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Chronicle

Fake it and you won't make it - How to put authentic employees at the heart of your Employer Brand

Posted: 25 November 2015

When it comes to the mighty Employer Brand, there's one principle that rules the roost - Authenticity. And that's one quality you can't fake. If you're trying to attract and engage top talent, the first thing you need to commit to is representing your company and its value truthfully. Nothing kills a reputation or talent pool quicker than false claims and broken promises. Yep, it's all about authenticity and that's why it's vital that your employees sit at the helm and heart of your Employer Brand strategy.

The EBs that fall flat on their faces are the ones that shun employees to the sidelines. But why? Have they got something to hide? Are they worried their employees will spill the beans on what life's really like? Or are they just unsure of how to empower their employees to represent their values and hire on their behalf? One thing is for certain - any brand or company that puts employees at the centre of their EB is laughing all the way to the talent bank.

The Engagement Alphabet - Putting employees at the centre of your EB strategy.

It doesn’t need to be a massive leap of faith to hand over the attraction reigns to your team, just follow the Engagement Alphabet and soon you’ll have an army of EB advocates at your fingertips.

Empower.

You can’t just decide to put your employees at the heart of your EB; you need to give them the tools, resources and knowledge to spread the EB word. Give them the skills, confidence and trust they need and then step back and let them work their magic.

Measure.

You need to measure employee engagement. What’s your referral rate like? Are your employees social feeds buzzing with EB goodness? Monitor, learn and adapt.

Play.

Cultures aren’t made up of corporate blah and impersonal touches. Be sure to set some EB guidelines but leave room for the unique personalities of your team to shine through.

Library.

Have a content library accessible and full to the rafters with on-brand content. Videos, articles, blogs, images, everything they’ll need to talk and walk like you.

Openness.

You can’t fake trust. Be open with your team and really give them the space to develop and personalise your EB, that’s the real lifeblood of any EB.

Yes.

It might take a while to go with the flow but it’s important to be open to new and different ways to get your EB out there. If an employee brings a new idea to the table, entertain and explore it fully.

Engagement.

This is what it’s all about. Make sure your employees know how to truly engage prospective talent and what your recruitment process consists of.

Referrals.

The holy grail of recruitment. Employee referrals account for 40% of new hires these days so you can’t afford not to have a stellar Referral Program in play.

Belonging.

Your team need to feel like they belong to something bigger than a company or a paycheck. Give them a meaningful culture to influence and invest in.

Respect.

If your team enjoy working together, your retention levels will improve. It’s simple. So instill a sense of respect between you as an employer and your team itself.

Advocate.

Your employees take over the role of advocate when they begin to showcase your EB. Tell them what this responsibility is all about and never take for granted the power of an active advocate.

Network.

Every employee is tapped into a massive network of social channels and connections so help them harness that reach.

Defined.

Before you do a thing make sure everything EB-related is clearly defined - your culture, strategy, referral program, advocate responsibilities, the lot. Fuzziness in purpose leads to mayhem.

A candidate’s most valued source of employer insight is via employees. They’re the real life human beings that live and breathe your brand and they’re usually all too happy to tell it like it is.

Everyone can sniff out an over eager or less than stellar EB so make sure your EB is rooted in real values and principles, not just short-term aims. Amazing things happen when you put people first.

Do you like this stuff? Then join over 21,000 other awesome people who get tips on improving their employer brand, recruitment, marketing and the odd spot of career advice delivered directly to their inbox from me! @markbevans