Five Thesis why we still have to recognise a low level of Employer Branding

Before getting to my five thesis, two tiny mental games:

If you envision an image of a company is assembled by its Product-, Employer- and finally its Company Brand and you would consider the Company Brand and/or the Product Brand gone; what will remain? The Employer Brand.

Try this evaluation with companies, such as Amazon, Deutsche Bank, Coca-Cola etc. Fast you will realise, that neither in Germany, nor in Europe, a strong Employer Brand exists.

Second game:

Put ten recruiting announcement of big companies, or companies in your mind next to another and erase the sender. You will come to the conclusion that the communication of the employers are almost identical to another and for that replaceable.

We recognise a low level of Employer Brands because:

1. The One Hand Does Not Know What The Other Is Doing

From the experience of my colleagues and friends from the Advertising as well as mine I can claim: Within the Company, noone knows what the Department next to it is doing. Recruiting announciations are not discussed about with the Marketing- or Corporate Branding Department; carreer districts not with the HR-Department; the HR-activities at the Social Web not with the Coporate Communication – The total chaos actually. Wanna bet?

2. Power Is More Important Than Success

It is not about the success at the Departments anymore. They want to keep their Power: “The composition of the firm is not given. The goals of the firm are not given: they are bargained“ (March, 1962, quoted in Karl Sandner’s “Prozesse der Macht“). Unfortunately in the bigger companies, many colleagues are rather busy with saving their position/Department/themes, than dedicating themselves to higher ideas or the success of the company. This means: The Department does not work together on factic base, neither does it actually want to.

3. The Deciders Do Not Want To Either

Employer Brands are not built in one quarter of a year, but two years. Decision makers may have recognised that a good Employer Brand is portraying a worthy goal. To reach this goal however, long breathe is needed. Yet – somehow the earnings are always feeling so soft, less concrete, difficult to measure. And then, there is the whole stress of harmonising with the Departments!

4. Many Intentions (Well, Hot Air), Rarely Real Budgets

I am hearing quite often: Yes, we have urgent demand. And yes, the demographic factor is pushing through, that has been noticed. Yes, the Web 2.0 is (oh) so important, but it is taking up too much time, too many resources! Especially it is not clarified, who gets what in this cohesion. In the end, when money is supposed to be available towards the Employer Brand, only low budgets are allocated in consideration of initiating difficulties.

5. Good Ideas Are Discussed To Death With Babylonian Chit-Chat And Yackety-Yak

Does the company finally decide to sharpen the profile of the Employer Brand and to start an extra Employer-Branding-campaign for it, the actual road has not seen its end yet and is not going to for a while. Concepts will be talked to death, because everybody wants to be a part of it and feels responsible all out of sudden.

It will be briefed, pondered, rebriefed, continued developing and one more time, pondered – and then there will be reached that, what nobody actually wanted: A replaceable something which does not even deserve the title ’Employer-Branding-campaign’. When something is not sharpened surely, it sure is the Employer Brand.

This is a guest posting from Jannis Tsalikis. He’s an experienced Employer Branding Consultant / Senior Human Resources Manager at Scholz & Friends from Germany and worked for companies like BBDO.

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