Employer Branding Part II

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I asked you for your thoughts on the concept of employer branding because I’m speaking on a panel, today, where we will discuss the validity of the employment branding process.

I don’t really want to talk about employer branding with you, though. What I really want to talk about is my cold.

That’s right. I have a spring cold.

I am completely untrained at this point in my career to sit in a conference room all day long and talk about anything. Cats. Coffee. Bacon. I can’t do it. Throw in Human Resources issues — including employer branding — and I’m toast.

My original plan was to mainline Starbucks and make copious trips to the ladies room. Now that I am sneezy and drippy, I want to take cold medicine but there is no way I’ll be able to stay awake. Not even the most gentle decongestant will prevent me from nodding off while one of my colleagues talks about talent management or recruiting.

So I need your advice. How do I present myself as an engaged Human Resources practitioner who has a thoughtful and relevant opinion on employer branding when I’m blowing my nose, sneezing, and trying to stay awake? How the hell do you do it?

Someone, please, tell me.

Also, here’s where I came down on the branding debate. Not that anyone cares.

  • Employer branding, which is the image your organization tries to portray to current/potential employees, is what HR focuses on when it doesn’t want to pay attention to HR effectiveness as a whole.
  • Employer branding is about alignment. Your recruiting process should match up with your consumer brand. HR and hiring managers should tell a story that is honest and make the case for the average worker to spend 40+ hours/week focusing on your company’s mission, vision, and values.
  • If you are doing employer branding right, you are doing recruiting right. You are communicating what your company has to offer to job seekers — and consumers — in an honest and direct manner.

Employer branding is part of HR excellence, but it’s also part of a more thoughtful and strategic organizational communication program. It’s also the last thing you should be thinking about if you can’t get your payroll uploaded properly, your benefits costs are rising, and your management promotes a culture that doesn’t exist.

Don’t give me a brochure. Don’t give me a spiel on a culture or innovation. Don’t tell me that you are committed to promoting from within. Give me results, profitability, and an environment where I can make a difference. Give me space, give me tools, and give me a paycheck that doesn’t compel me to take a second job at Walgreens.

If you can’t give me those things, be honest with me. That’s employer branding.

Now someone get me a box of Puffs Plus with Lotion.

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