Employer Branding: an insight among best Employers’ strategies and an epic fail, to better understand the importance of this concept.
In an increasingly dynamic, volatile and fragmented labour market, companies that are interested into find the best talents have to implement effective Employer Branding strategies.In a more and more dynamic, volatile and fragmented labour market, companies that are willing to find the best talents have to implement effective Employer Branding strategies, aligned with the values and company organization and which define the company itself as the ideal, motivating, interesting and comfortable workplace for its employees.
Employer Branding: do we know enough about it?
EmployerBrandingis a set of tangible and intangible factors and qualities owned by a company and that make it unique and attractive: it is the result of a strategy that combines marketing with the moral principles that characterize the company from top leaders down to the whole organization.
The concept of EmployerValueProposition is also to be considered: it is necessary that the company undertakes to develop a valuable working proposal, as a set of several factors such as remuneration and recognition aspects, working environment, workload balance, fair career opportunities and a true sense of belonging. This set of elements, if strategically managed, guarantees the company higher probability of retention of its employees and the acquisition of new talents from the market.
5 examples of successful Employer Branding
Among the companies that implemented best Employer Branding strategies there is Patagonia: the brand is characterized by a strong identity focused on environmental sustainability, a commitment that has grown since the 1980s and which makes the Employer Brand Proposition of this company even more credible.
Every year 1% of corporate profits are donated to environmental organizations: Patagonia's strategy reaches up to the supply chain, choosing its suppliers among those who share the same logic of sustainable development and the same values of integrity, which make the brand recognizable and authentic in the eyes of the outside world.
In Italy, Ferrero is certainly one of the most virtuous companies: the famous confectionery industry brand is considered the best employer in our Country and won the challenge in terms of Employer Branding. Its strategy? On top of the list of Employer Value Proposition factors there are worklife balance and a comfortable working environment, in addition to the extreme attention paid by the company to workplace safety issues. The story of the employee who passed away due to cancer, leaving two young boys orphans made headlines: Ferrero's policy is to guarantee all the orphaned children of their employees 3 years' wages, in addition to the guarantee of economic security up to 26 for young people who will continue their studies.
Another Italian reality that excels in terms of employee enhancement and attention to wellbeing is the case of Brunello Cucinelli: the Umbrian entrepreneur in the textile sector places ethics and the dignity of work at the centre of his corporate mission. His strategy is implemented with direct and authentic communication, supported by concrete actions worthy of note: one of his strongest and most pioneering decisions, back in 2012, was to share a part of company profits with all his employees, from all organizational levels.
Remaining in Italy, Esselunga demonstrated an effective strategy especially in the HR brand field: the technological innovation implemented in recent years in HR processes with the digitization of the CV screening phase earned an award from the HR Innovation Practice Observatory of the School of Management of the Milan Polytechnic. The project has led to increase the efficiency of the recruiting process, promoting enhancement of resources and improving candidate experience: an Employer Branding strategy that contributes to sustainability by eliminating unnecessary travels.
Looking again at the international market, one of the companies that stand out in Employer Branding is Starbucks, with a sustainability-oriented strategy, almost entirely managed through social media, made up of effective interactions and communication campaigns, especially for younger generations such as Millennials and GenZ, that are born together with social networks. Starbucks used to share its employees’ success stories: a technique that fosters a sense of belonging and loyalty to the company, making people feel appreciated and enhancing their value.Reading these lines, you might think that a winning strategy is not very complex to be created: it is maybe time to consider even a case of failure, to better understand the risks of a poorly conceived strategy.
Everyone remembers Carpisa's epic fail, which a few years ago launched a campaign proposing a 1-month internship in exchange of purchasing a bag and preparing a communication plan: a good intention transformed into a failure that went viral, as the result was to convey the message that “work is something that can be bought”, as well as the fact that a fresh graduate cannot already have enough skills and experience to properly draw up a communication plan.
What kind of Employer Value Proposition can be conveyed to a potential candidate from such an announcement?
The misalignment between intentions, values and objectives made this campaign a practical example of how “not” to do Employer Branding.It is therefore evident that an effective Employer Branding strategy has to be based on the alignment between corporate values and principles that guide leadership, in addition to the logic of operations and the enhancement of people, up to concrete commitment in CSR initiatives and actions: this is the only possible way to be among the best employers desired by the talents on the market.
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