Achieving Executive Buy-in for Your Employer Branding Strategy
Achieving executive buy-in for your employer brand can be challenging if you don’t involve your senior leaders in the process from the beginning. Executives make decisions based on ROI so they will need a clear understanding of the benefits of a well-developed employer brand. Jona Gjini, Global Employer Brand Lead at Vodafone, shares how she got her executives on board in a time of global internal change:
- Vodafone has recently embarked on a journey to transform public perception of its brand from a mobile retailer to a technology first organisation. Naturally, its employer brand needed to be in line with the new corporate brand.
- Jona and her team carried out internal research and got insight from employees to understand what shaped Vodafone’s EVP. “If people feed into your EVP they will believe it and promote it.”
- They took a marketing-led approach to developing the brand and worked closely with the corporate team when repositioning Vodafone’s tagline. “Instead of 2 separate brands, we want to give the same promise to candidates, business suppliers and customers – that The Future is Exciting.”
- An employer branding project can often be hindered by restricted budget and resources, so expect trial and error. Try to make the most of your budget to motivate your stakeholders to increase it in the future, enabling you to achieve more.
- Vodafone made use of free tools like social media to share their EVP stories:
- They set up a careers page on Facebook, enabling employees to direct their friends list to relevant opportunities.
- They also used their competitive advantage on LinkedIn (where they have a following of over 1.2 million) to push people stories out (unscripted, user generated videos).
- They used Papirfly to create branded content and assets in-house, avoiding outsourcing costs.
Employer Branding is all about authenticity – you have to let people speak their true selves. When asking for executive buy-in, understand your stakeholders first, Jona advises. Understand who you’re talking to, who are your motivators and detractors. Start with a small budget and run small scale projects. Then use your first success stories to build your business case for a bigger budget.