Jeff Bezoz, Amazon.com’s founder, famously observed that “once a company culture is formed it takes nuclear weaponry to change it.”
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So it’s hardly surprising that internal brand engagement requires an ‘inside-out’ value-based approach to shaping employee perceptions and behaviours – and that companies with consistent and deeply held values tend to outperform those companies with a less clear and articulated culture. It’s one of the primary reasons why many organisations have turned from the short term engagement focus of internal branding initiatives to the more long term focus of employer brand management – and why ‘tactical’ recruitment messages are now seen as increasingly distressed purchases (and in the worst cases, cannon fodder for the job board and aggregators).
A Promise Beyond the Communication
But with double-digit growth now a fact of life in employment across all sectors, how does an organisation recruit the required numbers in-time as well as on-brand, in the face of fierce competition (and probably the additional pressure of unwanted attrition)? For those organisations who have invested in building their policies and processes to reflect their people brand promise, there’s not necessarily any disconnect between hiring on-brand, within time to hire. If your organisation has expanded the brand intervention beyond ‘Communication’ to incorporate every aspect of your employee experience (i.e. at every touch point), an increase in attraction activity should bring at least a degree of proportionate success.
A Researched Reality
But what about organisations who aren’t able to enjoy the benefits of employer brand management that supports external recruitment as well as internal engagement and employee retention? What do you do if you’re not basing the employment experience on a researched reality?
With an ‘average’ EVP project taking a minimum three months to complete from sign-off, it might appear that there’s little hope of creating a researched communications platform that can attract a sustainable pipeline of ‘on-brand’ candidates any time soon. However, there is a ‘middle-ground methodology’ that can utilise a short but deeply insightful employee survey which ascertains the primary reason why people of all tenures and skillsets work for an organisation – and what the internal employment value proposition actually is. That, at the very least, offers a firm direction for external engagement based on cultural fit and a reasonable ‘guesstimate’ of market differentiation. No, it’s not a rigorously-researched EVP. But it’s not bad science either – and for some of our time-or-budget-challenged clients it’s proving the difference between attracting the right talent or suffering the agonies of no-hires (or even worse, mis-hires).
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