Employment Branding: An HR and Marketing Collaboration

February 23, 2016
You cannot expect to hire or recruit based on industry, geography, or knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) alone. The most beneficial thing is to hire for cultural fit. Now you have an understanding that people don’t just “take jobs” any more but that they are after the experience. Create a brand that sells the experience. Only then will you have a greater ROI for your efforts.

If the goal of attracting and retaining quality talent is what you are after, then there are a few things that you can do to ensure your brand strategy becomes a distinct competitive advantage. Partner with your marketing department. The relationship can prove to be beneficial—and not just when it comes to following marketing guidelines or not “messing with the company logo.” There are critical elements to marketing that must be paid attention to, such as research, data integrity, consistency, satisfaction, and feedback. Marketers understand that customers have numerous choices, and that is why a successful marketing campaign delivers a “brand experience.”

Marketing creates the “image” of your organization. Creating interesting and lasting impressions is key function, as well as an art form. They are the ones who know how to use viral branding, emotional branding, mind-share branding, and even cultural branding. It is not all graphics and images that work; they deploy a cognitive model of branding. Together, these models account for nearly every consumer-branding initiative today. The most successful and durable brands have been built by the compulsive reiteration of the distinctive benefit supported with rational agreements and emotional appeals [see Douglas B. Holt, How Brands Become Icons: The Principles of Cultural Branding (Harvard Business School Publishing, 2004)]. Many of the greatest brands have “brand essence,” which is the DNA, genetic code, and brand soul.

So what does a recognizable consumer brand have to do with employment branding? People make assumptions about your culture and their potential employment experience based on your product and consumer brand. It’s much easier for iconic brands to attract and repel candidates than it is for lesser known companies.

Excerpted from Lizz Pellet, The Cultural Fit Factor: Creating an Employment Brand That Attracts, Retains, and Repels the Right Employees (SHRM, 2009).


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