3rd Employer Branding conference

The 3rd Employer Branding conference organized by Quadriga, the mission was ambitious: to follow the entire roadmap of developing an employer brand, encapsulated in ‘think – do – measure – learn’. My Twitter “Moments” summary captures some of the insights from the day.

It’s been a very busy two days, packed with very diverse presentations and workshops featuring speakers from companies like Siemens, Roche, Anheuser-Busch InBev  and GoHiring.

To me there seemed to be an unspoken agreement among the speakers that:

  • cultural targeting for recruitment is essential (although I guess most of the speakers thought of an organisational culture fit between the candidates and the organisation they often made references to the cultural system/national system within which their organisations worked so in this sense cultural mapping goes beyond matching organisational desirable behavioural patterns)
  • storytelling is essential (both in the sense of creating a wider consistent narrative about the organisation but most importantly about capturing what makes the employees unique)
  • consistency is vital
  • research (mix methods) for insight and strategy guidance (and the research featured by the presenters included a variety of instruments that were very well applied – for an academic, this is only reason to hope for increased collaboration opportunities)

To these, of great value were the pointers for Dr Leandro Herrero on the most valuable question that one can ever ask: “Why are you STILL here” and Richard Mosley’s decalogue for employer branding including:

  • define the deal (branding is not about uniformity but rather about consistency and coherence)
  • find your focus (purpose, teamwork, empowerment, innovation, reward, learning, career, performance, status)
  • dare to be different (how do you do innovation…saying you do it is not enough)
  • socialize your story (beware of adblocking software – universum – high investment in social)
  • create great content (the story is the foundation not the decoration)
  • land the look
  • embed in experience ( from marketing & advertising – internal comms – process touch-points – behaviours – employment experience)
  • master the metrics (awareness – consideration – desire – application; vs brand image – threshhold – competitive – distictive, channels – paid – owned – earned)

In this context, of the story is the foundation not decoration, my talk on storytelling was complimentary. As usual for me, I advocated for hero-centred storytelling where the organisations trade their hero role to that of mentor of their employees’ transformational journey. I used as examples IKEA and HSBC whose employer brand I believe shows authenticity and courage and does feature these kind of stories. I concluded by giving some ideas on what sort of stories could an organisation tell to reflect its employer brand. The slides are below:

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