Minnesota Morning
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Employer Branding: Do You Really Have a BMW Or Are You Putting Lipstick On A Dodge Dart?

Talent Communities, Social Networks, SEO and Employer Branding are all the rage at recruiter and HR conferences.

I often wonder how companies put these things into practice after returning back to the office and wonder more about how does their audience, candidates, respond to them.

Let’s talk about Employer Branding. I think this is something that is vitally important regardless of the size of company, industry and location.

After all many companies are competing for employees to one extent or another. (maybe with this slow economy not as much as they used to or will be but you get the idea)

And it makes sense to differentiate one from the others.

I as a one man band, Minnesota IT Recruiter, do this through my own activities. I have to in order to stay in business or at a minimum to work as smart as I can.

Here is my issue and I see it all the time...

Companies are branding themselves as family friendly, open environment, involved in the community, career oriented, blah blah blah.

What I wonder is, what happens when a candidate shows up and is not greeted, the interviewer is late, the hiring process sucks and the workstation is not ready on the first day including no phone or computer. They work 55+ hours a week and have a Blackberry attached to their belt or purse 24/7/365. And that class they took is not reimbursed.

What I am getting to is this...

I see a lot of companies talking about their employer brand. How good it is. How great the web site looks. How much they spent on this new image.

And yet after all that, their reputation in the community is lousy. No one wants to work there or if they do it is a pit stop on the career path.

So yes, we should all be looking at our employer (recruiter) brand and be sure we look as good as we can but when one takes a test drive, looks under the hood is it as good as promised?

I have seen a lot of companies really grasp this idea and show off the great company they are. I have heard candidates say, “I never knew who they were but what a great place to work. I can see myself here for many years”

They have it going on:

2010 BMW 5 Series GT


And then there are the others. The ones who spend all this time making themselves look pretty on the outside but inside is the same old crappy place to work.

That’s a lot of time, energy and money to put lipstick on this:

1961 Dode Dart Seneca


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Amybeth Hale

Employment branding seems to be approached by lots of companies in the same manner in which politics works. All talk, no action. All packaging, no substance. Externally beautiful, internally void. If companies would get busy working on overhauling processes, the communities which they are trying to impress would take care of the brand. Because brand is the perception and doesn't always match up with the intended message. Change the original message (the internal processes, the onboarding/interviewing/candidate experience) and the brand will follow.

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