In today’s consumer-centric universe, a product or service without brand and marketing support behind it would be almost unthinkable. Yet many otherwise well-branded organizations severely underestimate the importance of their Employer Brand – the very catalyst that could bring the talent they want into the fold.
In order to thrive in today’s hyper-competitive healthcare market and find, attract and engage high-quality, experienced talent for both clinical and non-clinical roles, UCLA Health had to clearly articulate its Employer Value Proposition.
Your employer brand exists whether you like it or not - it’s simply the reputation you have as an employer. And, it directly impacts your corporate reputation too. It’s everything to do with the employees you have — and hope to retain — as well as those you seek to attract. Left unmanaged, your employer brand is left in the hands (voices) of your candidates, employees and is everything that is said about you as an employer in the outside world.
Einstein once said that “creativity is intelligence having fun.” Obviously, he was talking about lateral thinking in scientific discovery. But had he been an adman maybe he would have said: “Creativity is insight having fun.”
While we may not be unravelling the mysteries of the universe, in employer branding we are faced with comprehending a different kind of baffling puzzle: the deep complexities, habits and eccentricities of the human mind.
And why must we trouble ourselves with this slippery topic? Because convincing the human mind to do something, watch something or buy something (including a job) is the name of the ad game, and it’s just the same in employer branding. A ‘click’ means a data point. A ‘watch’ contributes to a KPI. A ‘purchase’ makes for a happy client.
Intimidatingly, the attentions of the human mind are in unprecedented demand these days. So much so, it can feel like we’re shouting our messages into a void, with deafening background noise, to people that don’t want to listen.
So, how do we stand a chance of being heard?
Recently, I traveled to a client meeting with some co-workers. After a long day of discussions, process mapping and product development, we headed out for dinner. We chose a small chain with a flair for local dining choices and drinks. And I remember thinking at the time how personable, outgoing, knowledgeable, and confident our server was.
When I was working my way through school, I had a similar job - and I appreciated the level of attention for our table. So I asked our server, “How did you get this job?" By the way, if you work in hospitality or retail, you know how loaded this question is - especially in a world where high turnover and limited skill sets are needed, yet service directly correlates to business revenue.
What happened next was a lesson in listening and learning as this “live case study” began reflecting the realities of recruiting and retaining good employees in the retail industry.