Employment Branding is an old, old story. Here’s how we were talking about it in late 2000. – John Sumser

(November 20, 2000) What do you need for Employment Branding? Let’s see…some rope, a really hot fire, a long steel rod with your corporate logo on the end, a bucket of cold water, a couple husky wranglers and someone who looks like the Marlboro man…Well, maybe everyone’s not lucky enough to live in an area where brute force branding is the way to go. For the rest of us, Employment Branding is a new arena with little in the way of guidance.
The objective of contemporary Recruitment Communications systems is to deliver messages of job availability and organizational flexibility as close to a Potential Employee as possible. Employment branding is the careful development of those messages, their delivery targets and the reconciliation of those messages with the reality behind the firewall. It’s no small chore.

There are three components to the mix:

  • Messages of Job Availability and Organizational Flexibility
  • Definitions Of Targets
  • Reconciliation Of The Message With Reality

Each item is a thesis subject in itself.

One thing you can be certain about is the fact that this is not a software problem. It won’t be resolved by the movement of data about people through exchanges. It isn’t about the brand name of the Job Board that you use. It doesn’t involve investment in “user interface design”.

It’s about the job, the company and the person filling the job.

Even though the microtargeting disciplines required to fully execute Employment Branding are still being developed, the inherent problems are not technical at all. They involve making the workplace attractive to potential employees. Rather than fussing about how well the employee is going to fit the culture, the emphasis is on making the culture fit the employee. It’s about managing real diversity…the various lives and life-cycle needs of each individual team member.

In a labor shortage, the question is “who has the most attractive workplace and who can communicate that best to the right people?” That’s the essence of employment branding.

One of the key reasons that a Chief Talent Officer is becoming a central figure in our landscape is that someone has to have real, hands on responsibility for workplace attractiveness (no, we don’t mean fresh paint and potted plants) and its clear relationship to profitability. Employment Branding can’t be the “bait and switch” deal that some great Recruiters practice currently. The workplace has to build commitment as a natural component of its structure.

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