On Monday, August 21, 2017, all of North America will have the chance to see a total eclipse of the sun. The last time the contiguous U.S. saw a total eclipse was in 1979 and the next total solar eclipse won’t be until 2024! This exceptional celestial event occurs when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, and blocks out all of the sun. Or as Richard Vondrak, a lunar scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, said, "A total eclipse is a dance with three partners: the moon, the sun and Earth. It can only happen when there is an exquisite alignment of the moon and the sun in our sky." (Space.com)
Here at exaqueo, we believe strong employer brands also happen when there is alignment. Employer brand is no longer something that one team does. It’s a long-term strategic objective that brings together talent acquisition, human resources, communications, information technology, and marketing. It’s vital that there be alignment and partnership between these functions and stakeholders because employer branding affects and influences so many areas. The entire employee lifecycle—from pre-applicant to alumnus—and even corporate marketing are impacted by employer branding.
If siloed, employer branding cannot be effective; there must be alignment with other functions. (← Click to tweet!)
Aligning the sun, moon and Earth is no easy feat. Neither is aligning employer brand across an organization, no matter the size. Regardless, you need to align to be successful. Inspired by the upcoming total solar eclipse, here’s how you can create exquisite employer brand alignment:
Identify your sun, moon and Earth.
Knowing your company’s matrix and key employer brand stakeholders is critical to starting on your path to alignment. Only then can you holistically and strategically discuss the needs and objectives of your employer brand for your organization. Depending on where the employer branding responsibility sits in your organization as well as your organizational structure, here are some teams you’ll want to identify as your key stakeholders:
Human Resources / Talent Acquisition: This function has traditionally been the owner of employer branding and for obvious reasons. HR knows employees best and want the employer branding for attraction and recruitment. These stakeholders will also want the employer brand to help improve the candidate experience, employee value proposition, and achieve their recruitment goals.
Corporate / Internal Communications: More and more this function has become increasingly involved with employer brand. Why? Because the employer brand can (and should) be infused into employee communications and engagement programs. These stakeholders will want the employer brand to help with engaging employee resources, amplifying awards and recognition programs, and supporting change management initiatives.
Marketing / Consumer Brand: Great employer brands have to support and pair well with the existing consumer brand architecture. If the employer brand is the Earth, the consumer brand is the sun. The sun’s support is needed to give the Earth life and that same can be said of the two brands. These stakeholders will want the employer brand to align to the consumer brand and support social, PR and other branding strategies.
Legal and Information Technology: Leaving these stakeholders out of the process can cause major delays and headaches. Legal will need to be involved for acknowledging trademarks and employee policies. IT will be a critical partner for improving the career site user and mobile experience, and implementing any new technology like applicant tracking systems or employee ambassador program tools.
Set and communicate your path.
During the eclipse, the moon will completely cover the sun and the corona (sun’s atmosphere) in a path that will stretch from Salem, Oregon to the exaqueo headquarters in Charleston, South Carolina. NASA and other organizations have all been communicating this path to help promote and educate people about this awe-inspiring event.
Your employer brand requires a clear path that’s effectively communicated throughout the organization. (← Click to tweet!)
Involve your stakeholders to identify the needs and objectives of your employer brand. The more informed your stakeholders and organization are about your employer branding goals, the easier it’ll be to align and get buy-in. Doing this will set your path (strategy) for employer branding, then you can start communicating and executing on it.
Alignment doesn’t happen overnight, just like there isn’t a total eclipse every year. These things take time and effort. But if the total eclipse can teach us anything about employer branding … it’s that beautiful things can happen when we all align.
If you liked this post, check out this one: The Employer Brand Debate: Who Owns It?
Emily Fritz (@social_em) is an Employer Brand Strategist at 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.