So, we’ve all been there; we see a job advert, a careers website, an Employee story video etc. We take the content in. We sit on it for a few seconds, the chemicals start to fuse and we produce our initials emotions towards it…and what are they? “That’s not right” or “I know someone there and they don’t say that” or even worst case scenario “What a load of contrived rubbish”. Ouch.
In my years of fettling with Employer Branding I have seen both the best and worst of what is possible. In my last role, very quick lessons were learnt when it came to amplifying what the organisation wanted to be versus what it was actually like. Same again, in my current role the key thing as always will be leveraging our aspirational goals to what the Employees on the shop floor experience on a day to day basis. Get it wrong and you won’t just be switching off your external audience. Your current Employees will be wandering around thinking “It’s not like that here” which is Employee Engagement suicide.
So why do some organisations do it? Who knows is my honest answer. Very few organisations will have a messaging matrix consisting of “Join us. We’re average” or “We’ll pay your mortgage what else do you want from us” but there is zero point in overinflating your Employee experience. Yes, you need to be different but you also need to be transparent and very honest. Candidates…or people as I prefer to call them are cynical enough by nature without organisations giving them more reason to doubt your messaging and ultimately your Employer Brand.
So how do we solve this dilemma? How do we ensure what we’re saying is the real deal not just words that don’t match the truth? One of the key building blocks in your People Proposition will be your Corporate/Organisational Strategy. Almost 99.9% of CEOs and Executive Leaders will go big on stretch in their strategy and so they should; without this they probably wouldn’t move forward. However too much Employee Experience stretch can be very damaging. WANTING to be the world’s leading XXX is very different to TRYING to be the world’s leading XXX. You’ll gain far more fans by telling the story of your journey and how you plan to transform rather than pretending that you’re already there. Include the emotions that employees (both current and future) will feel on the way, share with them the challenges that they will face and most importantly allow your current Employees to do as much of this as you can because that’s who people will buy into.
“Easy for you to say” will be the cry of many at this point and this is why as I say to many people that getting buy-in from Exec/Senior Leaders is essential to any form of success in Employer Branding. In the same way that they wouldn’t wrap up a Ford Fiesta as a Bugatti Veyron they also need to understand that the Employee Experience that they are selling to the world needs to be as authentic and true to its packaging as any of its other customer products or services.
Much Love from the UK. BG.