Why Should a CEO Care About Employer Brand?

CEOs have many things to occupy their attention. There’s share price, growth, profit levels, competitors and new product development. Why should they add Employer Brand to their list? Isn’t it just another fad? Perhaps they remember the noise around CSR a few years ago that has now become a faint whisper? Will the same happen to the term Employer Brand?

Employer branding

To decide its value, it might be useful to explore the impact of being seen as a great employer with a strong Employer Brand.

Recruitment

The economy seems to be improving almost daily. After the last few recessionary years, it may be tempting for a company to think that it can recruit great people instantly. However, this is no longer the case. We’re quickly returning to pre-2008 times when we were concerned with the ‘war for talent’.

In such an environment, anything a company can do to attract the best people will pay dividends. Large companies who care about their Employer Brand, have fewer problems attracting great people. It would be difficult to imagine Apple, for example, struggling to recruit good people.

Retention

Similarly, before the recent recession, those threatening to leave their jobs were enticed with very generous payments to stay. Employers were haunted by the knowledge that their best people were being approached by competitors and head-hunters on a daily basis. If employers made a mistake, they’d have cost, upheaval and loss in productivity whilst having to replace a key employee. And, of course, when one employee leaves, sometimes others follow!

It’s quite different in large corporations like Virgin. By reputation, their people connect and embrace the company. It’s not all about the money. Their strong Employer Brand is a terrific asset when it comes to people retention.

Engagement

It’s not all about those who are considering joining or leaving. A company with a strong Employer Brand also enjoys daily benefits. Its people are proud of working there and want to do a good job. They want their company to succeed and to be associated with that success. They love telling people who they work for and they embrace the company’s objectives and challenges with a positive attitude. Putting a value on this is incredibly difficult. But, any CEO would delight in that type of workforce.

Employer Brand is not just a significant concern for CEOs, it’s one that will become increasingly important. Its significance is recognised by Jeff Bezos of Amazon. He defines the brand as being “what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Wouldn’t it be great if you could leave a room and be confident in what your people are saying?

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