You are on page 1of 6

The Next Generation in Employment Branding: Job Branding.

The Next Generation in Employment Branding: Job Branding With a tightened labor pool and growing sophistication in how organizations position themselves in the market, weve seen tremendous development and interest in employment brands. Many employers have committed to showcasing and marketing why their organizations are a great place to work. This past year, a number of articles have been published in regard to employment branding. The scope of these articles range from How to build an employment brand to Can employment brands actually be built or controlled? While opinions differ, it is obvious that employment branding is top of mind for many corporate leaders. According to Wikipedia, employment brand is defined as: An organization with a superior employer brand is one whose people brand matches their corporate brand. This means that the value proposition that the business articulates is reflected by the actions of all people, at all levels of the business, at all times. In its simplest form the process of employer branding requires a long term orientation to the management of people. While we can argue the merits of this definition, what is most compelling is the declaration that the value proposition of the business is reflected by the actions of all people at all levels. I think all of us would agree that if we could have everyone in our companies, at all levels doing this, wed gain tremendous competitive advantage in the marketplace. Job brands are the next step in making this a reality. What is a Job Brand and Why are They Important We define a job brand as the employment value at the job-specific level. A good job brand clearly articulates and demonstrates how a specific position fulfills on a companys brand promise to its customers and how a companys employment promise is delivered back to its employees for that particular position. A good job brand delivers a message to its audience communicating what is the job, what does it take to perform, how does it deliver on a companys brand promise, and what does it mean to the people doing the job. Job brands have the ability to: Increase candidate pipeline Differentiate your opportunity from the competition Attract new talent at the job level Increase performance through highly engaged employees Increase retention rates through better alignment with your culture Tell a compelling story that generates interest in your opportunity

2007

The Next Generation in Employment Branding: Job Branding.

Just like a good employment brand, a job brand is inspirational. It transcends the company mission in what American Psychologist Maslow defines as our need for self actualization. From a self-fulfillment standpoint most of us need something more than a job and a paycheck. A well defined and communicated job brand delivers to both our intellectual and emotional needs transcending the job itself into something that is inspirational yet attainable. Think of the buzz you had when you accepted a new position in an organization. Think about that position and how it opened up new avenues and possibilities - the excitement and what-if potential you could achieve. A good job brand captures that essence and conveys that story to its audience. A tremendous example of this is the United States Marines. A few years ago I had the honor of working with this organization in its interactive and web-based recruiting efforts. The Marines understand its audience, what it takes to be successful, the true essence of being a Marine, and how to authentically communicate it. The relationships they build through their employment and job branding are for a lifetime. Semper Fi isnt a tagline; its a way of life. There is no such thing as an ex-Marine. Go Beyond Job Descriptions Job branding inspires and engages candidates and the workforce. Much like employment branding that presents the most positive aspects of your company; job branding delivers highly targeted messages at the job-specific level. It communicates to a specific audience, with specific needs, and specific motivations. A message that resonates with your audience has a much better rate of success to be acted on. The on-demand digital age has brought many advances in our ability to communicate to specific target audiences. We all have come to expect a level of personalization and ignore broad marketing messages that do not speak directly to our needs and interests. Job brandings power to communicate to targeted audiences enables you to speak their language and modify your message appropriately; thus allowing you to communicate the job value proposition to a candidates specific needs and wants. Job descriptions are static and one-dimensional; your organization isnt. A job brand provides the framework to describe and educate candidates on the many facets of the opportunity including work environment, opportunity, culture, people, mission, and competencies needed to perform the job. By providing a holistic view of the job, candidates are able to make a decision whether they are a good match or fit for the opportunity. Enabling candidates to self-assess whether they are a good fit reduces candidate dropout rates and increases their interest in your opportunity. Conversely, some candidates who wouldnt think about applying previously may now apply based on a better understanding of the opportunity and how it meets their interest, skills, and competencies.

2007

The Next Generation in Employment Branding: Job Branding.

Job Branding is the Starting Point for Quality of Candidate The outcome of identifying and promoting employment and job brands can easily increase your candidate pipeline. While the metric of more candidates may seem appealing, its the quality of candidate that measures your recruiting success in the long run. Our job branding exercises start with competencies for the position. What does it take to do the job, how does it tie back to performance, and how does it deliver on the organizations promise to its customers. By attracting the right candidates with the right competencies upfront, we eliminate unfit candidates. We also use the competency itself to attract those people who not only share those competencies but regard them as inherently important to their success and fulfillment within an organization. Job Branding is Authentic Since the corporate scandals of the early 2000s, the marketplace has taken great strides to demonstrate transparency to shareholders and stakeholders. Many companies and marketers are seeing the value of this openness and authenticity. As more and more CEOs and employees blog and post communications over the Internet on their latest triumphs, issues, and challenges, a new generation of worker expects to have a direct and open relationship with an organization. Companies like Microsoft, with their Channel 9 website, and Ford Motor Companys Bold Moves are all part of an open and direct dialogue with the public warts and all. This level of engagement will continue to grow and expand. To develop an authentic job brand, it starts at the grass roots level so that those actively doing the job participate in job brand definition, development, and most importantly the external communication of the job. By utilizing authentic job branding, we establish the bridge between job candidate needs and interest, with factual, honest, and compelling dialogue from the organization. The outcome is a better connection between candidate and employer which leads to a better engaged employee post-hire. Communicate Your Job in New Ways From online video streaming, interactive messaging, and online networking, our ability to share and communicate continues to expand at a staggering pace. Social network communities such as LinkedIn and Spoke are only a couple of examples of business community networking. A whole new generation is brought up with active content through sites such as MySpace and YouTube. Even the most traditional news outlets are using interactive video and online blogging to communicate with their audiences. Job brands and their creative output are prime opportunities to leverage these tools in communicating job opportunities. While online job boards have been around for years, they are just starting to utilize some of the more advanced interactive tools available. An increasing number of organizations are using job branding videos to communicate to their audiences. In a matter of minutes, job brand videos can easily communicate the employment value proposition at the job level to candidates.

2007

The Next Generation in Employment Branding: Job Branding.

Day-in-the-life videos provide realistic job previews that eliminate the gap between what youre saying in a job description to what a candidate thinks the job entails. This power to communicate not only provides a realistic view of the job, but also enables you to tell your story in a compelling way, differentiating you from your competitors. Why rely on text and static visuals when video can easily convey much more. Job Brands Drive Quality into Your Talent Management Efforts One of the easiest ways to lose a good candidate is by sending a mixed message. A job brand enables you to clarify and document the messaging and articulation of a job opportunity. Applying the message across your recruiting channels ensures consistency and compliance. Your initial touch point with a candidate through hiring and retention efforts should all coincide with your job brand definition. The job brand also bridges the gap that exists between HR, recruiters, management, and employees. In developing job brands we found that having all stakeholders at the table allows us to clearly identify the job brand enabling a strategic approach to talent management and acquisition. It strengthens and aligns the efforts of all business stakeholders and easily eliminates misunderstandings of what is required for the job. HR and recruiting appreciate the refined target and message to make their activities more effective. Hiring managers have a better understanding of what employees need for success on the job, and candidates gain a better match between expectations and reality. Alignment of all stakeholders on a companys business value is a tremendous competitive advantage for your organization. Job branding provides both strategic and tactical avenues to attract, retain, and develop new and existing talent. While employment branding provides a value proposition at the enterprise level, the inherent detail of a job brand not only complements your employment branding efforts, it provides insight into many critical pieces of the talent management puzzle. This detail can be applied throughout the employment lifecycle to strengthen and refine talent management systems and processes. Before your next recruiting effort, look at the positions job brand, define it, and incorporate it into the candidate lifecycle. Youll not only see the gains of a better aligned strategic approach to finding the right candidates, youll also open up new avenues to connect with your current and potential employees. And thats a win for everyone.

2007

The Next Generation in Employment Branding: Job Branding.

About the Author John Doyle is VP of Marketing and Product Development at eContinuum. John has spent a majority of his career collaborating with right and left-brained thinkers to deliver highly creative, functional solutions that propel client and customer relationships. John has a strong background in marketing, product development, talent management, and professional services. His previous positions include Managing Director/Minneapolis and VP Operations/ North America for JWT/RMG Connect, and a variety of key management positions at Carlson Marketing Group. He has led successful campaigns for such clients as Cargill, 3M, Best Buy, Life Time Fitness, Toyota, Ford, Saturn, U.S. Marines, and United Health Group. At eContinuum, John leads the Job Branding practice to help companies gain a competitive advantage in their recruitment and talent management efforts. About eContinuum A pioneer in helping companies attract and select better sales performers, eContinuum (employeecontinuum.com) offers interactive solutions that help companies predict the performance of sales candidates before they are hired. The Companys lead product, Overture, delivers interactive job branding and job simulations providing a one-two punch for recruiters and hiring managers to assist in finding the right salespeople. eContinuum goes beyond traditional selection tools and methods by supporting optimal hiring decisions for better performance over the entire employee continuum.

2007