Dr. Sweta Mohapatra, who currently works with a Fortune 100 company based in Pune, is a seasoned HR practitioner, academic researcher and a Diversity and Inclusion leader with more than 18 years of industry experience across various corporates and consulting firms. She also founded a social enterprise, Diversityvision in 2015, with the aim to advance women into leadership positions within corporations and has been involved in advocacy, research and consulting in this area. She has been recognized as top 25 innovators in western India at Innovation India Initiative, 2017 and recognized among top 100 Global Diversity and Inclusion Leaders, by World HRD Congress in 2018.
Dr. Sweta Mohapatra in an exclusive interaction with SCIKEY shares her thoughts on what is called a good employer strategy why how the employer branding strategy should be customized.
What key factors need to be considered while building an employer brand strategy?
Focusing on an employer brand strategy in today’s world is extremely crucial. With worldwide access to opportunities, it is difficult to attract employees and more specifically attract top talent. This is where an integrated employer brand strategy can be the game changer. Any employer brand is typically weaved around those factors which would create a pull among prospective employees to join the firm. The first and foremost consideration is to determine who these target prospective employees are. Majority of them may be of the same job family like sale, technology, operations or the same firm may be equally hiring all these sets of employees. So, determining that is always the first step. The second key consideration then becomes where all these prospective employees can be found and if the pool is large, which of these places would be the focus. For example, while looking for fresh computer engineers, you might find IITians the best, but you need to evaluate if they have relevance in your company, would you be able to engage them with meaningful work to challenge them adequately and of course, if you have the budget to hire such employees. And then comes the final step of what the key message would be, and through what medium and channels it would be communicated, and reinforced. For this, initial ideation within the organization, external help from creative agencies and several levels of buy ins and iterations may be needed before the employer strategy can be launched.
So it is essential to weave that unique proposition of your workplace culture into the brand strategy which clearly differentiates you from your competitors.
Companies need to also clearly understand how the linkage between brand promise and reality finally creates a sustainable employer brand. If Google attracted the top notch, highly creative talent from campuses, and did not have an environment to foster innovation, it is unlikely they would have been the talent magnet they are today for those who value ‘Innovation’. While a firm makes certain claims while attracting, it is essential to fulfill them when the employee comes onboard. “A good brand strategy is the one that lives up to the brand promise.”
The broader objective of the employer brand strategy
The employer brand strategy has to connect to other parts of the company. For example, an FMCG’s brand strategy often links to its customer brand strategy. Just like online firm, Flipkart positioned itself as an excellent place for women to work; which connected to their customer strategy of creating goodwill among their large set of women customers. While that customer context may not be valid for another enterprise like IT offshoring, so in that case, the objective of employer branding merely could be just attracting talent in current or future years. Similarly, the mediums chosen by different companies will be different.
Leveraging a good employer brand
If companies have a good employer brand, it is easier to leverage that and get employee references. This leads to zero cost hiring, success of internal job postings and higher employee engagement. It has indirect linkages to retention and growth in the company.
Staying true to your words makes employees trust in the company’s broader vision.
What are the possible metrics, employer branding can bring a positive impact to at a Recruitment department level at an Organization level ?
The focus while measuring your employer brand strategy should be on the quality, quantity and ease of hiring of top talent. The key questions to ask would be – Are we attracting the right quality? Are all vacancies being fulfilled well in time? Is the process tedious or has a smooth flow?
Additionally, also look at the percentage of employee referrals which shows the in-house employee engagement and response. One other key metric at an organization level could be the number of employees who leave the firm as they were a culture misfit. If an employee brand strategy is strong, it is more likely that they would attract employees with shared common values who would stay engaged for a long time. For example – A not for profit firm like CRY has purpose driven brand value around the cause of children and often attracts employees whose personal values resonate with the cause. These employees end up being engaged over long tenures and contributing significantly during their tenures.
Your thoughts on online company review websites like Glassdoor etc, how these websites are impacting the business employer brand.
Companies do systematic branding by listing their benefits and reap benefits accordingly. Now online review websites like Glassdoor brings in disruption and acts a third party neutral platform. Companies can claim to have a good employer brand, but if they don’t live up to it, employees are free to put in their reviews. The pros of these websites are, it keeps companies on their toes to live up to their brand promise. It serves as a linkage between brand promise and reality. As a con, it becomes a venting out platform for employees. If they have been fired or something hasn’t gone their way, they might add a negative review that isn’t right. But that also gives us some cues. A great workplace is one where even exiting employees will refrain from talking ill about the company. Practically, Glassdoor is becoming a platform where employees can leverage it in a threatening way so, one needs place weightage to this sort of feedback using own discretion and maturity. And possibly by validating from other sources. There is a possibility that Glassdoor will up their game and come up with regulations for monitoring the reviews. Because, if it becomes a venting platform, it isn’t great for their brand as well. But until then we have to use our judgement.
SCIKEY Talent Commerce Platform is a Managed Talent Marketplace that enables employers globally, to build manage productive teams. With its online platform powered by AI platform-enabled services, Intelligent Automation and patented “SCIKEY MindMatch” algorithm; it simplifies how businesses contract or employ the best quality talent anywhere, while focusing on leveraging the talent mindset (psyche) as their prime competitive advantage.
SCIKEY’s mission is to provide the best cost, plenty of choices unmatched convenience to the employers across the globe, in employing or contracting the best quality talent On Premise, Offshore as well as in a Remote engagement.