If you're doing what everyone else is doing, you won't succeed in employer brand.
Never has an ad proven this more than 84 Lumber's Super Bowl two-part ad. If you missed it, stop immediately and watch the full journey. If you only saw the first part (aired right before halftime), continue the ad's journey now.
The ad, developed by ad agency Brunner, no doubt has political undercurrents and the second half of the ad had to be shown online because Fox wouldn't approve it's airing. But let me be clear--this blog post isn't a political statement.
What this post is however, is a reminder that 84 Lumber just dropped the mic when it comes to brand promises.
Every client of mine has heard me offer up this challenge a dozen times:
1) Pick ten careers sites.
2) Go read them.
3) Wonder why they all sound the same.
Instead of taking risks and being honest about who we are, employer brands send the same generic messages about being a "great place to work." And ultimately make it hard for job seekers and professionals to really understand what they stand for.
Whether you agree with 84 Lumber's message isn't the point.
As employer brand, talent acquisition and human resources leaders, we have one job: understand, market and deliver an authentic employment experience.
With just one line, 84 Lumber made clear their promise:
"The will to succeed is always welcome here."
Why is it a game changer? It's honest, inspiring, clear and specific. As a job seeker you know what they stand for. And if you don't agree, that's fine. You can choose to work elsewhere.
That's the ultimate goal of a great employer brand. You're not trying to make friends with everyone. You're not trying to attract every candidate. You're trying to be clear about what it means to work at your organization and attract and retain people who are interested in delivering on your brand of work.
Now, does the employment experience deliver? That's the key question. An employer brand promise is only as good as whether it delivers that promise. Online employee reviews tell a mixed story -- though we know they're only one piece of the puzzle.
But next time I go into my local 84 Lumber (my home has a few 84 Lumber products built in), I am sure going to ask.
In the meantime, are you making an audacious promise? Or are you promising the same things as everyone else? If you're ready to step out of your comfort zone, let's talk.
Susan LaMotte (@SusanLaMotte) is the founder and CEO of exaqueo, an employer brand experience firm building employer brands and the talent strategies that drive them through research, consulting and creative and digital execution. Contact exaqueo to learn more about our employer brand innovation, workforce research and recruiting strategy offerings.