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www.iims-conquest.in Employer Branding: A Strategic Tool for Talent Management Tejas Karandikar and Urshila Thacker, MDI

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Employer Branding: A Strategic Tool for Talent Management

Tejas Karandikar and Urshila Thacker, MDI

ConQuest Online February 2012 Edition

ConQuest, IIM Shillong Consulting Club

Employer Branding: A Strategic Tool for Talent Management

Tejas Karandikar and Urshila Thacker, MDI

“A business based on brand is, very simply, a business primed for success”. Take a look around, with an eye for detail. From print media to TV commercials to cyberspace companies are vying for every iota of space and leaving no stone unturned to ensure continual visibility. The above quote by former Fortune 200 CEO David F Alessandro, distinctively underscores the importance of branding. It has always been the foundation of marketing, but in the 21 st century it is gradually becoming the key word in the HR department. “Employer branding” is a powerful weaponry in the armory of Human Resource function. It serves to brand the employer and the talent pool serves as the customers.

The concept of Employer branding is occidental but it has eluded many corporations. Universum, a global leader in Employer Branding concisely puts the concept into words as “Employer branding is the strategy companies use to appeal to desired current and future ideal talent.” Employer branding is a strategic and an enigmatic concept which combines the concept of marketing with Human Resource Management.

An employee gets associated with the brand right from the time he joins a company, through his tenure and even after he leaves the organization. In pursuit of achieving the much awaited financial targets, organizations are fully aware that they cannot chase their dreams without their people. Traditionally, the focus of organizations for gaining a competitive advantage has been mainly on tangible or measurable assets like capital, sophisticated machinery or licenses. However, with passage of time, all these resources are now widely available and one of the prime growth drivers today is the availability of talent. Organizations’ quest for talent has become exceedingly difficult due to the aging problems of U.S., Europe and Japan. With the emergence of Russia, China and India, the competition for skilled labor has highly intensified and attrition rates have skyrocketed.

has highly intensified and attrition rates have skyrocketed. As we try to understand how companies exercise

As we try to understand how companies exercise Employer branding, let’s first see why there are certain products which we always prefer to buy. The obvious answer is their effective “branding.” Thus in order to attract talented employees to apply in organizations; it is imperative that the organization has a brand value in front of its prospective employees. For

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instance, what does one associate with the word ‘Google?’ – “ exemplary search engine” , “ Sergy Brin and Larry Page” and “ Ä Great to place to work at.” Thus it is this image of Google which helps it in getting the best people in the market to apply for jobs. Employer branding is a long term solution to the dearth of talent that we face in the present scenario. To maintain a steady flow of applicants, companies have to develop an image that “it is the place to be.” The human resource managers are trying to develop a distinctive image for their companies which reflect the culture, the career progression of the employees and its values and vision. Companies use the tools of marketing research, PR and advertising to tell the people outside ‘what is it to work in the organization.’ Nike has invested millions of dollars to make its employees believe that their lives in the office are like “living in the Nike commercial”.

Although employer branding assists in attracting talent from the outside world, additionally, organizations need to have an inward looking approach which entails focus on its employees. Employers strive to make the employees feel proud of the organization and always enthusiastic to speak about new initiatives to their friends and relatives. L’Oreal has wisely used the tool of empowerment of its employees to facilitate employee engagement. A famous saying in L’Oreal goes, “You can be a General at 28”, drawing from Napoleon who went on to become a general at that age. Employees are empowered to shoulder responsibilities at a young age and ambitious & deserving employees can easily fast track their professional growth. This clearly demonstrates that internal employer branding is not only about employee engagement, but also involves building relationships of employees with the corporate culture. One of the biggest advantages of internal branding is that companies can gauge the attributes which are likely to attract new talent to the business, ultimately allowing them to tailor their recruitment strategy to current market scenario. The following diagram illustrates how branding can be used to attract and retain talent in organizations.

following diagram illustrates how branding can be used to attract and retain talent in organizations. www.iims-conquest.in

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ConQuest, IIM Shillong Consulting Club There is no denying the importance of employer branding for organizations

There is no denying the importance of employer branding for organizations to gain a competitive edge. There are hundreds of organizations who have realized this and every organization is developing its own ways of mastering the art of branding. As the famous quote goes “the only thing constant in life is change”, it is imperative that employers keep practicing different ways of branding their organization. Word of mouth is the most powerful tool for branding; it’s fast and authentic. Thus highly engaged employees are being trained to act as brand ambassadors of their organizations. A survey conducted by Universum showed that career websites are the best ways to promote organizations’ values and culture. It is the first and the foremost link between a prospective employee and the employer. Audi, one of the leading automobile manufacturers has remodeled their website to showcase its unique culture. Organizations have started developing their profiles on social networking sites like Linkedln and Facebook to develop personal relationships with their employees. Ernst and Young have 23,000 members in its Facebook community which gives them a cost effective method to promote their employer brand. Companies have started customizing their hiring and referral advertisements according to the culture and expectations of the countries.

To sum it up, employer branding is not an overnight activity but is a continuous process. In order to reap the benefits in future, organizations should ensure that they initiate a virtuous cycle from external reputation to internal recognition and vice versa. With its immense potential of providing a competitive advantage, most of the organizations are making a beeline towards employer branding with only one contemplation better late than never!

making a beeline towards employer branding with only one contemplation – better late than never! www.iims-conquest.in

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The Team ConQuest, IIM Shillong Consulting Club Conquest Online is the online edition of ConQuest

The Team

ConQuest, IIM Shillong Consulting Club

Conquest Online is the online edition of ConQuest which is a student driven Consulting club of IIM Shillong.

The ConQuest Team includes

Anurag Prasad |

anurag10@iimshillong.in

Hemant Bhargava |

hemant10@iimshillong.in

Manbir Singh Tandon |

manbir10@iimshillong.in

Partha Mitra |

partha10@iimshillong.in

Priyansh Modi |

priyansh10@iimshillong.in

Ritika Parasrampuria |

ritika.p10@iimshillong.in

Siddharth Jaidev |

siddharth10@iimshillong.in

Aritra Nayak |

aritra11@iimshillong.in

Arpit V Tripathi |

arpit11@iimshillong.in

Nimesh Nair |

nimesh11@iimshillong.in

Pochineni Shalini |

pochineni11@iimshillong.in

Rishi Gupta |

rishi11@iimshillong.in

Shirish Prakash Jain |

shirish11@iimshillong.in

Sunayna Agarwal |

sunayna11@iimshillong.in

Tarun Gupta |

tarun11@iimshillong.in

©ConQuest, Consulting Club of IIM Shillong

©ConQuest, Consulting Club of IIM Shillong

©ConQuest, Consulting Club of IIM Shillong Comments/feedback, please mail to conquest.iims@gmail.com www.iims-conquest.in
©ConQuest, Consulting Club of IIM Shillong Comments/feedback, please mail to conquest.iims@gmail.com www.iims-conquest.in

Comments/feedback, please mail to conquest.iims@gmail.com www.iims-conquest.in

©ConQuest, Consulting Club of IIM Shillong Comments/feedback, please mail to conquest.iims@gmail.com www.iims-conquest.in
©ConQuest, Consulting Club of IIM Shillong Comments/feedback, please mail to conquest.iims@gmail.com www.iims-conquest.in
©ConQuest, Consulting Club of IIM Shillong Comments/feedback, please mail to conquest.iims@gmail.com www.iims-conquest.in
©ConQuest, Consulting Club of IIM Shillong Comments/feedback, please mail to conquest.iims@gmail.com www.iims-conquest.in