Keep Your EB on Target When priorities shift3 min read.
As organisations expand and develop, what was once the most important aspect of your employer brand may change. So, how do you ensure your carefully curated strategy stays on course?..
What impact of your employer brand will be most valued by your company?
If you want your employer brand to stay relevant, start with that but don’t be afraid to change what you measure as your organisation’s priorities shift. That’s how to stay relevant and showcase the true value of employer branding.
What is most valued by a company can and should shift over time. The key is staying attuned to your organisation's evolving priorities and showcasing how employer branding can continue providing value.
When first establishing an employer brand, the initial focus is often on recruitment. A strong employer brand makes your company stand out in a competitive hiring market and attracts top talent. Metrics such as cost-per-hire, time-to-fill open positions, and offer acceptance rates take priority. Demonstrating how your employer branding strategy leads to more aligned applicants at a lower acquisition cost is crucial for gaining buy-in.
But the value of employer branding goes far beyond recruitment. As an organisation matures, retention may become a bigger priority than acquisition. Take a look at our employer brand maturity curve and figure out where your organisation is on it.
Your employer brand can play a pivotal role in keeping employees engaged and committed for the long-term. Track metrics like turnover rate, internal fill rate, and employee net promoter score to showcase the link between your branding efforts and talent retention.
Employer brand messaging
Beyond recruitment and retention, employer branding also impacts other areas like productivity, company culture, and external reputation. As new challenges arise, be ready to shift the spotlight on how branding addresses emerging needs. For example, if leadership wants to improve cross-departmental collaboration, show how your employer brand messaging emphasises teamwork and solidarity. If the company is pursuing a new market, highlight branding that speaks to customers in that demographic.
The point is, don’t get stuck promoting the same employer brand benefits regardless of their relevance. Staying relevant means being flexible and keeping a pulse check on what really matters to your business at any given time. That can change too, of course.
Regularly monitor your company's goals and pain points. Check in on leaders and employees about what would make the biggest difference in their day-to-day experience. Then tailor your approach to focus on those areas where branding can drive real results.
You may find that what resonates most with your C-suite executives is different from what employees or candidates care about most. Nothing wrong with that. Showcase branding insights and impact across multiple stakeholder groups. Just be ready to shift gears and tell the story that matters most according to your company's changing priorities.
Maybe your organisation is laser-focused on driving innovation. Shift employer brand messaging to highlight cutting-edge projects or research that employees get to work on. Our work with US veterinary group VCA for instance, had a tagline that said "The future of veterinary medicine is in your hands"
Showcase branding at industry conferences that makes your company synonymous with innovation among customers and competitors. Or perhaps there’s an urgent need to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion. Align your employer brand with those values in a way that resonates authentically, back it up with real culture change (no point otherwise) and track progress toward DEI goals.
Shifts in company structure
When companies undergo major changes like a merger, acquisition, or leadership transition, maintaining a strong and coherent employer brand is more crucial, but can also prove challenging but not impossible.
Dramatic shifts in a company's structure, values or mission put its existing employer brand at risk of becoming misaligned. With care and intention, however, brands can successfully navigate such changes.
The key is balancing continuity with change, and balancing employer and employee needs. After an acquisition, the new owner must decide which aspects of the existing brand to preserve, and which to evolve. Elements like the mission and values may stay constant, providing some stability amidst the change. Outward-facing touchpoints like recruitment messaging, however, may need refreshing to reflect the expanded scope and scale of the new organisation.
Throughout any transition, transparency and two-way communication are critical. Leaders should proactively explain the reasons for any change, address employees' concerns, and solicit their input on brand evolution.
Doing so fosters trust and a sense of shared ownership. Consistent listening through surveys and focus groups prevents brands from becoming disconnected from employee sentiment.
Most importantly, brands must continue putting employee experience first. Leaders should avoid getting so focused on external branding that they neglect internal culture and engagement.
Employees are a company's best brand ambassadors, but only if they feel genuinely valued, included, and aligned with the brand promise. By doubling down on professional development, recognition, work-life balance and other retention drivers during turbulent times, companies can reinforce their employer value proposition from the inside out.
Whatever the situation the key is maintaining a multifaceted view of your employer brand’s impact and being constantly adaptable. Don’t corner yourself into promoting a static, one-dimensional employer brand or its impact will lessen over time.
Keep exploring new ways your employer brand can provide value and be ready to shift focus toward whichever areas your company’s leaders prioritise today, tomorrow, and beyond.