Five myths about building an HR-brand

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Five myths about building an HR-brand

It is difficult to imagine a successful and effective HR director who works without effective communication, research, and promotion, without digital technologies and all that marketing can give. The connection between business areas, responsibilities, and different departments is blurred. Building an HR-brand is all about cooperation. There are several myths concerning this process.

Myth 1: since the name contains “HR” all the work is exclusively on the HR employees.

HR-brand is part of the overall corporate brand of the company. The brand of the company consists of the image of the company as an industry player, the image of its products, and the image of the employer. If the market takes a negative view of at least one of the parts, this will have a negative impact on the company’s brand as a whole.

Building an HR-brand is a long and time-consuming process that involves top managers (including the top figure of the company), HR, PR, and marketing departments. The company becomes the best employer due to the presence of a clear strategy, as well as well-coordinated work of the whole team.

Therefore, HR, PR, and marketing with the support of senior management should unite in the formation of a unified strategy.

Myth 2: HR-brand is unique and special and it consists of something else.

If you look at something that looks like an apple, then in 99.9% of cases it will turn out to be just an apple. In 0,1% of cases it can be an orange, but, most likely, it will be inedible. The same principle goes for an HR-brand: if it is a brand, then it should be based on certain principles and rules.

The brand is the images and associations that pop up in the mind of the consumer/client/job seeker when he or she thinks about your company. Both tangible and intangible characteristics are important for a brand. They can be rational, directly related to the tangible characteristics or emotional. As a rule, people who find intangible characteristics and emotional advantages important differ from those who value rational things.

The same components are important for an HR-brand. The only difference is that if you want to attract job seekers, it’s important to focus on emotional advantages and intangible characteristics. People go to your factory not because you are making details for a car, but also because you create the coolest cars there. People work in Disney, not only to spend hours drawing sketches but because of the opportunity to become a part of the fantasy.

Myth 3: HR-brand’s audience is external. It is only needed to attract job seekers.

Of course, this is not true. There are many communication channels for the brand, but employees are a key channel and the most reliable one. And when prospective candidates want to know about the company, the first people they ask are employees. And whatever employers write on their websites, whatever videos they shoot, it is employees and their attitude to the company that is the key component of the HR-brand.

Internal audience (employees) is even more important for the HR-brand than the external one (candidates). Employees get access to the content of the work after they believed company’s external image and joined it. They know the real state of affairs and carry this information to the external environment.

As a consequence, a healthy internal corporate culture subsequently attracts the right candidates.

Myth 4: HR-brand is merely what a company says about itself.

The HR-brand has both emotional and rational components. This is not only what the company says about itself, but also what employees and job seekers feel towards the company. It is very important what is implied.

For us as the brand, the following attributes are very important: influence, freedom, challenge, and team. We have a written strategy about what we do with these attributes, how we broadcast them both outside and inside the company. The result of such work is best seen where employees freely express themselves: social networks, blogs, etc.

Myth 5: HR-brand is very expensive.

As stated above, the brand is a part of the company, therefore investments must be joint. It is necessary to combine budgets and the intersection of areas of internal resources use and to attract employees. You do not have hire stars and pay them, your people will write a blog, they will shoot and edit a video, etc.

This becomes a reality if we come back to the understanding of HR as a system that works by itself. You do not need to shoot expensive videos about how cool your company is to form a super HR-brand. The brand should be formed by employees. This is the key objective. Building an HR-brand will be cheap if you involve the maximum number of departments.

Invite, for example, experts who are interested in working for free to promote themselves.

And most importantly remember that everything you do should work towards creating the added value for the company.

If after some time you do not notice any increase in the number of resumes, the turnover and the average recruiting time do not decrease, and the indicator of involvement does not increase then you are doing something wrong.

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