Employer Branding is en vogue. As a buzzword on the web and also as a new, most welcome business area for marketing agencies. There's just one tiny little problem: but how can you illustrate its effectiveness? 

Simple answer: by measuring the achieved goals connected with Employer Branding after a while. Just count the number of incoming applications in relation to specified criteria like qualification levels, social skills (measurable by online based personal diagnostics, as used by workinprogress on a regular basis). In other words: the effectiveness of Employer Branding must be proven against hard business realities. Proof of the pudding...

The point is that you can only achieve good results if your Employer Branding is perfectly tailored and adjusted to the company and its strategic goals in the field of HR. That requires a fair amount of time and a highly individualized approach. Big agencies, however, have a tendency to apply standardized programs to their projects ("one size fits all").

If you beat around the bush in your Employer Branding instead of following specific goals, how do you want to illustrate concrete achievements for each customer? Some agencies have created own awards and prices for that purpose. Companies may then post badges of "excellence" on their websites. The virtual feelgood-medals shall suggest that their expenses pay off...

In other words: agencies create their own bubbles, in which their clients stand out as superstars and great employers. (Pompous award ceremonies, where the bubble celebrates itself, are sometimes held to further strengthen the artificial feeldgood climate.) Things start to become problematic when the employer reputation in the "real" world (online and offline) significantly differs from the fantasy world. In that case blown up self adulations can be quite counterproductive as it becomes all too obvious that employer branding is nothing but a meaningless cover-up alibi.

By no means do I want to give the Impression as if prices and awards were a bad thing in general. If they are the product of actual quality and employer reputation (based on valid parameters), they can be meaningful PR and give useful orientation. It is, therefore, most important to carefully select agencies and check if the provide tailored solutions which help the company to achieve its broader HR goals!

workinprogress thus only takes quality-based awards and prices into account, where the awarded effects can be measured in the real business world...

© workinprogress ¦ Strategic HR-Management &
Employer Branding

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