Who is Responsible for Employer Branding?
It can be difficult to decide who is responsible for Employer branding. It sits somewhere on the intersection between c-level management, HR management, recruitment and marketing. All of these departments are important and play different roles in managing your employer brand. In this article I will aim to give you a good overview of which stakeholders you need to involve in your employer branding strategy, and who could take ownership for it.
The Role of Leadership in Employer Branding
In order for employer branding to be successful, it needs to be implemented well. This means company leaders need to be onboard. This is particularly important when it comes to EVP development, and building your culture. Employer branding needs to be authentic, and if your company leaders are not championing the employer brand, then your success will be hindered.
Your leaders need to lead by example. I cannot stress how crucially important this is. If you want your employees to embody a certain set of values, then the management need to also embody them, reiterate them and show that they are also living by them. So for example, if one of your values is making decisions based on data, then management should be doing this themselves, and be seen to be doing this and they also need to ensure that teams have access to the relevant data. This may sound obvious but this is one of the main reasons employer branding fails – when management say one thing but do another. It breaks trust and is inconsistent.
Management can reinforce the employer brand by authentically living the values every day. And although talking about the values day-to-day is important, actions speak louder than words and have a much higher impact.
HR management should work with C-level management to develop the EVP and define the culture authentically.
Employer branding is usually managed by management, HR, recruiters, marketing or a specified employer branding manager (depending on the size of the company). It may also be a project team, consisting of people from each of these departments. It involves quite a bit of stakeholder management, and needs to be aligned with relevant departments. In smaller companies the number of stakeholders is smaller but it may affect other ongoing projects.
Alignment with HR & Recruitment
Often, the role of employer branding manager sits under the management of the HR team. Sometimes it doesn’t, but it is important to ensure there is alignment here. This is important because the HR department, along with company leaders, are the people who ensure that the promises of your EVP are implemented.
Your recruiters are also pivotal when it comes to external employer branding. They are often the first person from an organisation that potential candidates will meet, and are the ones who are selling your employer branding messaging in person, email or over the phone. The recruiters will have a huge amount of knowledge which will be incredibly helpful for developing your employer branding messaging. Once your messaging is developed, Recruiters and employer branding should be very closely aligned to ensure consistency of messaging.
Additionally, if you decide to sponsor or run events, recruiters should be included in your staffing plans as this will be a great opportunity for them to meet potential candidates.
Alignment with Other Brands
Although your employer brand may be slightly different from your product or corporate brand, there should be crossover.
Alignment with Consumer Brand
Employer Branding and consumer marketing will cross over in a few ways. You may choose to use the same social media accounts to promote your consumer and employer brands, or may have allocated spots on your consumer brand marketing schedule for employer branding messaging.
You may decide to have separate marketing accounts for your employer brand – if you do this, it is important to ensure there is alignment with your consumer brand to ensure you are not flooding the market with advertising from your company, and to ensure that your messaging works in harmony with messaging on the other accounts. Also you may be able to strike a deal with suppliers when it comes to paid advertising and find other economies of scale.
Alignment with Corporate Brand
In the case of your corporate brand, it’s important to ensure this is aligned with your employer branding messaging too. Often, corporate branding involves the company leaders, whether it’s in speaking opportunities or press releases about the company which includes them. You can look for opportunities here to include employer branding messaging. If your leaders have been included from the beginning in developing the employer branding messaging, this should relatively easy to implement.
In conclusion, there is no one right way to manage your employer brand – the responsibility for employer branding lies across multiple departments. Depending on the size and structure of your organisation, your hiring needs and your budget you may choose any of the aforementioned set-ups.
If you need support with setting up employer branding within your company, feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org