Antony Marchant, director of Page Executive's marketing practice explains why good employer branding is so important to attract the right people and build a team with the skills to execute your marketing strategy.
One of the most challenging aspects of the role for any marketing leader is building a high-performance team. The most talented marketing people are naturally choosy about where they work, so you need to make sure you’re appealing to the top talent in your market.
Think about what attracted you to your business... it may have been the strategic direction of the organisation, the challenege in front of you or even the LTIPs or equity stake that you now own. But this isn't always relevant to people working outside senior management.
So what is it that's going to make people choose you over your competition? Money and benefits are important of course but marketers are savvy enough to look beyond the remuneration. People also want to know what kind of company they might be working for, employer brand perception is crucial and is your shop window.
But what is company branding? It’s about more than just your logo and colours. It’s about how you present yourself to the world; the image you wish to portray. Your values, strengths, working culture and company philosophy all need to come across in a favourable way. If you want to build the best team, especially your key marketing roles, then you need to get your brand messages right.
Promote your brand values
Large successful companies present a clear picture of their company values and brand qualities through a number of channels. Some are brilliant at it; the Virgin Group for example, whilst others are either too naive or even arrogant to utilise their brand equity effectively. Smaller companies that have not identified or promoted their values should think carefully about what they are, and carry out an internal exercise of establishing clearly defined values and a brand persona.
Questions that need to be asked are: what is it that keeps our employees happy? Why do people like working for our company? What is it that inspires loyalty? Of course, the perfect people to do this exercise are marketing professionals – copywriters, designers, brand managers, marketing managers, PR and communication executives. If your company branding is strong on training and development, then promote that. Good marketing people are always keen to add to their skill set and develop their career.
Is it fun to work in your business? Will people be challenged and see their careers accelerated? How is life outside of work balanced for employees? Does your company have a corporate responsibility programme? Does it support a charity or work within the community? These are important considerations for many marketing candidates.
Stand out from the crowd
Employer branding, when done well and consistently, can help you stand out and give a clear image of who you are and what you stand for, thus making recruitment straightforward. By promoting your brand and its values, you’re more likely to attract the marketing talent who match those values, and are able to flourish within the company. Remember as the CMO or marketing director you now form part of the employer brand; your reputation and conduct will help define your company's perception as a place to work.
In communicating a brand image, companies develop a distinct tone of voice in their messaging, and stick to it. They also work out some phrases or key messages that can be used repeatedly across different mediums, so that the company speaks consistently with one clear voice.
This positive promotion of a brand sends a clear message to potential marketing recruits, while also reassuring existing employees and maintaining good retention figures.
Take your brand online
Most companies these days have a strong online presence and the first place a candidate will go to check out a company, is the website. Companies should also ensure they have a strong social media presence. Consider Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn where your senior people can blog industry posts. Facebook is good for presenting the human side of your company with opportunities for images, news and people related stories.
Marketing professionals know only too well the value of clear branding. They will appreciate and respond well to companies with good branding skills and strong values.
To discuss your marketing recruitment requirements, please contact:
T: 0113 388 9000