. There might be many platforms from where the recruiters are sourcing candidates, but all the candidates sooner or later do end up at the company’s career/ jobs page. 

LinkedIn’s research shows that people do not apply for a job soon after hearing about the job opportunity. It says that instead first, 59 per cent will look up the company’s website, 66 per cent would want to know about the company’s culture and values, 54 per cent about perks and benefits and 50 per cent about its mission and vision.

In the light of these facts you can see that a company’s career page is more than just a place to advertise job openings. It is an opportunity to display the employer brand in which 75 per cent of your prospective employees would be interested.

Here is what you can do to assure a candidate who visits your company’s career page that you are the right choice.

Let’s start with taking a cue from Netflix itself. Give your career page a personal feel by sharing the videos and testimonials from your current and past employees. Don’t use stock photos and videos, personalise it.This is a good opportunity to give prospective candidates a sneak peek into what a day at work in your company looks like, subtly introducing them to your employer brand and to the benefits of working with you. The career page of Tinder is simple yet effective. There’s a video in which employees tell you about the company, what it is about and how they experience life at Tinder. 

Another factor that almost all of the candidates will appreciate and find impressive on your career page is a sense of clarity. Make sure that you display jobs and job filters in a hassle-free way on the page. Aim at helping candidates discover those with the minimum number of clicks. Anybody who is applying or looking to apply for a job with your company would like to know what is the recruitment process there. Hotjar’s career page acquaints job seekers with its recruitment process through a 5-step timeline, showing candidates exactly what they have to do in every phase (https://careers.hotjar.com/). 

Zappos the online shoes and clothing retail company based in Las Vegas does something so innovative yet simple that we are just floored. Zappos realises that not everyone will want or find an opportunity immediately. Zappos Insider gives them an option of staying in touch with the company thus building a talent pool from where they can recruit the future team (https://jobs.jobvite.com/zappos).

Besides taking these measures you can make sure that the career page can be optimised for mobile phone screen. Respond timely to queries on processes, acknowledge both good and bad reviews and systematically step up your content to keep the page looking fresh, updated and interesting.

Featured Image: https://jobs.netflix.com/

How to drive traffic to your job postings and get your hands on the best talent out there?

Computer giant IBM was in an unenviable situation till a few years ago. They were spending too much time in sifting through applications from candidates responding to its job postings. In 2016, IBM’s TAO Digital Recruitment Team began to use Visme, a data presentation and visualisation tool, to transform their job postings into online infographics that would engage and inform their target audience in as little as a single glance. A far greater benefit was that it allowed candidates to analyse for themselves very quickly whether or not they were the right fit for the job posted.

Social media is increasingly playing an active role in recruitment in this digital age. According to a survey conducted by SRHM, around 84% organisations are using it to find high quality talent via their job postings.

Let’s find out some more ways through which you can attract high-quality talent to your job postings.

  1. Update your social profiles: Social recruiting via LinkedIn or Facebook, or through the company’s website itself has become popular. Organisations can also create their own Facebook page and post ads to it. Bake’n Babes, established in 2013, specialised in making desserts made with preservative free and locally sourced ingredients. Just after 4 years of its conception it moved into retail and now the owner Julie Curry needed a way to find the right kind of candidates who enjoyed baking and were willing to learn. Preferring candidates who felt passionate and connected to baking, she chose to source candidates through Facebook. She was able to find job candidates within 7 days of posting a position and today 8 members out of the 9 member team on a payroll have been hired through Facebook. Sharing a job posting on the company’s social stream will help drive traffic directly to your job postings. You should also encourage your employees and followers to share your jobs with people who think would be great fit.
  2. Capitalize on free traffic with SEO: Make sure your job posting is optimised for search engines. Work on the title, description and META tags to ensure that they target the keywords and rank them higher. Don’t be gimmicky- saying that you are looking for a rockstar, Jedi or ninja, wont really get you anywhere. Try to always always always include the job title and the location. 
  3. Tweet it: You must be wondering why Twitter gets a special mention here when we have spoken about social media already. Tweeting your job posting with #jobs gets most searched for on Twitter by job seekers, especially the millennials. Not just that it also gets indexed by search engines especially for jobs posted on Twitter. In fact do #jobs on LinkedIn too and see organic impressions go up. 
  4. Provide a link anywhere and everywhere you can: Update all your company’s marketing and advertising material and see it do wonders for you. If you place your job postings at a specific job board or on your company’s website then mentioning a link to it on fliers, business cards that your employees carry around or even company brochures and leaflets can get you response from people who are interested in your business. 

Career sites and job boards are two fantastic places to post your job ads at. Did you know that 60 per cent job seekers start their search at a career site? And even if they were to get to know about a vacancy from somewhere else, chances are that 59 per cent will first look up your company’s website. Traffic to your job postings also can be increased via a well-thought out employee referral program.

Traditionally job ads have been posted in newspapers and other print media. Today the online world offers multitude opportunities for a job ad to be posted and seen by millions of people. Don’t forget that you can use your job postings to do more than just announce a vacancy- attract right candidates to apply, position your company as a great place to work and recruit talent efficiently.

Image: https://innovergent.com/2016/07/27/implementation-consultant-job-postings/

Purpose not Profit- A powerful Intrinsic Motivator

Since 1954, General Electrics has been known as one of the top companies that donates to non-profits. Under Google’s matching gift program, Google matches $50 to $12000 in donations per employee each year. Disney VoluntEARS encourages employees to volunteer in their communities and rewards these efforts with grants to the eligible non-profit of their choice.

There are many companies such as Coca Cola, Macy’s, Whole Foods, GAP, Walmart, Amazon, Universal and Hilton Worldwide- which year after year are among the preferred places to work at. The common thread running through these names and many like them is that these companies recognise the fact that a motivated employee with a sense of purpose is an engaged employee who performs better, is satisfied with his/ her job and isn’t looking to jump ship anytime soon. 

Today’s business leaders understand that bringing in a sense of purpose can transform your organisation. They not only encourage their team members to wear their heart on the sleeve but set worthy example.

Motivation itself as a subject has been studied for over a century by psychologists, sociologists, economists and organisational development experts. These experts tell us that motivation can either be intrinsic or extrinsic. Extrinsic motivation as the name implies originates outside the individual and is driven greatly by rewards (think bonus, pay raise and other perks). Intrinsic motivation though arises from inside the individual and results from the prospect of an emotional response such as enjoyment or personal fulfilment. The examples that we spoke of at the beginning show us the wonders of intrinsic motivation. But more on that later.

Intrinsic motivation is hard to influence from the outside yet not unachievable. The value that intrinsically motivated employees bring to an organisation has been subject to studies over and over again, consistently showing wonderful results. McKinsey data shows that intrinsically motivated employees are 32 per cent more committed, have 46 per cent more job satisfaction and perform 16 per cent better than others. Add to this the fact that there are more and more millennials joining the workforce every year. About 84 per cent of them say that making a difference is more important to them than professional recognition. Ninety-two per cent believe that business should be measured by more than the profits that it makes. Performance n Purpose Consulting (https://pnpconsulting.org/) can be an invaluable partner when bringing this kind of insights into practice. With its frameworks, methodologies, processes, tools and courses PnP can help build upon your employer brand and help your organisation define its purpose better.

It can help you meet your targets by deciphering and helping your people to see the proverbial bigger picture. In return you will have an engaged and motivated workforce rallying behind you. When employees know why they are doing what they do, chances are that they dedicate themselves to the cause with greater zeal and gusto.  Giving your team a cause to believe in, which is bigger than just the pay cheque, can be a huge differentiator as well. Encouraging them to work for their community or be responsible for bringing in the wave of change can help them to add meaning to their lives. The joy they will get out of attaining this sense of purpose will translate into dedication and satisfaction at the work place.

Image: https://www.litmusbranding.com/blog/purpose-not-profit-drives-company/amp/