The sum of its parts

I saw a presentation recently on employer brand. How to create one, improve one, communicate one.

I’m not so convinced on the create point. Because you have one already. You can’t create something that already exists. Whether you understand it or actively manage it is a different thing entirely. You can’t create something that already is, but you can build on it, refine it, influence it, make it come alive.

Employer branding is just the latest terminology for something that is simple at heart. It is your story. It is the reason why people get out of bed in the morning rather than ringing in sick. It is the reason why people should come and work for you and your place rather than the place down the road. It is why, when other companies are offering the same sort of salary and the same sort of benefits for the same sort of role, your employees choose you and stay with you.

They say personal brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room. I think of employer brand as what people say about you down the pub.

You don’t own your employer brand, your people do. You can’t seek to entirely control your employer brand, because much of it is out of your hands. It is made up of many parts, some of which are capable of influence and some that are not.

Employer brand is your story, history, culture, people, context. Customers, products, services. Beliefs, anecdotes, politics, principles. It is what it is really like to work at your place every day, beyond the job advert, Glassdoor comments, corporate website. It is what you do and who you are. Employer brand is the sum of all of these parts. And greater than them, too.

When interviewing for a new recruit, it’s not unusual to ask a variant on the ‘why should we hire you?’ question. Employer brand is the answer to the opposite question. Why someone should choose your place, stay at your place, over all the other places?

Like Simon Sinek says, it starts with why. And your employer brand is your articulation of that why.

Can you explain your employer brand? Can you explain why your place? Can you do it in the length of a tweet?

You don’t need a fancy brand consultancy and a mahoosive project. You just need to listen, explain, express. Tell your story.

I work here because [fill in the gap as applicable].

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