How to achieve a truly relevant employer brand?
This needs to be the starting question for all employer brand development.
In this episode of the Building a Modern Employer brand podcast, I share with you the difference between the modern employer branding that truly convinces and converts and employer branding that seldom does.
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A truly relevant employer brand is not about you, it’s about them
I am talking about the founding principle behind my Magnetic Employer Branding Method™️:
“It’s not about you, it’s about them.”
First of all, employer branding is an act of communication, messaging and marketing.
The intent is to grow your employer awareness, build employer brand affinity, and convince your target audiences to convert. To convert in ways that return business-relevant value on the invested resources.
Secondly, for this to happen, your employer branding story must invite your target audience in and make them see and feel that there is a place in that story for them. This is what a truly relevant employer brand achieves.
When your employer branding story is about your target talents, not about your company, your employer branding goals and objectives are more likely to be met than if your employer branding focuses solely on your company’s achievements and business needs.
This is the difference between the more conventional way of approaching employer branding and then the modern employer branding we represent at Employer Branding Agency Emine and my method represent.
“Modern Employer Branding” is a paradigm shift
Modern Employer Branding is a paradigm shift. A fundamental change in how people think about something.
This dramatic shift in perspective changes how we approach and understand concepts, ideas, and even facts.
It can occur when new data or information contradicts existing beliefs and changes how we interpret the world. It can also occur due to technological advances or social transformations that alter our lives.
It is a transformation from one way of understanding the world to another. This can be related to scientific, cultural, or social advances and theories.
A paradigm shift occurs when a new idea replaces an old one and opens up possibilities that never before seemed possible.
And that’s precisely what made me develop this approach to modern employer branding: The Magnetic Employer Branding Method™️.
The typical business marketing problem
For ages, marketing has been proclaiming how great your business, products and services are.
The problem is none of our audiences is interested in our greatness.
The only thing they are interested in is what’s in it for them.
The problem is none of our audiences is interested in our greatness. The only thing they are interested in is what’s in it for them.Susanna Rantanen
In essence, we are all looking for someone to help us to:
- solve our problems.
- steer us away from our struggles and challenges.
- figure out how we can become better versions of ourselves or get the career and life we desire.
I challenge you to pay attention to how most business marketing feels irrelevant because it concerns the business’s needs.
Very quickly, you will find most of it being about promoting vacancies, products and services.
Then, pay attention to the typical official communication of an organisation.
You’ll find official business communications to focus on the one-way delivery of news, updates and achievements targeted at their audiences and stakeholders.
How does that make you feel?
Can you recognize any space for you in those messages?
Unlikely. Because they are not inviting.
So, you have to ask yourself, are that kind of marketing and communication truly effective?
Will one-way communication or promotional marketing excite you to stay tuned and become attracted to an organization?
Will one-way communication or promotional marketing excite you to stay tuned and become attracted to an organization?Susanna Rantanen
The overflow of information online makes us overwhelmed and uncertain
The overflow of information online makes us overwhelmed and uncertain about whom we should pay attention to and who we should trust when it comes to making decisions about our work and life.
I’m sure you can recognize how we are constantly bombarded with many choices and information.
You may also feel you don’t have enough time to process all the available information, creating a sense of anxiety. This can lead to difficulty making decisions or feeling overwhelmed and uncertain.
You may have become confused by conflicting advice or inundated with product options, leading to confusion and potentially making it harder for you to make informed decisions.
The ongoing information overload makes it difficult for us to process and evaluate all the available options when deciding which products or services to buy or which jobs and companies to apply for.
The ongoing information overload makes it difficult for us to process and evaluate all the available options when deciding which products or services to buy or which jobs and companies to apply for.Susanna Rantanen
This can easily lead us to make poor decisions and end up with the least ideal matches for our personal and professional needs and preferences.
Unfortunately, most employer branding is also like that.
We like to talk A LOT about ourselves. Our needs, achievements, success stories and updates suffocate our internal and external communication efforts.
The problem is, while all this is relevant to those of us creating the messages, campaigns and announcements, and at least to some extent, to our internal audiences.
The painful truth is nobody out there cares, except maybe our moms.
My upcoming book will guide you to build a truly relevant employer brand: The Modern and Magnetic Employer Brand
I’m currently writing a book about my approach to modern employer branding.
This book will help you to build a truly relevant employer brand that is not about you but about them: your target talents. And that underlying principle is precisely why this method will turn your company into a magnetic employer and workplace.
I want you to keep this in your mind from now on: It’s not about you; it’s about them.
“You” refers to the organization you represent and are employer branding, and “them” refers to your internal and external talent target audience.
Talent is the hero in your modern employer branding story
“Talent is the hero in your employer branding story”.
The only way to achieve a relevant employer brand is to make your employer brand story about how you, as an employer, can help your target audience get the career and life they want.
Talent is the hero in your employer branding story. The only way for your employer branding story to be relevant to your target audience is to make it about them.Susanna Rantanen
Everything else is highly unlikely to fail to deliver back the expected value.
What does this mean?
Let’s start with your role as the employer, as this is likely to help you understand this role reversal.
I’ve got you covered with something even better.
And that is the role of the guide, the trusted guide and navigator in the work-to-life setting.
Notice how I keep referring to “work-to-life” instead of work life?
I do it on purpose.
I want to emphasize that I’m not talking about only work life, as in life during the working hours.
I’m talking about both the work life and personal life of your past, present and future employees.
This is vital for you to pay attention to as our personal and work lives became intertwined during the pandemic unless they already were.
It is no longer about the balance between work and personal life.
It is the whole thing, the 24/7, the 7 days a week.
And that’s why we employers must extend our promises beyond working hours to a meaningful life today and in the future.
From Employer Value Promise to Work-to-Life promise
I call this promise the Work-to-Life promise instead of an employer or employee value promise. Simply because it’s not about employment, it’s about the talent.
It cuts much deeper into what I am able to do [as an employee].
How am I being encouraged and supported at the workplace?
How does this place support me to grow my self-awareness and help me to create the kind of life that matters to me?
How does this workplace support me to grow my self-awareness and help me to create the kind of life that matters to me?Susanna Rantanen
Am I being encouraged to develop skills and capabilities that help me to use this career opportunity as a runaway to an even better future?
Or, am I here just to deliver value for the employer and owners, and that’s it?
As the employer, you want to position as the trusted guide
As the employer in your employer branding story, you want to be the trusted guide who helps your target talents to navigate and make the right decisions for them in their work-to-life.
You want this [role] because people will always pay attention to those messages and messengers with something relevant and valuable to offer.
You want this [role] because people will always pay attention to those messages and messengers with something relevant and valuable to offer.Susanna Rantanen
Positioning as the trusted guide for your target talents and conveying a clear promise of a brighter future as a result of building a career in their organization gets you their attention.
This is how to win sustainable attention in employer branding
- Focus delivering relevant, inspiring and helpful messages to your target talent audiences.
- Position as the employer whom they can trust and who has empathy towards their situation and work-to-life needs.
- Give them a reason to follow you as you invite them as heroes in your employer branding story.
The Magnetic Employer Branding Method™️ matches your mission with the ideal talents’ minds
So why a hero and a guide?
Because hero and guide are the key roles in a story.
The Magnetic Employer Branding Method™️ applies storytelling and persuasive communication to create an inviting employer branding story for your target audience to follow and join.
This method sees employer branding as a journey rather than a campaign because converting your talents is not an instantaneous act but a journey they go through in their own time.
A main framework within this method is called the Candidate Journey of the Information Era™️.
It is a visual portrayal of the journey your target talents must go through.
During this journey, they need to learn about you and get evidence to become convinced of your company as their only or one of their primary choices.
Why it benefits your company to position as the trusted guide and work-to-life mentor
Every story has a hero who has a problem they cannot solve alone.
As this problem grows, it becomes very painful for them, threatening their well-being and survival and declining their ability to thrive.
As this struggle grows, they start to look for a way out. Only to discover the way out is much harder to reach without someone to follow.
And that’s where the guide steps in.
Guides have authority and empathy for the hero.
They also have a plan and can cast an exciting vision of how this plan will lead the hero to the desired vision.
The Magnetic Employer Branding Method™️ (Vaikuttava Työnantajabrändi Metodi™️ in Finnish to my local audience) has a built-in approach to turn your employer branding activities into an employer branding story that invites your target audience on the Candidate Journey with your company.
The Magnetic Employer Branding Method™️ (Vaikuttava Työnantajabrändi Metodi™️ in Finnish to my local audience) has a built-in approach to turn your employer branding activities into an employer branding story that invites your target audience on the Candidate Journey with your company.Susanna Rantanen
If you genuinely want to build an employer brand that consistently invites, guides and converts, then the Magnetic Employer Brand is your choice.
As I said, I am currently writing a book about this method.
If you are interested in this method and the book, subscribe to my Weekly Email on Building the Modern Employer Brand here.
This is a weekly email connected with this podcast, but only the subscribers get exclusive insight and information I don’t share publicly anywhere else but the email.
I’m going to leave you with your ears ringing this: It’s not about you, it’s about them.
Think about what this means for you in your work, for your employer brand and your target audiences.
Connect, comment and share your thoughts with me online!