Written by: Grégoire Depeursinge
EVP EMEA AIMS International, Managing Partner Switzerland

Marketing is not enough, it is only a truly positive employee experience that makes your company attractive as an employer. Truth is the best advocate.

While employer branding is a conversation which we are part of on a daily basis, our clients often do not turn to Talent Management consultants like us to polish their attractiveness to candidates, but to advertising agencies.

A good tagline and EVP/Employee Value Proposition, the use of the right communication channels, employee testimonials, a good user experience when filling in applications, activity on social media, benefits such as better pension coverage, a company restaurant or nursery, and, of course, a good consumer experience when buying your company’s products are very important elements when you want to boost your attractiveness as an employer, but the real question is; does the brand truly keep its promise?

It all boils down to what potential, present and former employees experience when they are in contact with your company, and we are not speaking so much of the material environment, but rather of the quality of the experience in terms of learning, self-fulfilment and real satisfaction.

In order to get a grip on this, your company really needs to answer three simple questions:

  1. How do we treat our candidates?
  2. How do we treat our employees?
  3. How do we ensure that those who leave us will remember us positively?

Presented like this, the answers seem obvious. Unfortunately, companies are often blinded by their own propaganda or not objective any more. Why are companies so often expecting total enthusiasm and commitment from candidates even before they have had the first contact or learned about the company?  Sometimes the reality of the experience does not match the message. This is often the result when the employer branding initiative comes from HR and is not endorsed/lived by line management.

Being candid is not easy, but it is a necessity for companies that want to put in place effective employer branding as part of their Talent Management strategy. Using an external consultant with the ability to be more objective and collect unbiased data from candidates, employees and people who have left, as well as the necessary knowledge and competence to do an in-depth HR audit, assess company culture and design state of the art processes throughout the employee life-cycle can help. However, nothing can be done without a conscious buy-in from the top.

Grégoire Depeursinge
Managing Partner Switzerland

Related posts:
20 interview questions you should ask executive-level candidates
What assessments and personality tests for candidates are good for and what not
It’s all about people, not systems and compliance 
Challenges of talent management 2014
How headhunters look at your profile