Employer Branding Is a Team Sport

January 27, 2022 • 3 min read

Employer Branding Is a Team Sport

Elle made the accidental leap into Employer Branding from her advertising career 15 years ago, after moving from London to Sydney. She has worked with clients across the globe, across almost all industries from mining to high fashion. After six years at LinkedIn and start-up world she is back in the heart of what she loves doing - storytelling for talent - as our VP of Community.

Anyone who has been in employer branding for longer than a few years will understand all too well the extraordinary breadth and depth of the function. Add to that the fight for budget and resources to achieve goals, and it’s a wonder we love what we do!

Having said that, employer brand is a magical mix of creativity, commercial acumen and deep talent strategy. Unlike our more famous, well-resourced marketing cousins, employer branding folk know how to do more with less, and utilise our hard-fought-for assets in every way possible. 

We aim for sustainable outcomes, recognising that slow and steady wins the race when you are playing the long game. And the long game it is, because employer branding is much more than ‘just’ creating an EVP strategy. 

I can’t remember how many times I was asked the difference between EB and EVP, or heard the terms used interchangeably in a workshop or boardroom discussion. 

So, let’s be clear here. An awesome EVP will get people through an organisation’s revolving door. A sustainable employer brand will be what stops them quickly exiting back out through that door. And that is why employer branding is a team sport: because one person alone cannot be responsible for the attraction and retention of good talent. 

From EVP to EB

Over the years, the lines between customer, candidate, colleague and client have become more and more blurred, and the way we live, work and interact has fundamentally changed. Digitisation, the gig worker economy, side-hustling, remote working, portfolio careers etc. have meant that the traditional pillars of an EVP have had to evolve to accommodate shifting priorities, all magnified by the exponential impact of the pandemic.

All this means that there is no standardised EVP framework today, and the value currency has dropped for the old faithfuls such as:

  1. Free food/catered breakfast, lunch and dinner (because you don’t leave the office)
  2. CBD location with amazing views (that you’ll only see twice a week)
  3. Ping pong tables and beer fridges (whatevs)
  4. Work-life balance (what does that mean?)

So, if these aren’t important now, what is? 

It’s simple. It’s how we treat our people. 

This extends to the experience they have applying for roles (internal and external), onboarding and growing at an organisation no matter the role, where they work from, who they work with and at what level. And if you’re in employer branding, that is what you are responsible for communicating, and ensuring the reality lives up to the reputation you are so diligently working towards.

Bringing it all together

Building a truly great employer brand is a big undertaking. You’ll need talent acquisition to provide a great candidate experience, HR to deliver an amazing onboarding experience, your L&D team to build unique learning programs, your leaders to provide clear vision and communication, and marketing or sales to help build a business that people want to work for. And that’s just to name a few.

Our role in EB is to work with the business to gather up these experiences and ensure that the people that need to know about them, do so. To look at the data with your teams to identify gaps. To help them understand the competitive market. To engage with your leaders about best practice. To help marketers understand why they need to work with you, not in a silo. To build teams in regions to understand the local market…

The problem is this is a utopia. It’s not easy. In fact, it’s a massive role. But AWESOME! It’s a ‘bitza’ job. A bitza this, a bitza that. You are juggling many, many balls all whilst getting thrown more as the world changes faster than you can articulate what it is precisely, that employer branding is responsible for. So far in my journey at Employer Brandwagon I have already met two global practitioners that manage employee experience, which gets me super excited about the evolution that is in progress.

At Employer Brandwagon, we have a dual mission. One, to elevate the role of employer brand and all the wonderful work you do, and two, to help your organisation understand the impact that you can have on the business so that it’s easier for you to explain why it’s a team sport. 

If this sounds like something you need in your life, sign up at the bottom of the page to join our community of incredibly good humans in employer branding. We will talk about all of this with discussion forums, live chats and more – a place for stories to be told and shared.  Join the EB evolution!

Elle made the accidental leap into Employer Branding from her advertising career 15 years ago, after moving from London to Sydney. She has worked with clients across the globe, across almost all industries from mining to high fashion. After six years at LinkedIn and start-up world she is back in the heart of what she loves doing - storytelling for talent - as our VP of Community.

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