According to Moroko and Uncles (2009), while branding has historically been associated with company products and services, business organizations are finding it increasingly important to carry out employer or company branding. This is mainly in an effort to convey a message or impression that they are the best recruiters and their workplace is the best to help potential employees realize their career dreams and goals. Employer branding as a matter of fact has become an important tool for the management due to shortage of skilled workers and stiff competition among companies to hire and retain the best workforce for better output and performance especially in the IT job market (ManageProf, 2011). The authors suggest that aligning the organization’s brand with its business plan is important in attracting and retaining employees who would enable them realize increased market share, sales and profits.
The best way to develop an effective brand for an organization as an employer that wishes to attract and retain a pool of talented and skilled employees is to come up with a job rewards matrix (Sokro, 2012). This is mainly important after the employer has brought in talented employees to be part of their organization. The kind of plan developed will impact on the ability of the organization to attract talents in future. The job rewards matrix involves an analysis of the competency required in employees, the types of rewards, legal issues related to certain job functions, job description or specifications.
Harris (2011)states that there are four main stages of developing an employer brand to enhance competitiveness of an organization to source, attract and retain talented job seekers. These include research, measurement, communication and development.
An organization according to Harris (2011) should carry out both internal and external research. The internal research within the organization will involve focus groups, interviewing the executives, caarying out need analysis and completing employee profiles. For instance, the organization may interview its current employees why they like working in the organization and what they dislike about it. External research would entail finding out what potential employees want and also gaining insight into what competitors are doing. Universal Studios can therefore conduct research among its employees about their experience in the theme parks and whether or not they enjoy working there. Moreover, knowing what competitors in the entertainment industry are doing to attract a pool of talent would help Universal Studios come up with ways of improving its talent attraction and retention strategies.
Harris (2011) states that this involves developing the organization’s employer value proposition, which is the commitment that the organization is making to its employees and potential candidates. Universal Studios, for example, has the strategy of employees working as a team and becoming members of the organization by working in thrilling rides at the theme park and real movie studios. With the opportunity to work in an environment with inspiring characters, this strategy of Universal studios ensures that employees also have the opportunity to succeed.
Communicating the Brand
This has both internal and external aspect. Internally, the brand or image that the organization would like to portray should be brought to the attention of the current employees through employee orientation and training programs. Externally, this could be done through recruitment advertising through websites and social media. Universal Studios needs to disseminate its talent management philosophy of ensuring excitement at the park at all times to its employees so they can feel part of the whole talent management and promotion process. The salary range, job specifications and expectations and competencies required by the organization should also be communicated externally to future candidates.
Here, the organization should do an evaluation of level of success in branding by looking at its retention or turnover rates, levels of employee satisfaction, its brand awareness, hiring costs, engagement and loyalty that potential candidates have towards the organization. Universal Studios will have to gauge the effectiveness of its employer branding campaigns by assessing how satisfied its employees are with the image or impression that the company creates and the experience at the organization. This assessment will enable Universal Studios to make informed decisions as to whether to adopt new talent attraction and retention strategies or strengthen the existing ones.
Moreover, according to ManageProf (2011), companies that use effective employee retention strategies are more likely to succeed in the competitive global market where companies are competing for top talent employees who can help them deliver their business goals. The author observes that they main elements that make up employer branding are product (jobs), price (compensation or salaries and benefits), place (job location) and promotion (tools such as websites used to build positive brands). Additionally, research by Sokro (2012) found that employer branding by organizations has a significant “influence on the decision of employees to join and stay in the organization” (p.164).
Harriss, L. (2011, July 28). Build your employer brand: A strategic approach to recruitment and retention. [Video file]. Retrieved February 4, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RInuBNwjeOQ
ManageProf. (2011, October 16). Importance of branding in recruitment. [Video File]. Retrieved February 4, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nOM1f2EylE
Moroko, L., & Uncles, M. D. (2009, March 23). Employer branding. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 4, 2016, from http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB123740504559375085
Sokro, E. (2012). The impact of employer branding on employee attraction and retention. European Journal of Business and Management, 4(18), 164-173.