The Carrot & Stick of Employer Branding

by Oisín Halpin, Owner at Thrivey

For those of you that are unaware of the many newfangled terms popping up like whack-a-moles in modern HR parlance. Employer branding, as defined by the CIPD is “ the way in which organisations differentiate themselves in the labour market, enabling them to recruit, retain, and engage the right people”.

Every company, from the mom & pop shop to the techie giant has one, whether you like it or not, and thanks to the world wide web, the walls of your business are getting more transparent by the day

“The right people”

Google has a Glassdoor rating of 4.4 out of 5 and a top-drawer mission “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”. This is why Google receives over 2 million applicants annually.

For the majority of you, 2 million plus applicants seems more of a logistical nightmare than a veritable HR gold rush. Nonetheless, I think it illustrates my point well – one of the main reasons why Google is a powerhouse today is due to all those brilliant people banging down its door, falling over one another to don that ‘Noogler’ headpiece.

Wait, why now! ?

Employers now find themselves in a perfect storm, huddled in between two looming fronts when it comes to attracting top talent in 2018.

1. As Ireland gets back on its financial feet after the hammer-blow of 2008 and unemployment rates plummet, we’re seeing companies in many sectors reluctantly marching into ‘The War for Talent’ and bearing the brunt of the inevitable financial and human casualties.

2. With the emergence of companies such as Glassdoor, businesses have now been stripped naked for the world to see. Millennials, a steadily growing portion of the workforce, are hugely attracted to organisations with good corporate cultures, where they feel they’ll be treated well and enjoy their work. You had better believe they do their homework when choosing their next place of work.

What’s the solution?

There is one golden rule in employer branding, and that is authenticity. The image you portray as an employer should mirror what it’s actually like to work there. Candidates are a savvy bunch nowadays, and with so much information freely available on the internet, disingenuous messaging around your work environment will be sniffed out in a heartbeat, destroying your credibility.

If you have a great work environment, then your employer brand is already quite good, so now all you need to do is project upon the world at large!

Your employees are the best way to do this. Empower them to act as brand advocates at by gathering video testimonials, sending them to recruitment events, including them in interviews and during onboarding, and yes even on their personal social media accounts.

If you have a sub-par corporate culture, sadly, your problems run deep, and you should treat the root cause of the problem by consulting your employees and building a great work environment from the ground up.

As work in Ireland becomes more specialised, the need for highly-skilled workers is amplified and you have no choice but to wade into “The War for Talent” – use the best weapon in your arsenal to win – a great employer brand.

About the author
Oisín Halpin is the self-proclaimed ‘Chief’ at Thrivey.
Thrivey is a large and eclectic community of some of Dublin’s best local talent. Guided by people analytics, their broad and diverse skill base is harnessed to create unique team bonding, event, and well-being initiatives, driving positive work environments.