How can employer branding talk to both the candidate and the consumer?

The all-encompassing nature of employer branding strategy is what makes it unique as well as interesting about an organization. It is often falsely believed that HR owns the employer branding in a company when in reality it is held together by all stakeholders, from its employees to its customers. You ask how? We’ll tell you how! 

It is not just employees that define a company, it is also its vendors, prospects, and clients, who own the brand. Therefore, it is important for the employer brand to be treated as a multi-dimensional functionality that needs to spread beyond its single role. 

In this article, we will talk about the cross-functional nature of employer branding and how companies have used it to build a powerful image among all its stakeholders. 

Cross-functional collaboration is at the heart of employer branding strategy

The influence of employer brand cannot be overlooked when it comes to its multi-dimensional impact on all the aspects of an organization. Cross-functional collaboration happens when different teams across an organization come together to contribute towards a common goal. If their skills are relevant and utilized in the right manner, it can help a company achieve new levels of innovation, creativity, and success. 

An all-star team made up of marketing, legal, HR, product, sales, and agency can handle the marketing efforts effectively  across all channels and execute your strategies to reach out to the right target audience. 

For example, when General Electrics (GE) released a video in 2017, aired during Oscars, the company’s message was loud and clear – they want to hire 20,000 women in technical roles by 2020. The right timing, right message, and right strategy made GE’s video an internet sensation that garnered 1 million views and louder applause. This is just a good example of a company whose marketing team works closely with the branding team to bring content that changes not only employer perception but of the brand altogether. The movie-style video that showcased a world where women scientists were treated as stars really pulls at the heart strings and makes you believe in the brand for its values. 

Cross-functional employer brand advocacy reign supreme

If cross-functional collaboration is the key to brand management, then the role of employer brand advocates is even greater. With their diverse knowledge and skillsets, these employer brand advocates are out there to advance all aspects of an organization. They are not only responsible for acquiring and retaining the top talent, but also use their strategic excellence to deliver products and services in such a way that the customers feel engaged and wowed. These brand advocates or employer brand champions bring the best of both worlds – marketing and recruitment. 

Booking.com started a One Mission Project that encouraged its thousands of employees to document their travels in a company-provided GoPro. This two-pronged strategy allowed Booking.com to create tons of free inspiring travel videos that they shared across their social media channels as a cost-effective marketing effort. At the same time, it strengthened the company’s brand image as an employer that cares and empowers its employees to experience the world. 

Building credible viral stories via employer brand champions

If you want to create a ‘credible employer’ narrative, then you need to create viral content that resonates not just within the organization but outside of it. Cross-functional employer brand teams must work together to tell a story about company’s values and vision in a powerful manner. Lending human voice and sharing real life stories across the organizational hierarchy and demographic levels can help create an authentic employer brand image that will be relatable for all the stakeholders. 

In a unique employer branding campaign, Accenture encouraged its employees to share a video regarding diversity-related struggles at workplace. This highly shareable video not only spread around the organization like wildfire but outside of it too. As a result, Diversity Inc. and Fortune covered this campaign extensively that reinforced the brand image as a great employer as well as an organization of inclusivity. 

Employer branding now far transcends just the hiring and talent acquisition benefits. It has come a long way from being a one-dimensional approach to reach a point where its doctrines are being to develop an all-inclusive strategy that not only attracts top talent from the market but also reliable vendors and loyal customers. 

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