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Frequently Asked Questions
HOW TO BUILD YOUR EMPLOYER BRAND
Tom Vovers presentation
In the contribution to the query of HR matters. Here are the answers based on the over years of experiences of Mr Tom Vovers. Please join us in sharing opinions for our HR knowledge and understanding.
1. How can we build Employer Brand for a small & middle size Company (SMEs)?
Mr Tom Vovers: For small business it is a little easier as you can quickly communicate internally. The first step would be to create your simple message. Have a team meeting. What is a simple (and true) message you say about working in your company. Once you have the message start using it on emails, on your website, in your job ads. Good luck.
2. We have many blue collar workers. What is the most effective ways for branding?
Mr Tom Vovers: In Viet Nam even blue collar workers are literate in most cases, so reading comprehension should not be an issue. The most powerful 'branding tool' are the stories that circulate in the company. Start some positive 'rumours' and make presentations verbally as well as written.
3. I would be interested to know how do you go from branding to maintain the branding. Who would be responsible to maintain this?
Mr Tom Vovers: Branding happens everytime you do something with somebody. The only difference is that in your initial branding you are crafting the messages, while in 'maintenance' you are making sure you are on-message.
The answers to the questions below are personal opinion of Mr. Kannan gained out of his experiences in the HR field over the years. We would like to share for your understanding as well.
4. Can you help to explain in a simple way for me – a “not very experienced” HR person on what is Employer Branding and why should we have that?
Mr Kannan: EB is the promise you make to your employees - current and prospective of what you have to offer them if they were to work for you. It is also their promise to you to deliver what they can do for the company they work for. In the case of PepsiCo for example this is “Performance with Purpose”.
Within PepsiCo one of the many initiatives in this direction is our Management Trainee Program. We have leveraged EB to make this program successful and today this is a bench mark within PepsiCo and one of the best programs in the industry.
5. Who should handle Employer Branding?
Mr Kannan: EB is only one element of overall Employment Experience one will get while working for an organization.
EB is clearly a collective responsibility of the leadership in the organization. It is the HR leader’s responsibility to provide the insight and data points to justify the business case for EB. HR will also coach the functional managers in owning and executing the EB initiatives. Marketing should support the Brand language insight and experience, methodologies to capture internal and external customer’s data. Corporate communication will help in effective communication and medium of communication. The CEO or Head of the business should sponsor this initiative and set the right Tone at the Top for its success.
6. What are the initiatives and actions to build Employer Branding?
Mr Kannan: It starts with;
- Creating the business case. Why is Branding required?
- What are your core objectives of the branding - Articulating your values and culture- what message do you want to give to your employees- internal and external?
- How is this going to support your Employee retention?
- Identifying your target group. What are the characteristics of this group and how they are connected to your Branding exercise? Where would you like to position your organization?
- Working out the communication plan – the medium, frequency, target group. This is required to build awareness
- How will you track progress and success?
Remember, EB is only one element of Employment Experience. If you work on only Branding and do not provide the entire experience, the Branding efforts will be hollow.
7. How to identify key elements that make a company an ideal workplace to attract talents?
Mr Kannan: All the touch points – points at which an employee will experience the organization right from sourcing to recruitment through on-boarding, career development through training opportunities, salary and benefits till he resigns or retires. These are “moments of Truth” that will test the Employer Brand. The whole life cycle has key elements. It is difficult to say one is more important than the other. It is like our body, we cannot say only one part of our body is important than the other.
8. Good Employer Branding may give the message of "Great place to work" to talents which may attract them at initial stage. But how to retain and motivate talents to work and perform? What if the company set value is conflict with individual employee?
Mr Kannan: EB is not only about attracting talent, it is also about what employer and employee has to offer to stay in the organization. It has to do with career development, Salary and benefits, employee engagement, HR process and many more manifesting in the commitment from the employees to stay in the organization. There will be conflict in values with some, you will lose some. It is good to lose those who are not aligned with the Values.
9. How can you change an existing culture to a new culture in the workplace?
I have a concern which I believe also is a concern of every HR Manager in any corporation for how to change an existing workplace's culture? And should a corporation focus on internal branding or employer branding? Which one is a primary option?
As Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, asserts: “One of things you find in companies is that once a culture is formed it takes nuclear weaponry to change it”.
Mr Kannan: I understand your concern. Culture change starts from within and it is a journey. There should be commitment from the “top”. It has to percolate down the line. There is no magic wand and you cannot get any immediate results. The organization should be consistent and communicate in one language.
10. How to use the Employee Satisfaction Survey to promote the EB effectively?
Mr Kannan: Employee satisfaction surveys will give you an insight into your employee’s thought process on what works for them (or what will make them stay). To this extent this is useful information. In addition you should seek inputs from other sources outside the organization – prospective employees, university graduates, consultants, search partners etc.
11. Can you share some specific activity that you did for employer branding in Vietnam?
- For PepsiCo Employer branding is a global initiative which we apply in Vietnam. We decide the execution of the initiative based on local needs and what works well here.
- We are a growing organization in Vietnam and would like to promote local talent at the entry level of the organization so we focus on promoting our employer brand in the universities. This will help us to build our employer brand at the beginning stages of their career.
12. What are major difficulties when doing the employer branding in VN?
Mr Kannan: Some major difficulties include:
1. The first hurdle will be clarity of purpose. Why do we need a EB. What is the business case. If this clarity is not there, all efforts will be futile.
2. The commitment at the HR level and the top management. This initiative will not be a short term effort. The team should have a long term view on this.
3. The other difficulty is about not “walking the talk”. We should deliver what we promise. We should be candid in our ability to do what we can. If you do not deliver your promise, the employees will lose credibility on the management.
13. Should we do market segmentation before starting to promote the employer brand?
Seeing employees (current and potential) as a company’s customers, should we identify the targeted group of “customers” we want to work with before starting to promote the employer brand?
You are right. Understanding our internal employees and prospective employees is important to design the Employer Branding. This is one of the steps for employer branding. Surely you need to identify the target group of customers.
14. Is there any differences in doing the employer branding here in VN and in other countries of Asia?
The relevance of an EB exercise is much more in an emerging market like Vietnam where there is “war for Talent”. The philosophy and the approach will be the same across all organizations/ countries.
Thank You and Hope this information is useful in your journey to build up your Employer Brand !