Getting a budget for employer branding is truly necessary if you are expected to make something meaningful out of your employer branding work.
And if you are not, you should not bother at all. Why not take a walk instead and make that time meaningful for your own well-being. I really mean that.
The more years I have behind me in my career, the more I understand the importance of using my time wisely. Investing my professional skills and available time into tasks that matter. And choosing not to waste my time into anything failing to add value to the business, to the people and to me personally.
The problem is, you are not going to get a decent budget for employer branding unless your boss knows you are capable of converting the costs into more value for the company. And for that, you need a plan.
In this episode of the Building a Modern Employer Brand podcast, I talk about what you need to do to get started and get a budget for employer branding. Scroll down for the audio links.
What is a decent budget for employer branding?
Understanding how much employer branding costs is one of the key knowledge for anyone aspiring to work in employer branding.
Essentially, employer branding is an activity during which marketing and communication means are used in order to make the target audience aware of your company as a potential place to work for them.
Once they are aware, they are given reasons to fall in love with the external reasons, inner meanings and psychological benefits of getting a career in your company.
Those people who find themselves emotionally connected with the benefits and the positive impact being part of your company will have in their lives, will want to apply for a career in your company.
This is a journey, not a project nor a campaign. That’s why you will need adequate resources to be able to commit to an ongoing execution of your employer branding plan.
Based on a recent Finnish national study by a job media company Duunitori:
- 43% of the respondents tell their annual employer branding budget is less than 10 000 €.
- 15% are not investing anything to employer branding.
- 17% tell their annual employer branding budget is more than 30 000 €.
What do you need money for in employer branding?
Let’s look at the numbers.
The budget of 30 000 € a year gives you a budget of 2500 € per month. 10 000 € split evenly for 12 months comes to 833 €.
Strategic employer branding is easily a full time job.
Can you hire someone who has enough experience to know how to create and work strategically? I doubt it. So, you need someone else time and knowledge to get your company a strategic employer branding plan. That is going to eat about 5000-10 000 € from your budget depending what all needs to include.
Now you have roughly 1700 € to spend monthly.
Does that get you someone full time to:
- ideate and create copy, graphic, video and audio content while they also distribute the content several times a week
- keep your career site updated
- work towards getting traffic to your site and conversions to your employer branding goals
- build and engage with your talent audience
- measure the impact with data analysis
- organize and participate at events to build awareness, just to name a few of the regular weekly tasks.
And you probably also need money monthly for advertising your messages in order to expand your audience.
I don’t believe a super human like that will work for much less than 1700 € because that budget needs to cover social and operating costs as well.
Of course you can, and in fact you should engage as many of your employees to contribute to the day-to-day tasks of professional employer branding, but you still need someone to manage your employer brand perceptions and the image and coordinate and manage all of the activities in line with your plan.
The more people contributing to employer branding adds as much to managing your employer brand.
So how much should you budget?
I recommend at least 50 000 € a year / market depending on your goals.
Roughly 20 000 € should be spent wisely on new content and your own image repository planned to communicate your strategic key messages.
Another 20 000 € should be spent on the actual labor of executing the plan: coordinating and managing your employer brand, distributing and repurposing your content, creating and sponsoring posts, managing internal communication to build the employer brand internally, building your communities and engaging with them, a regular weekly to monthly data analysis, curating relevant other content and keeping your content plan updated.
The remaining 10 000 € should be spent in the media costs for your content marketing.
Year one you would need an additional 15 000 – 20 000 € to get yourself a really good, professional employer brand strategy and a systematic, easy to apply marketing plan to execute your strategy and refresh and optimize your career site content in line with your strategy and key messages.
And you still miss budget for market studies which can be very beneficial in employer branding, not to mention any event participation.
How on earth can you convince your boss to hand you more than 50 000 € a year from now on?
With a bad a** strategic employer branding plan. That’s how you do it. To get your boss to show you the money, you need to show them the plan how to turn that money into honey.
And another benefit with having that plan is to make it clear for everyone what employer branding entails in your company, and what it doesn’t.
Zero budget is simply insane
Too many people working with employer branding are in a position where they are expected to be:
- the research & development unit
- product design and development department
- sales department
- marketing department
- customer service
- returns and repairs
- a key account manager
- and an admin all in one person orchestrated as a less than a part-time job with a zero budget.
Consider that for a moment. If this rings true to you give yourself a good pat on your shoulder.
I hope you see how crazy that is just because of general lack of understanding what employer branding entails. Let’s change that together!
Listen to episode #74 of the Building a Modern Employer Brand podcast
In this episode:
- Understanding why we do employer branding and what we can solve with it.
- Why you always start with a strategic intent before you start planning actions and activities.
- Which comes first, budgeting or the plan?
- The 4 necessary steps in getting a decent budget for employer branding
Episode-length: 35:57 min
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