EMPLOYER BRAND PLANNING

What is it and why is it important?  

Employer brand planning

In employer brand planning, the goal is to attract, retain and engage the talent needed to deliver the business strategy.

When faced with business transformation – which is most organisations these days – it can be challenging to:

  • Keep employees engaged and thriving through change fatigue
  • Hold onto and attract the talent you need to drive the business forward in a competitive market where there’s a talent shortage

 

Through the employer brand strategy, we would have developed an employer brand positioning and employee value proposition that addresses your specific organisation’s challenges and opportunities in the marketplace.

We would have identified all the key People & Culture initiatives required to support and empower employees to deliver against the employer brand promise.

Through the employee experience piece of work, we would have also identified initiatives across the employee lifecycle – from initial awareness and job search, through to on-boarding and team connection, to career development and progression, right through to exit interviews and alumni – that deliver against the employer brand promise as well as supporting employees to deliver against the corporate and customer brand promise.

We will do this “top down” at an employer brand level and for each employee segment “bottom up”.

It is unlikely all initiatives will be feasible at launch of the employer brand, so we work through which initiatives will be available by when, whether there is a “light” version of an initiative or an alternative initiative that could be available sooner.

Where values and behaviours were revised, launch and understanding of these will also be part of the employer brand plan.

Horizon planning

When it comes to planning for your employer brand, we think of the long-term, usually 3-5 years. With annual horizons, we plan which initiatives are going to be available in which horizon. Once we have this information, we can see whether we can deliver against the employer brand promise in year 1, and if not, make the changes to the employer brand for that year.

We also look at the key performance measures and provide the measures that we want to achieve each year to achieve the overall 3—5 year objectives. We look at the initiatives we’re planning against the experience and the brand promise, year on year, to see if this is enough to support our objectives. From here, initiatives need to be changed or objectives!

Performance measurement

In brand planning, we look to build brand equity and brand value by measuring:

  • Awareness of the brand
  • Image & quality associations, key brand attributes
  • Salience, association with your target audience’s need
  • Loyalty: levels of engagement from engaged, purchase and recommend the brand to repeat purchase to only brand in their repertoire

For employer brand, similar measures can be considered to build equity in your employer brand:

  • Awareness of your organisation as a great place to work
  • Attributes of the employer brand e.g. belonging for Airbnb, action for Nike
  • Salience: when your target market is looking for a job in technology or law or marketing, that is for younger people or that accepts older people, that loves diversity, that works remotely, they think of you
  • Loyalty: that they are engaged and recommend to others; stay; or when they leave, they stay connected and even come back!

Launch and rollout

With a new employer brand, employee value proposition, values and behaviours and employer brand plan, we also need to plan the launch and rollout.

This means we need to understand the organisation structure and governance, so the information is disseminated via the right channels, both politically and for maximum effectiveness.

This may require multiple briefings at an organisation level, business unit level and team level before becoming part of the performance development planning process at an individual level.  

Any migration strategy – from past to new employer brand – and alignment strategy – between business, brand and employer brand strategies needs to be worked through.

Once these parameters are determined, we can get creative about how we go about it:

  • Naming the initiatives to reflect the employer brand positioning
  • Developing the employer brand identity that aligns to the corporate/brand identity
  • Bringing the culture to life with a playbook
  • Creating an employer brand campaign
  • Activations across the employee experience
  • Recruitment campaign and job ads
  • CEO, leader and employee advocacy programme

 

Employer brand champions

As part of the development of the experience and initiatives, employer brand champions from each of the segments would have been identified and involved. These are people who can represent their colleagues within the segment, role model the employer brand, as well as being the “go-to” for any colleagues’ questions on the employer brand and EVP.

How we go about it

As you can see planning is an iterative process.

It involves the P&C team, employee champions from each of the employee segments, the marketing team and senior executive to ensure we have developed the behaviours and initiatives required to deliver against the employer, corporate and customer brands and drive the business strategy.

There are a lot of aspects coming together so it requires a collaborative approach, strong executive support and attention-to-detail through the planning process.

Please contact us to discuss further what we can do for you.