The brand of an organization can tell you something about its success in the market, financial strength, position in the industry and interesting products and services a company offers. A brand image also has an important meaning for people who consider changing jobs or who are joining the workforce out of college.
As the talent pool dries up for many organizations, it becomes even more important to build a strong employer brand that will get the attention of potential new recruits. The employer value proposition, which is perceived through the employer brand, might include:
- Inspiring culture and colleagues.
- Competitive compensation.
- International opportunities.
- Challenging career assignments.
- Investments in learning and development.
- Important career reference.
As the work environment for talent becomes more complex and shelf life of knowledge is decreasing quickly, employees want to be sure that their potential new employer will help them stay on top of the latest trends in their profession and have access to knowledge for any upcoming career assignments. It is no surprise that recent international recruitment and career surveys reinforce that strong learning and development capabilities are a key differentiator for graduates.
However, just investing in and enhancing unique learning capabilities alone does not guarantee that people outside the organization are aware of this. According to Universum Communications, “Employer branding is a logical process through which companies reach one main goal: To have a strong appeal on their current and future ideal employees.” Learning, recruitment and HR executives need to ensure that learning and development messages are included in the employer brand. A number of things can be done to support the employer brand through learning.
Develop a Marketing Plan
Internal learning functions typically are well equipped to develop and deliver training programs, but they lack resources with strong marketing and communication skills. A plan should show the value of learning for internal and external stakeholders. However, 63 percent of learning functions that spend more than $50 million have a formal marketing and communications plan in place.
Address the Learning Organization in the Company’s Annual Report
Annual reports typically include a section on human resources and learning strategies and initiatives. Sixty-two percent of companies formally address the learning organization’s efforts in their annual report. That number rises to 79 percent for “expert” learning organizations and 88 percent for European companies.
It also helps if leaders at all levels of the organization participate in learning during: performance review sessions, courseware development review processes, as a speaker or facilitator in learning programs and in recruitment sessions and new-hire orientation. Fifty-four percent of CEOs mention learning organizations in media interviews.
Advertise Learning and Development
Leading companies have clear messages on the company Web site and in recruitment collateral, for example: learning vision, overview of learning capabilities, information about their corporate university, overview of learning programs and curricula, guidelines for minimum number of learning hours annually, testimonials from participants, etc.
Participate in Market Surveys and Studies
Survey results that get a lot of media attention and have an impact on the employer brand and people perception about companies include: Top 100 Companies to Work For, Training Top 100 and Top Companies for Leaders. A company brand is one of an organization’s most important assets. Investments in learning and development can help enhance the employer brand and position an organization as an employer of choice. The CLO needs to play an active role in making this a reality.
Nick van Dam, Ph.D., is global chief learning officer for Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. He is founder of the e-Learning For Kids Foundation. He can be reached at email@example.com.
- 5 Forces Shaping the Future of HR
- Why ‘Leaders Eat Last’
- Creating an environment for effective learning measurement
- Honest feedback plays a critical role in building cultural D&I
- Progressive Insurance gives interns an entry-level lesson in the new reality of office work
- Digital transformation through mindset, delivery and content
- Cloudy with a chance of budget approval