How your employer ­brand becomes a secret weapon

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Why do we not (anymore) manage to convince new employees of our company? A question that is not only much discussed, but above all illustrates the frustration and necessity of change in the world of work.

Blank spaces instead of learning curve

Just recently, another typical post popped up in my LinkedIn feed: An event on the topic of “change in the world of work”. The event itself, however, did not correspond to the change in any respect. The scenery looked like it always does: frontal sound in a panel discussion, the first 10 rows occupied by “old, white men” who seemed emotionless and partly bored. My work colleague asked me on top and admittedly somewhat provocatively: whether the women were just getting coffee. My first impression was similar. I asked myself: Why don’t we really manage to bring about change in the world of work, when there is obviously an interest in initiating it? And this is about much more than gender relations – there are general problems in the relationship between companies and employees.

Recruiting employees is not a battle for benefits

If we take a look at the employee market, we can naturally focus on Gen Z. Entrepreneurs in particular are often annoyed by the fact that the demands of the new generation feel limitless. At the same time, these demands are fueled by the wildest offers from employers and are by no means just an expectation of Gen Z. Recently, a recruiter told me during an employer brand workshop that the top applicant had turned down because they didn’t offer Qualitrain (company fitness). What?!

The last thing we entrepreneurs want is a battle on the level of employer benefits and other framework conditions – because we will all lose this battle. But how do we get out of the arms race with company cars, foosball tables and fitness rooms? Don’t we actually want to win over the employees who fit in with us, our visions, our values and our team?

Addressing the relationship level with the employer brand

Of course, rational factors initially form the basis for a decision when applicants apply for a new job. But not only! The questions of which New Work model is most suitable, how the change in the world of work is addressed, and which time, location, and monetary conditions are offered are not the only determinants. After all, no decision is purely rational. People are social and emotional beings, and we have a built-in sense of relationships. At the end of the day, what matters to us is not the foosball table in the lounge, but the emotions we associate with it. And that’s where your employer brand comes in.

Why employer branding works

The employer brand is the sum of what employees and applicants experience in their daily communication and interaction with your company. It is a relationship promise that potential applicants can use to determine whether and what kind of relationship they want to build with the company.

The good thing is that you can work on relationships. So if you want to improve the relationship with existing and future employees alike, you need to strengthen your employer brand. How can you do that?

The first step to a strong employer brand

The development of a clear employer brand is a process. It is important to first recognize the status quo. If you want to attract and retain committed employees, ask yourself: What attitudes shape our company with regard to current top issues such as diversity, work-life balance, error culture or women in leadership positions? The answers to these questions can be found in the inner attitudes of your managers, and have a decisive influence on the corporate culture. They are answers that existing employees also want to know – and that can be decisive for the choice of an employer. The more clearly you position yourself, the more unique you will be in competition with other employers. This is where our employer brand workshops come in. Together, we uncover the weaknesses and strengths in your employer promise – and develop a groundbreaking positioning that serves as a driving force for change processes and an attractive work culture. This is how you convince new employees without the need for a foosball table.

Change instead of Battle

I am currently conducting many employer brand workshops, which take up the image of the above LinkedIn post and show me again and again: The transformation of the world of work is far from being a lived reality, BUT is meeting with ever greater and broader interest. People have realized that they have to start with themselves and embody what they want to achieve: a change in the working world that is not only about benefits, but primarily about a much more open culture, clear values and a strong attitude. Developing this and giving it to ALL employees as a mission statement is – quite rightly – the basis of every change.

Vanessa Salomon
Vanessa Salomon

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