When it comes to social media within an organization, often times the company wants to control the message. For years our company leaders have believed that they could control the employee populations or positioning with a simple company memo or manager meeting talking points. Enter social media, and the corporate world – and how the story of the corporate world is heard – has changed forever. The company can no longer control the message, and personally, that idea was always a fantasy; the employer never really could.
Prior to social media an employee or job seeker had little options. They might share with a friend their candidate experience or interaction with an employer brand touching and talking with a handful of other persons along the way. Individuals could express their concern, praise, or dissatisfaction with the organization often privately with closed in person meetings. These same individuals could take extreme measures and post their opinions, feelings, and opinions publicly by writing a letter to the editor.
The latter seemed drastic at the time and most used word of mouth to share and spread their message. There was little hard evidence to companies – let alone employers – that worrying about their consumer or employer brand was needed outside of the occasional focus group or survey. The internet, technology, social media, Facebook, and blogs have changed how your company story reaches people.
Employer branding is an information tool, a resource tool, and an engagement tool with the goal of your story reaching the candidate. The employer disseminates the original message giving up control, and that is where the employer control ends. The receiver publically or privately consumes the message sharing their opinions, insights and experiences in the same way as before except another layer have been added. And with that layer comes power. While social media plays a role, much of the old rules are the same.
Effective employer branding strategies are successful when the employer has passionate employees and customers who they trust to openly share company feedback and opinions, adding to the message. Accept that effective employer branding doesn’t start with a blog, brochure, or a canned message to share. Employer branding starts with treating the employee right. Make their employee experience much like a customer experience: engaged, excited, passionate, and wanting more.
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