Organizations devote significant amounts of time and other resources to market their mission-specific activities. The goal of these activities is to raise awareness and funds for future work and sustainability. This ongoing process can often be tied to the branding of the organization as well. While marketing and communication efforts are not uncommon, allocating resources to focus on the Employer Brand can often take a backseat to fundraising and mission-based efforts. As a result, it can sometimes be difficult to measure the value of the Employer Brand strategies within Nonprofit and small for-profit organizations. We interviewed Zakiya Nashid, Associate Manager for Employer Brand at Unilever to learn more about the strategies.
What is the Employer Brand?
Zakiya Nashid: “The short definition of Employer Brand is an organization’s reputation within the workforce. Employer brand is a term referred to describe the company's reputation and popularity from a potential employer and employee perspective and describes the values the company gives to its employees. The art and science of employer branding is therefore concerned with the attraction, engagement and retention initiatives targeted at enhancing your company's employer brand.”
How does the employer brand relate to recruiting?
Zakiya Nashid: “Recruiting and Employer Brand are components of a larger talent strategy. However, they are not one in the same.” Recruiting is more direct, and an active approach to addressing a short-term need. For example, you have a vacancy at your organization and you address it by engaging job seekers who are qualified to fill the role. Employer Brand management takes a more strategic approach by actively highlighting the work experiences of the current employees within an organization to create a continuous buzz around the employer. Proper execution usually entails analyzing different types of marketing data to measure engagement within groups that an organization wishes to target.
Is a separate team needed to execute Employer Brand Strategies?
Zakiya Nashid : “It does require a concerted focus and allocation of resources to perform this work in-house. Many Marketing and PR firms are often utilized to help establish an Employer Brand team.” Nashid performs this work internally as the size and scope of her employer dictates the need to actively engage potential job seekers on an ongoing basis. Unilever is an international company that is home to some of the world’s most notable consumer brands like Dove, Lipton and Suave. “Most people recognize the brands but are not aware of the parent company, so actively engaging multiple audiences is necessary for the business.”
How can non-profits and small for-profit organizations benefit from developing their employer brand?
Zakiya Nashid: “Employer Brand should be considered a component of an organization’s strategic plan. Many organizations may find it easy to connect potential candidates to their missions. The competition for top talent is intense and as a result, organizations will have to go the extra mile to convince candidates that the experience they’ll gain working for your nonprofits and small for-profits will more than compensate for instances where salary isn’t the most competitive. Having a strong employer brand will help candidates understand what you have to offer as an employer.” Telling stories about organization's work from the employee perspective will not only increase overall brand awareness, but will help the recruiting efforts for organizations who view expansion as part of their respective growth strategy.
Non-profits and Small For-profit organizations can start exploring their Employer Brand by taking some of the following steps:
Conduct Audits: An internal audit can be performed to define the company’s culture and measure engagement. An external audit can also be performed to determine the current perception from job seekers.
Review cultural norms & policies to establish employee value proposition. Do the current policies align with the needs of potential job seekers? Are they fully embraced by the current employees of the organization?
Partner with communications and marketing teams within the organization to highlight employee journeys. This can be captured in writing, although using pictures and videos can be more impactful.
Establish an outreach process to engage people using social media. Utilize platforms that are frequently visited by the network or communities an organization desires to engage. Once executed measure the data to determine which elements of your campaigns received the most engagement.