You Created an Employer Brand. Now Activate It

Sneak peeks, blooper reels, How it’s Made … who doesn’t love going behind the scenes?

Employer branding is the very deliberate process of identifying an organization’s distinct and differentiated reputation as an employer. Its well-documented value is as much about talent acquisition as it is about employee engagement, and in total, contributes heavily to a company’s ability to compete as a business through the efforts of its talent.

With FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) on the rise, refreshing, revamping, or creating an employer brand is an opportunity to give your audience a backstage pass to the process, the people, the hard work, and hopefully the positive results your efforts. It’s also an excellent way of creating a bit of awareness and even disruption among your current and potential employees.

Here’s are some ways to make it happen.

Create a Culture Book

The Netflix Culture Book made a profound impression on me when I first discovered it online. The fact that it was online, and available for anyone to read and comment on, tells a lot about Netflix’s philosophy of transparency and accountability. If you talk the talk, you best walk the walk. Evidently Netflix does.

If you want to jumpstart a culture book the easy way, take a tip from Zappos and get buy-in from your employees. The Zappos Culture Book is an annual publication filled with whimsical drawings, inspiring employee testimonials, and important information about Zappos values, partners, and history. Though it offers it to anyone as a PDF or hardbound book, if cost is an consideration, stick to the electronic version and offer it as a download on your careers site.

Hold Activation Road Shows

Bring slide decks, speakers, and plenty of swag to your employer brand activation events. Invite employees, prospects and vendors to participate. If your organization is small and/or in one place you can rotate small groups of 10 into the conference room. Or rent a room at a nearby hotel and host a “one-and-done” event. Lot’s of remote employees? Not a problem. Create an activation microsite or virtual event and have everyone call in.

Tell the Story of Why: Why did you do this? Why is it important that employees spread the word, and what are the benefits to them?  (This is an excellent opportunity to reinvigorate your employee referral program.) Provide attendees with the tools they need to take your message to the masses.

Activation Roadshows can last anywhere from an hour to a day, but be prepared to have fun.

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Create Fun Employer Brand Videos

Videos have become the stars of the communications toolkit because they can be simple to produce and they really bring an employer brand to life. I was incredibly impressed with this short video of the Making of Boehringer Ingelheim’s New Employer Branding. More than a talking head testimonial compilation, it beautifully depicts the signification time, effort, and attention to detail that went into BI’s employer branding process and video. Great work.

Social Media

Cisco provides great example of social employer brand storytelling. Its blog on how it turned around its social employer branding efforts in six months offers an inside look into the reasons, tactics, and impressive results (an increased followership on Twitter and Instagram of 950 percent) of its transformation. Recently, ERE documented Cisco’s use of SnapChat to amplify its employer brand. And, Glassdoor also sponsored a webinar showcasing Cisco’s employer branding efforts.

Though social media activation is considered by many to be the low-hanging fruit in the employer brand activation process, think again. It provides an excellent opportunity to make a wide and immediate impact in a variety of ways.

This all takes time, but the beauty of your investment is that you can then promote your results and further increase awareness among your audience segments.

If you are now in the employer branding process or have recently completed a project, don’t think your work is over. Employer brand activation is where it’s at.

Jody Ordioni is the author of “The Talent Brand.” In her role as Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Brandemix, she leads the firm in creating brand-aligned talent communications that connect employees to cultures, companies, and business goals. She engages with HR professionals and corporate teams on how to build and promote talent brands, and implement best-practice talent acquisition and engagement strategies across all media and platforms. She has been named a "recruitment thought leader to follow" and her mission is to integrate marketing, human resources, internal communications, and social media to foster a seamless brand experience through the employee lifecycle.

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