Erica Marom and Uri Ar’s method to constructing an employer model (trace: it doesn’t contain foosball tables!)
Last 12 months, we attended an employer branding lecture given by an knowledgeable within the discipline at a distinguished Israeli tech firm. There was plenty of speak about Instagram and Fb, together with varied photographs of yoga courses and joyful hours.
We checked out one another and knew what the opposite was considering — that’s not employer branding.
We’re Urica – Erica Marom (LinkedIn), former journalist turned startup storyteller, and Uri Ar (LinkedIn), model and expertise strategist. We each work at Aleph serving to our portfolio corporations construct their manufacturers, inform their tales and construct significant experiences. With rising competitors over prime expertise, we noticed rising demand from our portfolio corporations to distinguish themselves as employers. Why ought to anybody work at startup A versus startup B?
Along with Racheli Kogan, an HR knowledgeable beforehand of Fundbox, we determined to share our view of what employer branding actually means and the way it interprets to a technique of constructing a significant employer model that any startup may rapidly and simply undertake.
What’s an employer model?
Employer branding is a elementary course of primarily based on making use of your organization story and values to every part you do, from hiring and firing to firm life. Your employer model is outlined by how outsiders and potential staff understand your organization as a office, and by how your staff really feel and expertise your organization and categorical that to others.
Your employer model differentiates you primarily based upon your worth proposition to your staff, past the fundamental parts they’ve come to anticipate from any tech firm – like compensation, perks and advantages – to the issues they really care about, like influence and private improvement.
It may be tempting to attempt to appeal to staff with foosball tables, sport rooms and joyful hours. However everybody else is already doing this, so it doesn’t even make it easier to stand out, and, extra importantly, it’s unlikely to be a significant expression of your values or of your organization’s persona and distinctive vibe.
Each perk, exercise and profit, each firm course of and coverage, must be considered each as a chance and a dedication to constructing and speaking your employer model.
Whereas employer branding could also be owned by HR or advertising and marketing (ideally a three way partnership!), each worker must be made conscious of and perceive the truth that they’re a consultant of the corporate and have the chance to be an evangelist of the employer model. The most effective evangelists are true believers –so you need to ensure that your Kool-Assist is price consuming. 😉
How do I construct an employer model?
Model is a relationship. Branding is all about constructing relationships, setting expectations and defining your commitments. It encompasses each single factor you do as an organization, and it’s guided by your values. Whereas values can typically be thought-about clichéd fluff, in our minds your values are your dedication and your promise, your touchstone by which to measure every part you do. Each encounter along with your model is a chance (and a problem) to specific that relationship – from how briskly your web site masses to your advertising and marketing copy to your product usability to the expertise of being employed by your organization.
An employer model is derived out of your overarching model and values. It’s the relationship you construct along with your staff – from the potential candidates who’re studying about and even entertaining the thought of working at your organization, to your precise staff, to those that are leaving your organization.
Earlier than embarking on an employer branding course of, it’s worthwhile to perceive who you’re as an organization and what the values are that information you – as these values might be your lighthouse for every part you do going ahead.
When you’ve outlined your values, the following step is to look at all your firm lifecycle purposes: hiring, onboarding, recognition/analysis, inner communications, exterior communications, tradition, welfare and termination. Then begin serious about the best way to infuse your values into each one in every of these purposes in an effort to construct an employer model that resonates all through day-to-day firm life:
- Hiring: Your entire recruitment course of, the kind of folks you wish to rent, the job descriptions, the way you pitch to candidates, the way you conduct job interviews and the kind of questions which might be requested, candidate expertise, surveys, the way you deal with rejections, the way you select a remaining candidate, and so forth.
- Onboarding: Orientation, care package deal, what the primary day seems to be like, handovers, how a lot emphasis you placed on coaching vs. throwing into the deep finish, documentation/handbooks, and so forth.
- Recognition/Analysis: What you reward and worth as a corporation, the way you resolve on promotions, what behaviors you wish to encourage, who evaluates whom, the best way to conduct critiques, wage will increase, bonuses, how, if and while you acknowledge success and key staff, and so forth.
- Inner Communication: The way you talk with staff (new staff, folks leaving, downsizing, and so forth.), how the manager crew interacts with staff, how clear you’re, the place you conduct inner messaging, inner channels of communication like Slack/e-mail, how (and if) you utilize different channels like WhatsApp, what you talk the place, communication expectations over weekend/holidays, and so forth.
- Exterior Communication: Your profession web page, firm LinkedIn web page, Glassdoor web page, job advertisements, rejection letters for candidates, PR (which kinds of articles or lists you wish to be in, and which you don’t), your relationship with the media, Life@social pages (Instagram/FB/Twitter), and so forth.
- Tradition: The way you run your organization, the way you make selections, which methodologies and processes you select, social tradition, hierarchy, firm and crew occasions, and so forth.
- Welfare: All of your perks and advantages, together with issues like trip, sick depart, maternity/paternity depart, meals, transportation and insurance coverage, fairness, private improvement, and so forth.
- Termination: The way you finish a relationship with an worker, what number of possibilities you give them, are you clear, do you search for a substitute earlier than they depart or not, do you fireplace folks across the holidays or if somebody has a troublesome private difficulty, the way you deal with downsizing vs. lack of efficiency vs. when a employee leaves on their very own, what number of perks you give when somebody leaves, do you announce it inside the firm, suggestions, and so forth.
These are all the worker lifecycle purposes as we now have outlined them. You probably have any others which might be related or particular to your organization, be at liberty so as to add them. Our method to constructing an employer model is to assemble a desk through which we then cross our values with every of those totally different firm lifecycle purposes. In every sq., we outline the guiding rules of conduct in addition to sensible concepts primarily based upon every worth.
So, for instance, utilizing the worth of collaboration as outlined by one in every of our portfolio corporations and making use of it to the lifecycle utility of termination, we outlined:
“Once we are ending a relationship with an worker, it mustn’t come as a shock; we should always have interaction in open talks and conversations with them forward of any thought-about termination in an try and collaborate and enhance their efficiency. We also needs to supply steerage and assist each on their work and their profession path. A choice to terminate also needs to be a collaborative course of with related stakeholders inside the firm. If a call is made to terminate, the worker must be clearly notified and be an lively a part of that course of wherever doable (remaining date, kind of compensation, and so forth.). We might by no means begin in search of a substitute earlier than the worker is notified that they’re being terminated. The remainder of the workers must be knowledgeable, and they need to perceive the way it will have an effect on their work. All communication on the subject must be constructive, grateful and respectful. On this spirit of collaboration, we would assist that worker discover a new position within the firm, or perhaps a new job, if doable.”
This technique can and must be utilized to all your firm lifecycle purposes, till you could have accomplished your complete matrix.
As soon as accomplished, you’ll have a desk stuffed with guiding rules and sensible concepts that you could implement at your organization. You should utilize these to construct out a long-term employer branding technique that takes under consideration each the bigger, dearer initiatives in addition to tackling simple, low-hanging fruit.
We suggest that you simply prioritize these initiatives primarily based on influence versus value and energy – how a lot influence an thought may have on present and potential worker notion versus how a lot cash, time and sources it requires.
For an employer model to succeed, it must be handled similar to some other venture at your organization. It requires a technique, price range and buy-in from management and administration. It requires an proprietor and a devoted crew. These efforts must be communicated clearly all through the corporate so that everybody will get on board.
This matrix is only the start. Each encounter inside the firm is a chance to keep up or strengthen your employer model. The primary thought going ahead is to easily be considerate about each single interplay till it turns into second nature. Taking a minute earlier than you share a social publish, conduct an interview or create a brand new coverage to make sure they’re aligned along with your values will already put you forward of the sport. It’s not nearly profiting from alternatives; it’s additionally about not damaging your employer model by neglect or by doing the fallacious factor.
When you’ve adopted an overarching technique in your employer model, you’ll need to adapt it to totally different folks and various interactions. Whereas the identical firm rules and values apply to everybody, what influence means and what private improvement means fluctuate primarily based on position, and it’s essential to know what drives them. Take note of the persona of whom you’re interacting with; entrepreneurs, for instance, care about various things from builders. Speaking collaboration through an organization hackathon could also be extra related to builders, whereas for entrepreneurs, collaboration could possibly be about model and efficiency entrepreneurs working collectively as a crew.
Whereas there are many corporations nonetheless making an attempt to construct an employer model by speaking about joyful hours and foosball tables, there are some manufacturers who’re getting it proper. Throughout the Covid pandemic, for instance, Lemonade shared a weblog written by the CEO Daniel Schreiber calling for each firm to ask each worker to get vaccinated. Company accountability, he stated, can transfer the needle and make a distinction. As an authorized B-Corp, Lemonade is all about social influence and accountability; they donate further income to charities of their customers’ selection, and imagine that doing properly and doing proper should not mutually unique. This weblog, nevertheless controversial – and even as a result of it’s controversial – establishes Lemonade’s employer model in a transparent and differentiated means and attracts staff that align with their values. It may not be for everybody – however that’s the purpose.
In the end, for those who take one factor away from this weblog about the best way to construct a compelling employer model, the trick is don’t be lazy. Don’t simply do what everybody else is doing. Should you let your model story and values information you and are prepared to speculate only a bit extra, you possibly can construct a significant employer model and lasting relationships along with your staff. We not too long ago had a portfolio firm efficiently recruit a senior govt (away on sabbatical!) primarily based on their distinctive set of values – so for those who construct it, they may come.
Our 10 Commandments of Employer Branding:
- Leverage your EVP (Worker Worth Proposition). Extract out of your values what your candidates and staff truly care about and what’s distinctive to you as an organization. What declare are you able to make – that none of your opponents could make – that your staff care about?
- Talk with staff. Always concentrate on your viewers. What brings staff to your organization and what is going to preserve them at your organization? Pay attention. One thing that appears trivial to you could possibly be a deal-breaker for another person.
- Arm your staff. Your staff are your finest ambassadors and evangelists. Give them the instruments, the platform and the permission to speak about their experiences.
- Measure what you possibly can. Measuring your work can rally the administration to assist and amplify it in addition to make it easier to enhance your output.
- Take it severely. Construct a technique and a price range for employer branding; this can be a venture like some other at your group.
- Focus. Don’t open 1,000,000 channels and unfold your self skinny making an attempt to handle all of them. Open the channels that you simply resolve are related for you and your viewers and give attention to optimizing these. Keep away from posting for the sake of posting; you possibly can hurt your status with low-quality content material or by being off-brand.
- Thoughts your picture. PR must be micromanaged, not simply managed. There’s such a factor as unhealthy PR, and also you wish to ensure that each article or occasion you take part in is aligned along with your values.
- Management your on-line presence. Fastidiously handle your presence on exterior platforms like LinkedIn and Glassdoor.
- Teamwork. A superb employer branding technique is constructed by advertising and marketing and HR working collectively. Be sure everyone seems to be aligned.
- Dwell your values. Actually – and don’t be hypocritical about them. Folks anticipate you to face by your values.
This weblog relies on a workshop given by Uri Ar and Erica Marom to Aleph portfolio corporations in June 2021. We’d love to listen to from you, attain out at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org