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Talent Retention through

Employer Branding
Maitri Shah*
Talent management refers to the process of developing and integrating new workers, developing and keeping
current workers and attracting highly skilled workers to work for company. Employer branding is a new
dimension in managing the talent of organization from the perspective of retention and attraction management.
This paper focuses on how creating an employer brand in the minds of employees can help in this direction. A
fact remains true forever that for any organization talent is the key to growth. Looking at the present market
scenario, we know that the growth during a recession in order to promote the brand of the organization should
not be considered a waste of money instead should become a necessity. It defines about the companies
strengths relating to policies, procedures, culture etc and creates a loyalty among the employees and aids in
retention management as well as generates an improvement in candidate attraction, engagement, commitment,
and motivation. It serves as an HR perspective.

Introduction

smaller pool of talent is having more


and more choices in terms of career
options in the contrast to that,
employers finding difficult to attract these
pool of talent and retaining them is becoming
much more difficult. Another reason for
getting this pool scarce is they are very much
diverse in their work so to retain talented
people they have to create challenging job
description and job profile. So crucial
question is how to retain this talent?
Employer branding can be used as tool to
manage the scarce resources called talent.
Employer branding is not a novel concept;
companies are using it since long into
business for attracting customers. As
business model is changing it is essential
for business groups to make customer
happy they have to make happy employees
first.
Talent management refers to the process of
developing and integrating new workers,
developing and keeping current workers and
attracting highly skilled workers to work for
the company. Talent management is a
process that emerged in the 1990s and
continues to be adopted, as more companies
come to realize that their employees talents

and skills drive their business success.


These companies develop plans and
processes to track and manage their
employee talent, including the following:

Attracting and recruiting qualified


candidates
with
competitive
backgrounds

Managing and defining competitive


salaries

Training
and
opportunities

Performance management processes

Retention programs

Promotion and transitioning

development

Companies that are engaged in talent


management are strategic and deliberate in
how they source, attract, select, train,
develop, retain, promote and move
employees through the organization. It is
the art of retaining the human assets to
maximize the profit in terms of skills,
knowledge, values and work excellence. It
is the effort of whole organization in order
to retain its brand image in the business and
social world. Various Indian companies are
taking essential steps in the form of HR
practices which are associated with both its

profit and employee interest which can be


monetary or non monetary. Talent
management, wherein employee skills and
personalities are appropriately used to
optimize performance, is a critical and
difficult task.
A conscious, deliberate approach
undertaken to attract, develop and retain
people with the aptitude and abilities to meet
current and future organizational needs. It
involves individual and organizational
development in response to a changing and
complex operating environment. It includes
the creation and maintenance of a
supportive, people oriented organization
culture.
In todays world employee is a very
important aspect in any organization.
Maintaining them and retaining them as well
as attracting skilled persons are a very
important task and this has been
transformed into talent management.
Employer branding can be an effective tool
for this purpose. Employer branding
represents a firms efforts to promote, both
inside and outside the firm, a clear view of
what makes it different and desirable as an
employer. If one is successful in creating a
brand image of your organization in the

Professor, Shri Vaishnav Institute of Management, Indore, (M.P.)

30

Journal of Marketing & Communication

minds of people/employees and new


recruits, which can created loyalty and this
will aid in talent management.
Concept
Employer branding is the development and
communication of an organizations culture
as an employer in the market place. It
conveys your value proposition- the
totality of your culture, systems, attitudes
and employee relationship along with
encouraging people to embrace and share
goals for success, productivity and
satisfaction both on personal and
professional levels.
Employment branding reflects the image of
the company has in the eyes of existing and
perspective employees about working for
the company. Building this brand is all about
the marketing of employment. If we
consider employees as customers and
employment experience as the product
being offered for their consideration and
purchase the customer satisfaction
would then reflect the strength of the
employment brand of the organization.
Building employment brand is one of the
few long term solutions to the shortage of
talent problem.
An Overview of Employer Branding
Developing an image as an employer is part
of employer branding. Turning that image
into a working relationship between an
organization and its potential recruits is a
process. Employer branding can be defined
as the image projected by the employer
through their policies, procedures and
actions. This image is impacted on the
employees attitude and engagement
towards the employer brand image promoted
through the culture of the organization. It
can influence the perception of the
employment experience offered to current
and future employees. It is an indirect
branding effect in which the communication
of the company employees serves to
characterize their companys employer
brand.
According to the American Marketing
Association, a brand is a name, term, sign,
symbol or design, or combination of them
January - April 2011 Vol. 6 Issue 3

which is intended to identify the goods and


services of one seller or group of sellers and
to differentiate them from those of
competitors. Then how come this word is
used to describe some thing related to
Human Resource. This is so because the
term branding is used to differentiate people,
places and firms also. Hence the term
employment branding basically separates a
firm from other firm as far as working aspects
are taken into consideration. In short
employment branding creates brand loyalty
i.e. relating to the policies and procedures
and working environment and helps to
create a better image in the minds of
employees which will be an aid in talent
retention.
Types of Employer Branding

Employer Branding: It provides a


snapshot of the company. It promotes
and profiles the company to potential
candidates. This means creating and
communicating a compelling and unique
perception of company in the minds of
target candidates and employees which
attracts, subtly encourages and retains
them. Employment brand best
describes what it feels like to work for
organization.

Recruitment branding: Advertise


positions that are vacant in company
and explains process for application.

Internal and external branding: There


are different approaches to building an
employer brand. Some organizations
have taken the outside in approach.
They focus on creating visibility for
their companies in the target talent
markets through a multifaceted
approach including well designed
websites with content on the company
culture, compensation practices and
career opportunities and why they are
a great place to work. Some other have
adopted an inside out approach
whereby they create powerful branding
internally through employee experience
and turn their employees into brand
advocates. This is key, particularly if
the organizations want to leverage
employees referrals as a way of
attracting candidates.

While external branding is necessary to


spread the message in the market place for
talent, employment branding exercises
beneficial and substantial in the long run
only if external branding effectively
legitimized by internal branding. Smart
candidates do not get carried away by the
claims made in company advertisements and
websites. They do their due diligence by
speaking with people in the company.
Without internal branding based on a
positive experience for employees, external
branding soon looses its shine and
investments go down the drain.
Process of Employer Branding
Retention of employees and satisfaction is
one of the aspects of talent management and
creating an employer brand will help out to
solve this problem. The loyalty created by
employer branding is a tool for managing
crisis of skilled talent. Process of talent
management begins by creating employer
branding. Building a brand is typically a
twofold process. One is for prospective
employees and the other for a current set of
employees. While building brand for
prospective employees, initiatives are
targeted at building a repute in potential
recruits about the company as a preferred
place to work on the other hand while
building brand internally, the company has
to live up to its standards and incorporate a
culture of respect and trust for employees.
The employment brand architecture as
suggested by Ryan Estis the chief talent
strategist for NAS Recruitment
Communications, an agency of the McCann
World Group for becoming an employer of
choice includes the following steps

Understand your business objectives

Identify your talent needs

Determine the employment brand


attributes

Look for synergy with the corporate


brand

Develop a communications plan

Develop the messaging and creative


content

Establish metrics

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Execute and evaluate

Taking these as the basic objectives and


criterion the process of Employer branding
can be summarized as following
Step 1: Concept Phase
360 degree employer brand audit to
determine the strength of your current
employer brand and to determine its level of
synergy with your corporate brand and
business objectives.
Step 2: Design Phase
The Design Phase is the process to
formulate your employer brand strategy. It
includes -

Step 3: Integration Phase


these may include:

Career website
Company intranet
Careers fair brochures
Company newsletters
Policy and procedures templates
Recruitment advertising
Sponsorship

Step 4- Evaluation Phase


The Evaluation Phase involves measuring
the impact of the Employer Brand program.

Above all the success of any employer


brand program depends on the efficiency
with which the need, situation for designing,
implementing and monitoring an employer
brand program has been made. Not only a
good understanding between the need,
process, and inputs are required but the full
utility comes when full workforce is
benefited by it.
The following diagram can add more to the
above process.

(i) Defining your Employer Value


Propositions (EVPs)
(ii) Defining your EBI
The EBI is made up of two components
the Employer Brand Employee Platform
which includes;
Recruitment & induction
Compensation and benefits
Career development
Employee research
Reward and recognition
Communication systems
Work environment
Employer Brand Strategic Platform

Your firms mission, vision & values


Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Leadership
Corporate reputation and culture
People management policies and
practices
Performance management
Innovation

(iii) The Corporate brand


The employer branding process and
procedures should be aimed towards
corporate branding so that betterment could
be created not only among internal
customers but also among external
customers and all stakeholders.
(iv) Market forces
Employer branding process and techniques
should be aimed towards building a positive
image of the organization in external and
internal environment equally.
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According to figure, potential employees


develop an employer brand image from the
brand associations that are an outcome of a
firms employer branding. It represents a
conceptual framework for understanding
employer branding, incorporating marketing
and human resource concepts. According
to it, employer branding creates two
principal assets brand associations and
brand loyalty.
Employer brand associations shape the
employer image that in turn affects the
attractiveness of the organization to the
potential employees. Employer branding
impacts organization culture and
organization identity that in turn contribute
to employer brand loyalty. This loyalty in
turn retains employees and helps the
organization to manage the talent i.e. talent
management.
The recruitment, selection, identification,
retention, management and development of
personnel considered to have the potential
for high performance. Talent management

is a model of personnel management. it


focuses on the skills and abilities of the
individual and on his or her potential for
promotion to senior management roles. It
also assesses how much of a contribution
the individual can make to the success of
the organization.
Employer Brand Associations:
Brand associations are the thoughts and
ideas that a brand name evokes in the minds
of consumers. Brand associations are the
determinants of brand image. Brand image
is defined as an amalgamation of the
perceptions related to the product-related /
non product related attributes and the
functional benefits that are encompassed
in the brand associations that reside in
consumer memory.
Employer brand image can be defined in
analogous terms. Functional benefits of the
employer brand describe elements of
employment with the firm that are desirable
in the objectives terms like salary, benefits
Journal of Marketing & Communication

and leave allowances. Symbolic benefits


relate to perception about prestige of the
firm, and the social approval applicants
imagine they will enjoy if they work for the
firm. In the context of recruitment, potential
applicants will be attracted to a firm based
on the extent to which they believe that the
firm possesses the desired employee related
attributes and the relative importance they
place on those attributes. According to
figure, potential employees develop an
employer brand image from the brand
associations that are an outcome of a firms
employer branding.
Employer brand loyalty
Brand loyalty is the attachment that an
employee has to a brand (organization). An
employee loyal to a brand is less likely to
switch over to any other company and this
is the main aim of talent management. Brand
loyalty has two dimensions- behavioral
dimension that represents the willingness
to stay in the organization and second is
attitudinal dimension that represents
employees level of commitment towards the
organization. Employer branding is often
used to affect the organizational culture and
organizational identity and in turn affect
employer brand loyalty.

Outcome of Effective Employer


Branding
Thus, employer branding gives an
organization a competitive advantage.
Employer branding is a tool to attract, hire
and retain the right fit it also has an impact
on shareholder value, creating positive
human capital practices, contribute to
bottom line. Strong employer brands have
employer value propositions (EVPs) which
are communicated in company actions and
behaviors and evoke both emotive and
tangible benefits for current and prospective
employees. These organizations segment
and communicate EVPs which reflect the
image that the organization s wants to
portray to its target audience. A companys
employer brand is reflected in the actions
and behaviors of leaders and is affected by
company policies, procedures, and practices
and the same when well planned and
implemented results in profitability of
organizations.
Conclusion
As talent pool is getting shorter world wide
especially in developing countries, it
becomes significant to understand the way
of retaining them for a long and for future

requirements of the organization, by


building loyalty through employer branding.
It can be used as long term strategy for talent
management in any organization irrespective
of size. Thus it can be concluded that not
only there is a need of creating a satisfaction
in minds of employees but there is an urgent
need of creating these positivism in the
minds of external environment (prospective
employees). The created image has to be
monitored and sustained in such a way so
that it will help in increasing profits as well
as would create belongingness, pride, self
actualization and true commitment in true
words and spirit. Employer branding is the
essence of the employment experience,
providing points that commence with initial
employer brand awareness, and continuing
throughout the tenure of employment, even
extending into retirement. Employer
branding is a distinguishing and relevant
opportunity to increase employee
satisfaction and happiness resulting in
retention, productivity and efficiency and
this is nothing but managing the talent of
your organization. Companies who dont
invest in developing an effective employer
brand in the minds of the employees, in the
long run, be less financially successful than
those who are.

References
Talent acquisition and retention Eta Ascon Experience, Scale 2007, Bangalore: Aug09 10, 2007
Wp/Cor/Mkg01, Employment Branding Attracting Talent, Live The Brand Manpreet Kaur Gujrat Nov 29,2006
Employer Branding: A Ripple Effect For Organisational Effectiveness Ms. Vijt Chaturvedi, faculty Icfai University
Talent management A critical Review: Robert A Lewis, Robert J Heckman: Human Resource Management Review 16(2006)
Employees Branding Guidelines November 16th, 2005.
Employee-branding-online. PDF
Employer branding using employee branding BCjobs_ca.htm
Internal Branding and Employee Engagement August 22nd, 2006 1 Comment 2,884 views
Employee branding - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.htm
Employees Branding Guidelines.htm
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