Posted tagged ‘employment brand’

Employment Branding: Business, Culture, and HRO

May 25, 2012

Yesterday, I participated in a very lively online Twitter discussion about employment branding. Branding is a common topic for businesses, particularly for corporate, product, and service identities. Employment branding is important to ensure the attraction and retention of employees that can deliver the business brand experience. Meghan M. Biro’s brand humanization concept is that it is all connected: the business brand, its culture, and its ability to attract and retain talent. That connectivity is a business opportunity for HRO, think RPO and employment branding services, and it is also an issue for HRO service providers as employers.

In an earlier blog this year, I concluded that HRO will not hinder and may even help clients achieve human capital leadership, using leadership and best place to work awards as evidence. Diversity award lists from and Diversity MBA magazine have just come out for 2012 and again we see recognition of HRO service providers including Accenture, ADP, and IBM, as well as many companies that use HRO. Here are examples from the world of RPO:

  • Alexander Mann Solutions: Citi and Deloitte
  • Futurestep: General Mills and Kaiser Permanente
  • KellyOCG: GE
  • Kenexa: Verizon and U.S. Navy
  • ManpowerGroup Solutions: Wells Fargo
  • Randstad SourceRight: AT&T and Capital One
  • The RightThing, an ADP Company: Kellogg and WellPoint.

As part of my long running theme on talent management, I believe strongly that HRO vendors can and should be leaders in creating the agile workforces of the future. Part of being a leader is practicing what you preach, which is largely what corporate and employment branding is about.

In HRO service providers often need to scale up and scale down quickly, while still ensuring a full slate of experienced subject matter experts. On top of that, many HRO service providers base client care centers and processing centers in talent competitive markets, which often stimulates high turnover and brings together workforces from very different cultures. This is the second challenge of employment branding for HRO, as employers, each service provide needs to build a differentiated employment brand and corporate culture to attract and retain the talent needed to fulfill its business brand.

Part of developing an employment brand is determining what attributes make a particular employer a good place to work and developing programs to ensure those elements are in the workplace and recognized by current and prospective employees and are aligned with business outcomes. Sounds simple, but it surely isn’t.

Buyers, ask your HRO service providers about their workforce practices to see if they practice what they sell. Service providers, in addition to client testimonials, engage and leverage your own employees as brand ambassadors.

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

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Employment Branding = Better Talent Acquisition and Reduced Recruiting Costs

June 24, 2009

While concerns about the graying of the workforce and an impending shortage of skills have been temporarily erased due to the recession, the war for the best talent still wages on and will increase in intensity as the economy gets better, baby boomers retire and companies resume hiring in greater volumes. And those organizations with the best employment brands will win the battle by attracting and retaining the cream of the crop.

What’s an employment brand? Simply put, it’s a compelling value proposition that articulates for job seekers why they would want to work for a particular company, the values and culture within the organization, the variety of possible career paths, and the compensation and benefits offerings and how they compare to the competition.

The importance of employment branding in today’s increasingly competitive global business environment should not be underestimated. In fact, we believe it is a business imperative to promote or improve company image which extrapolates into attracting and retaining top talent, and thus reducing recruiting costs.

But many organizations are uncertain how their employment brand is perceived or how to disseminate their brand to potential hires. And some actually damage their brands among candidates. For example, one recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) provider I recently spoke with conducted a survey and learned that only 14 percent of its 63 clients’ job posting websites had their auto response emails turned on to acknowledge receipt of the candidates’ applications.

Due to the above, RPO providers are increasingly assisting their clients in branding efforts. What are they doing on this front?

Brand Research – Here, RPO providers conduct surveys and focus groups among recent graduates, candidates and recent hires to determine why they look at certain companies as potential employers and drill-down into the client’s recruiting process. They also conduct internal surveys to understand how employees perceive the company’s image, why the top performers stay and what else can be done to retain them. Additionally, they survey a sampling of the client’s customers to ascertain the brand from their perspective, both in and of itself and in comparison with its competitors. Moreover, they interview competitors to determine what they think about the client company, how their website looks and where they themselves are spending money to improve or support their brand. Finally, they audit the effectiveness of the client’s job postings and website, and when all the survey and audit information is analyzed, make recommendations to the client.

Brand Dissemination – Key brand dissemination activities RPO providers engage in on behalf of their clients include: 1) marketing of recruitment campaigns; 2) communicating the brand via various vehicles such as Internet search engines and networking sites, radio and print ads and personal communications – even on occasion signs on buses or in car parks; and 3) designing or improving the jobs/careers section on the client’s website.

Brand Maintenance – High touch and responsiveness to candidates is critical for brand maintenance. Thus, RPO providers assist their clients here by developing and leveraging branded recruiting scripts and offering outplacement services to convey a positive image when downsizing is required.

The results we’ve seen from RPO providers assisting their clients with employment branding are solid. For example, one provider achieved for one of its clients a cost-per-hire which is in the top 10 percent of industry benchmarks, and increased hiring manager satisfaction to between 95-100 percent monthly. Given the knowledge and capabilities of RPO providers, we believe employment branding has become a mainstay of services they provide to their clients.

Gary Bragar, Lead HRO Analyst, NelsonHall