The employment brand is the most important part of the new recruitment model. It is the glue for recruitment cohesion. It defines and amplifies values, mind-set, behavior and vision – acting therefore as an attractor, a (self-) selector of talent and a re-energizer for talent.
Before we go further into the subject matter, let’s however be very clear: an employment brand per se doesn’t exist as a stand-alone entity. A strong employment brand is clearly devised as a facet of the overall brand and therefore able to draw on the strength, resources and support.
This is a really important distinction. If an employment brand was separate, it would increase confusion and separation between the different brands. It would be only an attraction tool, it would have to create goodwill and impact from scratch, and it would not be related to the day to day experience of the people and therefore damage employee engagement.
Employee engagement, sometimes also called productivity, is the key metric for the successful creation, execution and adoption of the employment brand facet. If that wasn’t the case, then what is the point of employee engagement? Especially if we all agree that the people are the key ingredients of the brand and that a brand’s reputation is built from the inside out.
In a nation, the citizen is the most important entity and the strongest ambassador. The citizen defines the culture and is defined by heritage. The citizen has rights and responsibilities. The citizen pays taxes and votes, but most importantly, when citizens participate, societies and nations flourish.
It is the same for companies, so let’s treat employees (and customers) like citizens. We want employees to join the cause, to participate in our common goals, to share our vision, to be there voluntarily, to take their rights and responsibilities seriously. Every day is a campaign to be voted into office, every day we need to show vision, leadership and earn trust. When employees participate, companies flourish.
Once employee engagement is raging positively, one can forgo hierarchies and job titles (as Zappos does) and one can relinquish the (perceived) control over brand and communications. At this stage, the employees have bought into the vision and the way of doing things, are self-determinedly moving them forward and want to rely their positive experiences, their pride in working at the company.
Zappos hiring strategy makes sense in this regard, as it needs to ensure that only people with the right make up for the overall mix of the company enter the brand, so that the culture of trust and empowerment can continue.
Only with an employment brand and with employee engagement of this nature is it possible to communicate it via a clear and authentic content marketing strategy to convey the attractiveness of the brand as a workplace and to disseminate it using social connections of all employees and suppliers and therefore reaching most of the people a company wants to hire in the first place.