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Interaction between the Corporate and the Employment brands

Graph: External (corporate) brand vs Internal (employee) brand


In the traditional marketing model, it was generally accepted wisdom that the corporate [or consumer] brand values and messaging would be communicated via the available marketing tools; typically summarised as the 4-P’s, Price, Place, Promotion and PR. But, as marketing has developed to become more multifaceted a myriad of tools/activities have become a part of the modern marketing model. [see above]:

As far as recruitment advertising goes, the employment brand was previously given very little thought. If the employee experience was given any place in this model at all, it was very much as a consequence of consumer marketing activities – i.e. the candidate’s perception of the company as a place to work was determined by the messaging and brand values of specific marketing tools. The causation was one way.

Basically, the accepted wisdom was that the corporate brand is the determinant of any view that the employee may have of a company as a place to work [ie their employer brand].

This model relied on the fact that it was very hard for feedback on a company as a place to work, to become freely available to a wide audience. 

With the rise of Social Media [Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc] and the far greater dispersion of employees’ views, that paradigm has begun to change. Such is that change, particularly for large companies, it is possible for employees or ex-employees’ opinions to achieve widespread exposure and therefore have a strong influence on an employer brand.

Are we entering a new paradigm where the consumer brand is as much affected by the employer brand, as the employer brand is affected by the corporate brand?

I think the answer is yes, certainly based on anecdotal evidence. 

There are numerous examples in the employment market of people’s employment decisions being shaped by their perception of a company’s corporate or consumer brand? (Any recruiter can recite a list of companies that ‘everyone wants to work for’ –like IBM and Coca Cola in the past, and Apple and Google now.)

However, stories abound of people joining highly valued and respected companies and being disappointed to find that the employment experience didn’t match the ‘expected’ experience. (eg: Coke is a fun brand, therefore working there must be fun).

Will we see a situation arise where people’s perception of a brand are shaped by the reverse – by the perception of the company as a nice one to work for?

Graph: Marketing Space and HR Space must work together

While there has been no research on the subject (to my knowledge) it is entirely possible that perceptions may be formed ‘in reverse’, so to speak. There are several mobile phone companies, for instance, where the employment experience, as communicated widely by disillusioned young employees (over Social Media) has created a poor perception of those companies.

Now, more than ever, it is critical for brands to have a strong, consistent branding message, for both corporate and employment, as the internet and Social Media open up forums where no secrets are spared. 

How is your brand perceived in the recruitment space? Need some help? You know where to find us! 

Ashley Felderhord, General Manager –SA

Ashley specialises in Employment Branding - he was National Practice Leader in Employer Branding at Hudson Global Resources in 2007- 2008. In 2009 he started up a consultancy Employment Branding Australia which contracted back to the likes of Hudson and other direct clients.  He is General Manager at Adcorp’s Adelaide Office and remains passionate about Employment Branding.





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