To communicate your employer brand, you need to know it first.
Employer branding is where HR, branding and marketing collide, to recruit and retain the best people for your team. With this golden trio of components, there’s loads that goes into building an employer brand – from company culture, to recruitment campaigns, allllll the way through to how you communicate with your team.
How you communicate your employer brand starts with creating it, just like we do in any brand creation stage. What’s different with an employer brand? Well, instead of speaking to the wider community, you’re speaking to those who currently, or could potentially, be a part of your team. The thing is, a lot of the same principles apply, and if you already have your brand nailed, developing an employer brand can be a piece of cake (mmm cake).
Between branding for B2B (business to business), B2C (business to consumer) and now B2E (business to employee), we’d make our way through the whole alphabet with nothing to show for it. For us, branding should always be H2H (that’s human to human) no matter who you’re speaking to, so there’s a lot that crosses over from brand to employer brand.
Purpose (or Why)
If your brand was a person, what would make it hop out of bed every morning? Essentially, a brand purpose is the reason to exist over and above making a profit, and it sits comfortably in the spot between what the world needs and what your brand is best at.
We always like to use Simon Sinek’s golden circle to explain it. He says your purpose is your brand ‘why’ and that sits in the middle of the golden circle. After that, you look at your ‘how’ which explains the way you do what you do. Finally, on the outer edge of the circle, there’s your ‘what’ and that’s basically the thing that you actually deliver. A lot of people can explain what they do, but very few can explain why they do it.
This applies to your employer brand because, as the essence of your business, your brand ‘why’ should be the main driving force for your team. If everyone’s on board with why the brand hops out of bed every morning, they’ll be happy to hop out of bed every morning too.
Vision & Mission
Just as a person has aspirations, a vision typically sums up the aspirations for your business. What does it want to be? What does it want to achieve? Though this may be linked to the purpose, it’s usually more measureable and achievable. A mission statement summarises what you’re aiming to do, day-in-day-out, and how you might go about achieving your vision.
This applies to your employer brand because it lets your team know what you’re hoping to achieve (which then determines how they can help to achieve it). The more you share with your team, the more in tune they are with where your brand is heading.
Your brand values are your beliefs and principles; they guide how the business, brand and the people within it behave. They are geared towards achieving your vision and mission. This applies to your employee brand because people want to work in a place that shares the same values as they do.
A brand is what humanises your business, so it makes sense to give it a personality, right? Give it characteristics that people can relate to – if your brand was a person, it should be someone your audiences (team included) want to hang around with.
This applies to your employee brand because the brand personality should come through at every touchpoint, and that all stems from your team. If they know your brand personality inside out, and can relate to it, they’ll be able to showcase it consistently across everything they do.
Tone of Voice
Tone of voice is how the character of your business comes through in your words, both written and spoken. It’s not always about what you say, but rather the way that you say it, and the impression it makes on everyone who reads or hears you.
This applies your employer brand because it affects the way your team communicates. Whether someone is managing your social media channels, speaking to a customer or simply sending an email, the brand tone of voice should shine through.
Your brand visual style is essentially how your brand looks. From colour palette and typography, to photography and iconography, it can say a lot about your business, without having to say a word.
This applies to your employer brand when you start to roll out internal initiatives or recruitment campaigns. It can be tweaked slightly (or not at all), but either way, it will consistently communicate your brand on all levels.
All of these pieces in the brand jigsaw have an impact on your employer brand, because they all stem from the same place. Your employer brand is simply an extension of your brand as a whole – the difference is in its outputs, like these…
Employee Value Proposition
An employee value proposition (or EVP for short) is a statement that pulls together all the benefits, characteristics and ways of working in a company. It should summarise what your team get in return for working for your brand and what makes them proud as punch to do so!
Your employer brand elevator pitch is that one singular thing that sums up the bigger purpose your team is part of.
The dictionary defines a manifesto as ‘a public declaration of intent’ and for a brand, it’s a way of creating an inspirational call to arms surrounding your purpose, mission, vision and values. Top tip: It should feel like it could be read on horseback with a big stick.
On top of getting paid every month in return for their skills and contribution, what are the additional benefits your team receive? Don’t be shy, this is your time to shout about it! Creating employer brand benefit statements not only attracts candidates, it reminds your current team of all the awesome things you do as a company.