Employment Branding Matters More Than Ever [case study]

by Sharlyn Lauby on July 25, 2012

(Today’s post is sponsored by iCIMS, a leading Software-as-a-Service provider who is focused on taking the hassle out of corporate HR processes. iCIMS has grown faster than any other talent acquisition provider while staying true to its core values of customer orientation, adaptability and innovation. I hope you enjoy today’s post!)

Years ago, we were introduced to the term employment branding. Before I hear a collective groan about the subject of employment branding, let’s admit deep down inside that it’s important. I’ll admit the term employment brand has been abused but that doesn’t mean the concept isn’t essential.

After all, there are brands like Apple and Starbucks that don’t even have their name in their logo and we all know who they are…along with a perception of their brand. And, I haven’t heard any marketing executives saying the consumer brand isn’t important.

The challenge for us as HR pros is realizing that our company’s consumer brand and employment brand are two different things. And those two different brands must align with each other. Obviously, a company’s consumer brand is the impression someone gets about the company’s product or service. And the employment brand is the impression people get about working at the company.

It’s great when these two brands align. I love the brand and I love working for the company. There can be challenges when people love one but not the other. For example, can you think of a company:

Where you would buy the product in a heartbeat but never work there in a million years? Or,

That you’d love to work at but would never buy their stuff?

That’s why it’s critical for HR to develop a strong employment brand. As strong as the company’s consumer brand. HR should be as passionate about the company’s employment brand as the vice president of marketing is about the company’s consumer brand.

The payoff for a company with a positive and identifiable employment brand is qualified candidates. Let me share a story from the trenches to demonstrate:

CapTech is a national technology firm offering a full suite of services including management consulting, systems recruiting, hr, brands, employments brand, consumer brand, iCIMS, CapTech, recruitintegration and data management. For four years in a row, they’ve been counted among Inc. Magazine’s 5000 fastest growing private companies. Being a rapidly growing firm meant they were doing a lot of recruiting as well as focusing on converting their process from paper to web-based. But they knew they needed more.

As a tech firm, CapTech spent a significant amount of their recruiting efforts on unique-to-fill positions. They knew that building connections with passive candidates was important. It needed to be easy to connect with potential candidates and easy for the candidate to stay engaged with the company. Melissa Garrett, human resources manager explains why. “Recruiting in this industry has become very competitive and it was necessary to show that we were in-tune with the market.”

CapTech’s strategy was to build a talent network using iCIMS social recruiting tools and mobile portals. It gave them the speed they wanted to post new jobs and connect with applicants. Just like Melissa said – if the market is competitive, then the employment brand must align with the competitive nature of the business.

When you get a moment, check out the CapTech careers site. I love their message – “Others Talk, We Listen.” Their company culture comes through loud and clear in their recruiting video.

The success of aligning employment and consumer brands was tremendous. According to CapTech, they received over 630 mobile submissions and 233 employment applications via social networks like Facebook and Twitter. CapTech tracks results using iCIMS’ reporting tools and makes adjustments to their recruiting strategy as appropriate.

Stories like the one from CapTech remind us that brand identity is key to our recruiting success. Call it what you will, but it doesn’t dismiss the value of having a branding strategy and working that strategy.

If you’d like to learn more about the CapTech case study, you can click here. Also visit the iCIMS website,  check out their blog or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

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