Is Your Employer Brand Working for You?

apprentershipAfter a lean few years in the construction sector, the recent upturn in house building has caused talk to turn to the skills gap again. It’s also generated big political promises, with Labour’s shadow housing minister Emma Reynolds telling a Home Builders Federation (HBF) conference last week that a Labour government would re-introduce rules requiring house builders to recruit and train apprentices on all publicly-funded housing projects. We’ve been here before and the pressure on contractors to survive caused the coalition to scrap mandatory apprenticeships in 2010.  Hopefully, at some point, the initiative will be reinstated for good; not only to benefit young people on the first rung of the career ladder and the sector as a whole, but also to enhance the brand of contractors who employ and nurture apprentices.

So why is nurturing people so important to a company’s brand? Because integrity begins at home and a company that is willing to value and invest in people is perceived to value and invest in quality, its business and its customer relationships.

Of course, investing in people will not impact on brand perceptions without another key ingredient…communication. While many companies begin thinking about their employer brand only when they are recruiting or have a staff retention problem, in fact it should be front of mind all the time. Why? Because the employer brand not only reinforces your reputation as a good employer, it also enhances your reputation as a supplier or partner by demonstrating that you a people-focused company with clear aims and integrity.

So, what do you need to do to maximise your employer brand?

  • Make your employees you brand ambassadors by treating them well and encouraging them to talk about what a great place it is to work
  • Use your company newsletter, brochures, website or PR campaigns to showcase the talent within your business and provide a mouthpiece for employee advocacy
  • Communicate your investment in training, staff incentive schemes and employee development structures – you can package even small training budgets and initiatives as a company ‘pledge’ or commitment for maximum impact

All companies should value their employees and reward talent and dedication…not all companies do. If yours does, your employee brand could be giving you a clear market advantage: make sure it works hard for you!