Employer Branding Offizzer
Tóth Boglárka Katalin
Should the war for talent still be HR’s highest priority? How can companies stand out during and after this crisis? How can HR really make a difference for employees? These and many other questions were answered by experts who are all members of the European Association of Employer Branding Agencies with Brett Minchington as a guest. Employer Branding experts from different countries gathered to share their vision on the effect of this crisis on Employer Branding.
In these critical times, it is highly important to share knowledge which you can use in your country and in your company, to make it stronger and even better after COVID-19. Experts from all over Europe gathered to share the vision, thoughts on the effect of the pandemic on Employer Branding. 1041 people registered from 51 countries to listen to these thoughts.
Priorities have changed
Employer branding starts with an excellent candidate experience. COVID – crisis have changed companies’ focus areas, from external employer branding to internal employer branding. The first and most important will be whether you can engage your talent, your best employees, or not. The question is, can you build a „Corona-proof EVP”, and handle the people coming back with full of emotions and frustrations, or not – said Johann Driessens (CEO, branded.careers). Good employee experience keeps people at companies – now we have to link these people back to each other when the crisis ends.
Role of the management is still crucial
As general data shows us, engagement of employees is still super low – only 30 % of employees are engaged – says Jiří Landa (Partner, Employer Brand strategist & candidate experience designer, BrandBakers). Often unanswered questions e.g. „What is our approach?”, „Why are we existing as an organization?”, „What is my personal role in this company?” must be answered now by leaders.
Corona crisis provides us a great lecture – as Jiří says – people are volunteering, shopping for each other, helping for elder people, and they do it for free, in their free time. As they find meaning in these times, leaders should give meaning also, in the future.
Communication, communication, communication
As Anita Zvezdovics (Chief Fizz Offizzer, Brandfizz Employer Branding) says, in the crisis situation number one priority of employer branding today is influence what companies do for their employees, and how they communicate internally and how transparently they are able to take that internal, and external. In these times this have immediate effect on their employer and consequently on corporate brand reputation.
In Hungary, only last week there were two brand destroying articles on the biggest local news portal – both a critic of well-known organizations about how they treated their employees.
„HR and Marketing professionals and leaders have to add sparkle to their communication skills, use tools and create content more intensively than ever before and online. This is a big shift from full text PDF newsletters and two years long a digital workplace transformation. I see leaders who were not willing to participate in video shooting now doing online Townhalls, webinars. WE ARE LOSING BOUNDARIES now and will not have the limitations like before.” – Anita said. We have to increase the efficiency of online internal communication through developing online employer branding content, tools, channels & to support business leaders to connect and unite the people and the information.
However, internal communication is not everything, as Brett Minchington says „Don’t be afraid of communicating. What is your message for your target audience? You should not stop! Communicate, communicate!”
Employer branding is about “connect & unite” nowadays
Connect & Unite focus is about the leaders, in another aspect – says Ádám Horváth (Chief Sparkle Offizzer, Brandfizz Employer Branding).
We have to help business leaders to make right decisions. For them the last month was a landslide with an earthquake, plus flooding and a volcano eruption as a cherry on the top plus meteorite hit. They are frustrated, with giant workload, and at the same time, they have to make serious decisions to save business: save revenue and cut cost. What connect and unite for leaders is about: connecting the plans and the new reality, and to unite people to survive as a community. Employer branding helps them to make their voice heard, and mastering the art of internal communication.
If you can find the way how to help leaders today to “Connect & Unite”, your team will survive, your budget will survive, your employer brand will survive.
We have to adapt quickly and prepare for the future. You can not switch off your employer brand
What helps, if you can realize that your organization is in shock. COVID situation is an opportunity to have a look at your purpose and rewrite it today if it is needed. This is a „between time”, says Ton Rodenburg (Employer branding & internal branding specialist, ClubgeistBVH), sustainability, humanity will be the new values in this era. Reflect, stop, take the time – don’t get frustrated, just rethink your organization. „What people need now is a Chief Inspiration Officer.” -says Ton.
„Business is like a zebra. Black will be followed by white.” in Andrej Aliasov’s (Changellenge) opinion. Thinking about the future, now leaders have to allow managers to make decisions, to make their company moving faster. There is no place for micromanagement now, but for preparation for the future.
From time to time, crisis happening, last time in 2008 – smart employers do not stop their development activities, so later it provided huge competitive advantage. Looking back to the 2008 financial crisis many companies won from that time, just as Coca Cola, one of the biggest clients of Instar – said Kersti Vannas (CEO, Instar).
So act, do not stop, do not paralyze. As back then, business is not canceled, the future is still not canceled.
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