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Resources > Blog > Employer Branding

Blurring the boundaries: Why your employer brand is now your corporate brand

In our recent webinar we talked to Mary Streetzel, Head of Employer Brand at Google about the value of employer brand, how to develop your own, and why the line is blurring between corporate brand and employer brand.

8 Jun, 2022

4 min

Employer Branding
Ed Stennett image

Ed Stennett

Marketing

Employees have always been an organisation’s most valuable asset, but in the wake of two years of disruption and the emergence of new, remote ways of working it’s more important than ever to not only serve customers but to treat those within the business as customers too. Businesses need to differentiate themselves in the labour market - and an effective employer brand is critical to this.

In our recent webinar we talked to Mary Streetzel, Head of Employer Brand at Google about the value of employer brand, how to develop your own, and why the line is blurring between corporate brand and employer brand.

What does Employer Brand mean to Google?

All organisations have an employer brand. It’s how you communicate and market the values of the business and lived experience of employees to both attract the right prospective talent and retain existing workers.

“You need to actually demonstrate to folks how [organisational behaviours and values] come to life,” says Streetzel. “We want to show, not tell our employee value proposition, so for example one campaign highlighted real examples of how Googlers have used their benefits so that anyone can see themselves using those benefits as well.”

While a corporate brand communicates what the business stands for to customers, an employer brand communicates what the business stands for to employees. The value of showing rather than telling is clear, with the CIPD noting that “a strong employer brand helps businesses compete for the best talent and establish credibility.”

Why getting your Employer Brand right is crucial

Fighting for market share will be a familiar challenge to any business. Fighting just as hard for the attention of employees may be a relatively new one. The pandemic certainly played a major role in accelerating a dramatic shift in power towards employees and businesses must now look to win the hearts and minds of talent, as well as customers - everyone needs to be taken on the journey to advocacy for the organisation.

“Your employer brand is your company brand, your company brand is your employer brand. They’re now the same,” says Streetzel. “[There are] common things for everyone in this world and we need to build the world for everyone. And that’s why an employer brand is key.”

Part of the power of an effective employer brand then lies in its ability to unify disparate employees under a common set of lived truths and behaviours that helps shape their thoughts, feelings, and perceptions around work in a positive way. Fail to turn employees into advocates and the consequences can be dire - higher employee attrition, lower engagement, difficulties in recruiting, the list goes on.

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“[Our] employer brand isn’t mine or our team’s - we don’t get to activate it at any given second,” says Streetzel. “The employer brand [is for employees] - it’s theirs. They make it come to life. They have those conversations with their family, friends, and the world. [Our employer brand] can positively influence those conversations.”

Improving your employer brand

The case for an effective employer brand is clear, but where to start? Streetzel suggests focussing on structure and socialisation, and underpinning both with a commitment to consistency.

In Google’s case, as Streetzel explained in our recent webinar, a combination of internal and external research helped to identify the teams and people that needed to be involved in developing effective employer brand frameworks.

“You need to do the work of building a structure of employee advocacy that works for leadership, for all the folks that are in non-leadership roles, and in particular, for the candidates and employees that you want to talk to,” explains Streetzel. “Our recruiters stood up, our leadership stood up, and to do that we really had to bring it all together to be able to deliver on the things that we were promising to our audience.”

And while Google may be a slightly unique case, all businesses will likely face challenges in building the right employer brand team, in setting meaningful goals, and ensuring goal-oriented information is accessible to employees interacting with candidates on the frontline. This is where socialising your employer brand comes to the fore - and video can be your biggest ally in this regard, especially when combined with employee advocacy.

Just as customer reviews are a powerful resource for product marketing, so can employee stories, reviews, experiences make a compelling case for the in-work experience at an organisation. And if it’s shared as an easy-to-consume video, so much the better - our own research shows that more than 1-in-4 employees (26%) look for videos to see what a company’s culture is like before applying to job roles, while Streetzel notes that having a user generated video on a job listing makes it six-to-seven times more likely that a candidate will click through and apply to a vacancy.

“We know that [marketing our employer brand] is important and user generated content, that recommendation value from others, is way more powerful than anything else, so one of the key things we do is put out a request inside the business to let employees know that we [as a brand team] are interested in their stories” says Streetzel. “This keeps us inclusive and helps us to amplify the good experiences of a Googler that works here.”

Organisations now need to win the hearts and minds of both customers and employees. Positive experiences and employee advocacy walk hand-in-hand, so for organisations now thinking of revisiting their employer brand there’s no better place to start than prioritising the voice of your employees.

Our own State of Employer Brand report found that 1-in-2 employees would participate in a company video, so what are you waiting for? Reach out to the Seenit team today to see how we can help supercharge your employer brand with the power of employee advocacy stories and user generated video.


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