This post was originally posted at Employee Evolution Take a look at the newest Best Places to Work list by Fortune and you will see an interesting pattern. More often than not, the same companies show up on the list every year, and its not a coincidence. Sure, these companies are probably pretty good places to work, […]
This post was originally posted at Employee Evolution
Take a look at the newest and you will see an interesting pattern. More often than not, the same companies show up on the list every year, and its not a coincidence. Sure, these companies are probably pretty good places to work, but more importantly, they recognize the value in employer branding.
Brand recognition is not employer branding. Brand recognition is easy – it’s advertising. Authorize a huge budget; hire a creative advertising firm, make a funny Superbowl ad and people all across the country will recognize your company logo. That’s great if you just want people to buy what you’re selling.
Employer branding is much different and equally important. It gets the right people in the door to create and improve what you’re selling. But, employer branding is all about the story you tell – its marketing.
A funny Superbowl ad is not going to make me think “Wow, that looks like a great place to work.” In fact, I’ll probably forget about the ad by the time the game comes back on. On the other hand, a well crafted story that I read on my favorite blog or on the Best Places to Work list will make me consider rewriting my resume and passing it on to your company.
. Googlers get to work at the coolest company on the planet. They sit on brightly colored bean bag chairs and they get on-site dry cleaning and free lunches. Oh yeah, they work hard too, that’s cool.
. Zappos employees get fee lunch, concierge service, and 100% health insurance premium coverage. If you start with Zappos and decide after training that you don’t want to work there, they will GIVE you $2,000.00 to go home. Zappos does not want dead weight, and neither do their employees.
During the Q&A session of at last week, a gentleman asked if strictly branding to Gen Y would alienate other generations. It was a great question. And the answer is yes; strictly trying to appeal to people in their twenties will alienate older employees. But that’s the beauty of marketing, you don’t need just one story. As long as every story you craft is true, you can and should have multiple messages for multiple audiences.
For example, State Farm’s story for Gen Y could be that becoming an agent gives you a great taste for entrepreneurship without all the risk. Learn how to run your own business with the guidance of people who have been there and done that.
For Gen X the story could be that starting an agency gives you the freedom to spend time with your spouse and kids while earning plenty of money to support your family. And you become an important part of your community.
And for Baby Boomers the story could be that working at State Farm is a great way to finish your career on your terms. You can call the shots and make your hours. And if they’re interested, you can get your kids involved in the business.
Each of these messages is completely different and from what I learned at the conference, completely true. Different audiences want to hear different stories. And if you actually are a great company like State Farm is, crafting a story is easy. Take a good look at how your business operates, ask your current employees in every area and at every age level why they like the company. I guarantee the answers will give you the perfect story for every demographic.
Ryan Healy is the COO/Co-Founder of Brazen Careerist and regularly writes and speaks on all things Gen Y, and Entrepreneurship