Power Up Your Employer Brand

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One of the most popular business 'buzz words' of recent times is branding. I admit it - I am a strong proponent of this concept and am pleased to see it play an increasingly important role in the way Human Resources programs do business. Traditionally, branding applied only to products like Tide and Caramilk. Now it means so much more: companies of all sizes can be a brand; programs can be a brand; heck, even we, ourselves, can be a brand! This will become all the more important as we pull out the downturn into another knowledge-driven recruitment increase.

For some people, this growth in branding is seen as a daunting concept or a difficult process during a struggling economy. Nothing is further from the truth if the plan is well thought out and you are creative with your tactics. An organization may have a poor brand in the marketplace, have no real brand in its target market, or may not be aware of its market perception or reputation. The fact is that opportunities are plentiful if branding is allowed to flourish. My advice is this: Make a brand plan. Talk to a marketer. You won't regret it!

Noted author and speaker, Peter Urs Bender has been a real inspiration to me. He took great pains in building his brand as a speaker and management consultant. I clearly remember the first experience I had with Peter: I had heard about his keynotes and I was organizing a learning event for staff. I found his information on a website and sent an e-mail to him requesting more information. That same day I received a personal voicemail that thanked me for my interest and suggested a one-on-one discussion. Less than two days later I received copies of two of his books, autographed and with a special note thanking me for being in discussions, along with his cell phone number to call if I had more questions. Of course that positively swayed my decision to hire Peter for my event. Peter was an awesome speaker, so I did not regret it (he delivered his brand promise!), but it was his effort that opened the door wide, and handed him his opportunity. Peter literally managed my perception of his personal brand in a very positive way. What do you think - Can the same impact take place with personal notes to a candidate or customer, a small token or a card? You bet it can! Personalize where you can! A strong employment brand can mean the difference between wasted effort and a sustainable recruitment campaign.

Here are 6 key reasons to build your employer brand so your business can benefit from strong recognition in the talent market:

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