10 January 2015
Attracting, retaining, and motivating talent is becoming even more of a critical business issue. With speakers ranging from HSBC’s senior communications manager representing 277,000 employees and the CEO of Hiscox, to the founder of an agency with just 40 people, last month’s Employer Brand Management Conference thoroughly debated the impact that internal and recruitment audiences have on a business and its brand, and vice versa. Memorable stories and great quotes sparked a frenzy of note taking and tweeting.
Doing the right thing = good reputation = employer brand
There’s only one way to earn a reputation as a great employer – get the employee experience consistently right over time. Once earned, this reputation helps you attract good people, and then hold on to them longer.
People trust people more than they trust brands.
Ana Alonso, Shell’s global head of marketing for attraction and recruitment
You can’t create an employer brand and then force it on your employees. It’s got to come from the brand beliefs, actions of a company’s individuals, and how people are treated.
Timpson – recruiting on personality
Employer brand consultant Simon Barrow presented one of the most compelling stories of the day. High Street cobbler Timpson recruits on personality alone. More than that, it actively employs people with a prison record. Plus its culture centres around an ‘Upside Down Management’ approach – power is given to the people in the front line who meet customers and make the money, and everyone else is there to help them.
This pioneering approach and emphasis on a feel-good attitude can promote respect amongst current and prospective employees, serving to strengthen the employer brand.
Adnams – story worth telling
Andy Wood, CEO of Adnams talked about the fact that the bigger the business you are, the less trusted, so you have to work harder.
If so much of what an employer brand stands for is communicated through storytelling, then what better thing than a ‘happily ever after’ story that then inspires others? Karen Hester is a single mum who started as a part-time cleaner at Adnams 26 years ago. Rising through the ranks, she was recently appointed to the board to head up the company’s day-to-day operations. Her story received lots of positive media coverage.
The Workroom – Christmas Do-Something-Good
The Workroom may not have 277,000 people, but just like the clients we advise, we need to engage and inspire our own people so they’re proud to be part of our team. A 2014 report by Oxford Economics shows that it costs companies £30,614 to replace just one employee, so it’s also good business sense.
As well as having a fun ‘Christmas Do’ with plenty of wine, food, and a creative and quirky Cabaret, this year we also had a ‘Christmas Do-Something-Good’.
We donated some of our time to Samaritan’s Purse’s Operation Christmas Child. Organised by Timebank, our whole team spent a day preparing shoeboxes filled with gifts to bring a bit of festive joy to disadvantaged children around the world.
Many gifts were donated by local schoolchildren who included heartfelt notes, stories, and pictures. On opening the box an immediate and personal impact would be made – a lesson to us all on how to connect with an audience even if it’s thousands of miles away.
Our Christmas Do-Something-Good really brought the whole team together – we had fun whilst working towards a common (non-work) goal. And when people ask what we did for our Christmas Do, it’s the Christmas Do-Something-Good that we talk about. Our reputation for doing the right thing and having fun has had a positive impact on our employer brand.