Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Employer Branding, Step 5: Action, evaluation and adjustments

Now it’s time to make it all happen. This is the part that finally brings it all together and delivers the results (see step 1), step 2), step 3) and step 4) earlier in this blog). Thereafter you need to evaluate and adjust your activities – continuously.

Many companies have experienced great plans that have collapsed because of lack of implementation efforts or organization of internal work. The leader group is not with you. The seniors are not with you. Your employees are not with you. To avoid this, you need to put the same effort and resources into this stage as into all previous steps in the chain. Commitment and engagement and from the rest of the company is vital.

Set your targets, evaluate and adjust
As for any other business activities, employer branding needs specific targets in order to be successful. Targets can include:
· Attractiveness among a specific target group
· Number of applications with right profile you receive per position
· Percentage of satisfied employees
· Perception of your employer brand externally and internally and the gap between these two
· Employee turnover
· Time to fill vacancies with appropriate staff

Set the targets on a realistic level and attach a time scale to each of them. As with all employer branding work, involvement of senior management in setting the targets is important. Reaching the targets will require investments and therefore commitment from people controlling the spending is vital.

My experience is that the percentage of companies using research to evaluate their employer branding efforts is unfortunately still rather low. All companies should measure their employer brand based on research not less than once a year. That will give you enough information to conduct the necessary adjustments to communication material, communications plans and other Employer Branding activities.

Involve relevant departments and benchmark investments
A common feedback from my clients is that HR needs more involvement from both managers and from other departments in the employer branding work. Also, there has been an increase in desire to have cross-functional teams work with employer branding. Since employer branding is very much about communications, the least you need to ensure is information flow between all departments.

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