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7 Habits of a Highly Effective Employer Brand Manager

2 min read.



Employer Branding, Talent Attraction

The ability to prove the efficacy of your strategy is vital to get the budget and advocacy of your leaders. How do you measure up against this New York Times best-selling author’s habits for success?... 

First published in 1989, Stephen R. Covey’s ‘7 Habits for Highly Effective People’ has sold over 40 million copies to date – so he’s probably on to something. 

Here at Ph., we love a personal development book as much as the next happiness-defending agency. So, these are Covey’s golden rules, remastered and translated for the aspiring employer brand mastermind. Do you tick all the boxes? 

Habit 1: Be Proactive 

An element of ‘go-getting’ is endemic to the employer branding process. The best brand managers don’t just expect incredible employee stories, (you know, the poignant kind that give you goosebumps,) to drop into their laps. They ‘mine’ until they find them. They don’t wait around for employee advocacy magic; they actively encourage it.   

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind  

According to insight from our clients and close network, if you plan to take 12 months or longer to build an EVP, it could be up to five times harder to get a budget signed off internally. An effective manager knows that time is the enemy of engagement. They map out exactly how long it will take to build their strategy and keep up the tempo from there.  

Habit 3: Put First Things First  

It’s impossible to have a world-class employee experience across the board, so prioritising aspects that align most with brand values and messaging is vital. Whether an organisation wants to highlight their culture, citizenship or position as a career catalyst, the highly effective EB manager is one that can separate the metrics that truly matter, from those that don’t. They take time to distinguish the specific areas of employee experience to pour the most effort and budget into, that will yield the greatest results.   

Habit 4: Think ‘win-win’  

When done properly, a win for your employer brand is a win for your leaders. The most effective EB managers always look to align their goals with existing business priorities. They know that if their strategy targets metrics that their leaders already care about, it makes a compelling case, making it infinitely easier to get the interest and advocacy they need to get their strategy off the ground.  

Habit 5: Seek first to understand, then to be understood 

In other words...

‘Never miss a good chance to shut up.’ – Will Rogers 

Research is the most integral aspect of any employer brand strategy. Before you can begin telling the truthful story of your brand to the world, you must first capture it. An effective EB manager is discerning in their listening. They know it’s their job to validate the information coming in, to understand whether it’s a true representation of the company, or an anomaly.  

Habit 6: Synergize  

Teamwork is vital in all aspects of business; employer branding is no exception. A skilful EB leader understands that the best results come from a variety of viewpoints and expertise. They establish a committee early on to represent different service areas of the business. 

Covey writes: ‘To try to achieve maximum effectiveness through independence is like trying to play tennis with a golf club – the tool is not suited to the reality.’ 

Trying to go it alone with Employer Brand strategy is not just lonely, it’s inefficient. At best, it’s a swing and a miss. At worst, you bend your golf club.  

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw  

‘Give me six hours to cut down a tree and I’ll spend the first four sharpening the axe.’ – Abraham Lincoln 

Things change. Organisations’ priorities shift. A highly effective EB manager is not afraid to review, refine and reorient their strategy as they go along.  They continually look for opportunities to step back, adapt, dig a little deeper. And they scope out review sites like Glassdoor to check that the brand messaging is still as authentic, efficient and sharp as it could be. 



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