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4 Reasons Employer Brands Smash Consumer Brands, Hands Down

Who comes first, the customer or your team?

“Clients do not come first.”  On the surface, this statement seems irrational. But it comes from Sir Richard  Branson, owner of Virgin Group, which controls more than 400 companies. And when you hear what he followed up with, it’s perfectly logical. 

Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” 

Your employees are your first response, they’re on the front line, talking to your customers day in, day out: they’re the backbone of your business. If they’re unhappy, that can easily send negative ripples throughout your business, damaging productivity and ultimately, sales. That’s the first reason why putting your consumer first, at the expense of your employees, just isn’t sound business practice.  

Successful employer brands are a natural magnet for top candidates

Secondly, successful employer brands are a natural magnet for top candidates. This is an absolute dream for businesses in the current job market, where candidate skill set requirements are evolving rapidly to keep pace with the changing shape of business, and millennials are increasingly choosy about where they want to invest their time. Attracting great talent is an expensive process – not just in terms of paying out to recruiters or spending money advertising your posts. The most expensive indirect cost of recruitment is time. Time spent looking through CVs, time spent interviewing candidates, time squandered as roles sit open indefinitely and your team isn’t working at full capacity. For strong employer brands, existing team members act like walking, talking job advertisements, and may even refer suitable candidates from their own network to your HR department.  

Failing to retain good talent is a gross waste of your resources

Reason number three: failing to retain good talent is a gross waste of your resources. Besides the direct and indirect costs of recruitment covered in reason number two, think of all the effort that goes into training candidates so that they’re able to perform properly; the time it takes for them to build strong working relationships and start performing optimally. Skills need nurturing for people to meet their potential, but even when they’re fully trained, unhappy people are more likely to underperform. Employer brands intrinsically get this. They also understand that for many people, professional lives are a reflection on their sense of self. They use this insight and invest in creating a culture so great that their employees internalise the brand, genuinely love their job and constantly strive to overperform. This is because, psychologically for the employee, their company performing reflects well on them personally. 

Unhappy employees are bad for your brand

Four: unhappy employees are bad for your brand. Employer review websites like Glassdoor create a space for customers and potential candidates to see your brand at its absolute worst: through the eyes of an anonymous disgruntled ex-employee. That’s not to mention the negative press coverage brands now risk receiving when employees feel negatively about their employer. Ethical consumers won’t purchase from brands that have even a hint of unfair (or even just unpleasant) working conditions, so reputationally it pays to have a brand people love and are proud to work for.  

The business environment is shifting dramatically at the moment; if brands are to succeed they need to be flexible in the face of rapid change. Achieving that reactivity effectively isn’t just down to one person, even if that person is the CEO. It’s down to having an amazing, productive team, built of high calibre, engaged people. It’s imperative that as a business owner you create an environment where your employees can thrive, which is why you need to consider your team as much as, if not more than, your customers. 

Want ideas on how to become an employer brand?  Read this: 

Perk up: how to recognise and reward your employees