Question

Employer Branding – where is the ownership?

  • 20 August 2021
  • 6 replies
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“Employer Branding" has both the words “Employer” and “Branding”, directly reminding ourselves of a dilemma: is this topic owned by Brand Management or should it be run by HR instead? I’m curious to hear where Employer Branding sits inside your organization and how the two teams (after all, they are both involved) work together, building an attractive brand for potential and existing employees.


6 replies

@Willem Haen - this one is a tough one! I’ve had different experiences when it comes to ownership of EVP, but my preference is to co-lead the development of the EVP from a messaging perspective between both brand and HR teams. In this context, the brand team who are the messaging and positioning experts can play more of a leadership role in helping to craft the EVP. This ensures that the EVP is well integrated and aligned to delivering on the brand promise. 

I’d be curious to know other experiences! 

 

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Thanks Marie-Anne,

Interesting insight. But how would things continue from there, from the EVP? Who is doing the employee journey analysis? Which team is shaping the relevant touchpoints? Or would you, also here, see it as joint effort?

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Hello, 
This is a very interesting topic that in my experience creates a lot of internal tensions.
In companies with a large number of employees and global presence, the execution of the EVP is a work not only between HR and Brand, also the Internal Communication teams play a very important role. 
But I believe that the real owner and responsible for the EVP  is the Executive Committee of a company, as it has to be 100% aligned with the company's strategy. 

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Dear Willem,

When it comes to owning Employer Branding as a topic, a theme, a differntiator… there is only one answer in my opinion: it`s the company culture, its lived values and the experience it is creating for its current and future members.

When it comes to strengthening and executng employer branding strategies, initiatives, campaigns, etc. it becomes more complicated. In general, I agree with with Charo to believe that direction for an EVP must come from the executive board as part or at least as a resultof the corporate strategy. For its concepts and execution, both HR and Brand must work closely together,… not to forget corporate communications, and many others. In general, I tend to believe that the stories, the content, the briefing is created in HR with all respective departments and Brand is responsible to consult, concept, develop and create coherency and emotion in designing touch points which are in line with corporate culture and an autentic brand identity.

What do you think? Btw: my current job opening is exactly addressing this question for our group!

Curious to read other opinions or feedback.

Userlevel 2

Hello, 
This is a very interesting topic that in my experience creates a lot of internal tensions.
In companies with a large number of employees and global presence, the execution of the EVP is a work not only between HR and Brand, also the Internal Communication teams play a very important role. 
But I believe that the real owner and responsible for the EVP  is the Executive Committee of a company, as it has to be 100% aligned with the company's strategy. 

I totally agree — but reality unfortunately often shows us the opposite. 

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“Employer Branding" has both the words “Employer” and “Branding”, directly reminding ourselves of a dilemma: is this topic owned by Brand Management or should it be run by HR instead? I’m curious to hear where Employer Branding sits inside your organization and how the two teams (after all, they are both involved) work together, building an attractive brand for potential and existing employees.

Dear Willem, 

For a time, it was exactly my job to “sit between the chairs”. As an Employer Branding Agency we had contact to as well brand/ communication departments, the management board and HR - However, HR was the one engaging us, discussing their needs and often having a hard time addressing their demands and being heard internally. 

In my experience, Employer Branding sits in HR as this is where the need comes from. But this is not where the competence lies and the cross-functional collaboration with corporate communication etc. doesn’t always work how it should or would be efficient. The reasons are diverse: Different priorities, different views on how to properly address the target group “potential employee”, limited resources, a lack of awareness within the management board. 

I personally came to the conclusion that it would be advisable for brand/ communication departments to see themselves as an internal service provider also for HR. The competence of HR is not communication - but they have an urging need which should be heard and taken seriously. Especially, as the target group needs special treatment itself. If both departments would work together that way, the results could be much more effective and achieved faster than it is often the case today. 

I hope I could add some valuable insights and I’m curious if others see it differently (or the same way ;) ). 

 

Regards,
Gabriela 

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