Why Your Employer Brand is Definitively More Important Than Your Consumer Brand
Who would you rather work for?
United Airlines or Southwest?
Google or Yahoo?
Vons/Safeway or Trader Joe’s?
Consider the following. Whatever talent you attract is what your organization becomes to the world and to the consumer. If you can’t attract the best talent in your industry, you will never achieve category leadership. Your employees will actively or passively practice disengagement. Customers will have lower rather than higher expectations when they deal engage with your organization. You will be in charge of a commodity where expectations are low, everyone expects mediocrity and slim profit margins.
Everyone knows this. With the advent of Glassdoor and Indeed, any savvy employee can find out what it is like to work for you. They know if your internal treatment of employees is vastly different from the promises in your ads. If you think an employer brand isn’t a big deal, think of the segment of workers that aspire to work at certain organizations and the workers that view work as “just a job.”
Once the word gets out, the premium talent runs when they hear your name. As CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer, in a now legendary act of desperation, spent over a billion dollars acquiring smart start-ups. But, she wasn’t pursuing unique technology or new markets. She couldn’t get the premium talent required to turn Yahoo around. Think of it. When Stanford’s best graduates hit the market they might be thinking, “Google, Apple, or entrepreneurship?” But Yahoo? Some of the world’s best candidates would view a stint at Yahoo as a career killer where they would join a tribe of stagnant stakeholders that torpedoed change, where getting anything done is like trying to get fresh bread in Russia.
Many employers give little if any thought to an employer brand. This aimlessness begins with talent acquisition processes that generate poisonous feelings throughout the market. The damage begins with organizations that treat candidates without courtesy. If you have engaged in a sizeable job search, you know exactly what I am referring to. Word gets around.
This past year, United Airlines reminded millions of consumers of the cynicism and contempt that permeates their culture. How many of the industry’s brightest and best woke up the next morning and aspired to join that company? Delta, Alaska, Emirates, Southwest and others will benefit from their behavior for years to come. Most consumers that I know will only board a United plane where there simply is no alternative.
Uber might have been one of the country’s most successful start-ups in many years. But, their contempt towards female employees and drivers has led to perhaps the first time in business history where consumers are mindfully selecting Lyft because its spiritual and moral principles are superior.
Why has the employer brand become more important than the consumer brand?
Because the consumer brand is what we sell.
The employer brand is what we become.
(C) Copyright, 2017, David Harder – (All Rights Reserved)
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