Miltton invited world-renowned employer branding authority Mr Brett Minchington to visit Finland for the first time ever this March. While waiting for the event, we had a chat with Brett to discuss what makes employer branding relevant in today’s world.
Let’s start from the basics. There are many different definitions for employer branding. How would you describe it?
Your employer brand is the image of your organisation as a ‘great place to work’ in the mind of current employees and key stakeholders in the external market, including, for example, the active and passive candidates, clients and customers. The art and science of employer branding is concerned with the attraction, engagement and retention initiatives targeted at enhancing your employer brand. It must be focused on the total employment lifecycle and not be limited to recruitment. Hire great talent, create an environment for them to do their best work and they will deliver the business results.
We at Miltton have seen an increasing interest in employer branding. What do you think makes it so relevant to organisations today?
Ask any CEO their main priorities and ‘attracting and retaining talent’ will generally appear in their top three, if not the top priority. The only true source of competitive advantage for a company is its people; everything else can and eventually is copied, replaced or substituted. Employer brand strategy provides a way forward for organisations to ensure they can attract, engage and retain the talent required for growth.
What are the biggest employer branding issues that you see companies struggle with at the moment?
The top two issues are around 1) resourcing and 2) engagement of executive and senior management. The two actually go together – if leaders can engage senior management in employer brand strategy then the resources will be allocated to fund the strategy.
Also, HR, marketing and communications silos are slowing down company growth. Organisations need to seriously consider how they organise talent around the capabilities that are required to deliver growth. Employer brand strategy provides a solution to this by focusing the capabilities required to attract and retain talent under one leadership rather than in separate silos across the organisation.
Who should then be responsible for employer brand strategy?
Employer branding is not an HR, marketing or communications function, it’s a business function. It requires knowledge from all of these aspects as well as IT and finance. Employer brand leaders also need strong project management skills as well as the ability to communicate and influence at the C-suite level. Employer branding is a joint effort, and employer brand leadership skills will form the required competency of every leader in the coming years.
On the 8th of March you will be discussing employer branding with Miltton’s stakeholders in Helsinki. What kind of qualities do you hope to see in Finnish leaders?
It will be my first visit to Finland and I’m really looking forward to meeting and speaking with local professionals. I have been fortunate to train people in more than 50 cities in 32 countries over the past 10 years, and it doesn’t matter which country I visit I find that, in addition to culture specific ones, similar features exist in all good managers. These include:
- being open to trying new ideas,
- being agile enough to adapt and improve current practices, and
- having perspective on creating an environment that employees want to be a part of and candidates want to join.
We’ll promise to meet you with an open mind and willingness to refine old habits. What can we expect to learn from you during the event?
I will cover a number of themes during the presentation, including:
- The latest global trends in employer branding and how companies in Finland can adapt to these challenges.
- Case studies of the world’s leading employer brands and what sets them apart in their approach to employer branding.
- The key areas you should focus on if you want to attract and retain a workforce that will drive organisational success in one of the most challenging economic periods in history.
Participants will leave with numerous strategies, case study examples, tools, tips and techniques they can apply to their own company the very next day!
Our stakeholders will surely appreciate elaborating with you on this area. Thank you very much, Brett!
My absolute pleasure, I am excited to be coming to Finland and spending quality time with the event quests. See you in March!