Role of leadership in employer branding


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Role of leadership in employer branding

  1. 1. (16) HR FUTURE 07.2011 INTERNATIONAL WATERS employer branding Role of leadership in employer branding EMPLOYER BRAND LEADER VACANCIES SET TO INCREASE. brett minchington The biggest influence on the success of your employer branding programme will be the strength of the leadership (at all levels!) responsible for the development and implementation of your employer brand strategy. This is no different to the impact leadership has on innovation and re-invention, corporate reputation, financial performance, customer relationships or performance management – strong leadership is central to the sustainability of your business. DIFFERENT LEADERSHIP FOR CHANGING TIMES The following were named among the 20 Best Companies for Leadership in a 2010 Group survey included: GE, Southwest, 3M and Procter & Gamble in the top four positions. It is no wonder these companies are also household brands with a track record of success. Another company at number sixteen on the list is online retailer, Zappos. Both GE and Zappos with their rapidly shifting environments face similar challenges in motivating and engaging their employees. For Zappos, it’s about creating and maintaining passion in a call-centre culture. For GE, it’s about keeping people engaged in a changing climate. Both GE and Zappos put a premium on selecting, developing, and retaining strong leaders at every level. What sets them and the other companies on the list apart, however, is not just their emphasis on good leadership, but also how they approach it. They carefully tailor their developing leaders to fit their unique business strategies and organisational cultures. STRONG LEADERSHIP IS LINKED TO FINANCIAL RESULTS When Hay Group looked at how the Top 20 organisations compared to the S&P 500 in terms of shareholder returns, they found the Top 20 outperform in both the short term and long term. Over a ten year period the top 20 companies had a three percent return compared to the S&P of –1.4 percent. CHARISMATIC LEADERSHIP Behind many strong employer brands you will also find a charismatic CEO who has a tribe-like following. A standout charismatic leader is Tony Hsieh, CEO of online shoe seller Zappos. com, clearly a talented leader who understands the value of creating talented tribes. Prior to joining Zappos, Hsieh co-founded and sold LinkExchange to Microsoft for $265M in 1998. In 2008, Zappos achieve the $1billion sales revenue milestone and on 22 July 2009 announced the acquisition of in a deal valued at nearly $900 million. Such was the level of brand equity built upon Zappos’s unique culture that Amazon decided the brand would remain as an independent subsidiary. Hsieh set a very clear t “Any company trying to compete, must figure out a way to engage the mind of nearly every employee.” - Jack Welch, former CEO General Electric Brett Minchington, Chairman/CEO of Employer Brand International, is a global authority, strategist and corporate advisor on employer branding ( His new book Employer Brand Leadership-A Global Perspective is available at (
  2. 2. HR FUTURE 07.2011 (17) vision – for customers to say, “That was the best customer service I have ever had.” Hsieh then did two things to engender a tribal culture. Firstly, he asked all of the tribal members to convene and agree what values were required to deliver this vision. The Zappos tribes consulted each other and came back with a list of 10 core values. Posted on their website for the world to see it’s quite clear what Zappos stands for: “As we grow as a company, it has become more and more important to explicitly define the Zappos core values from which we develop our culture, our brand, and our business strategies. These are the ten core values that we live by: 1. Deliver wow through service; 2. Embrace and drive change; 3. Create fun and a little weirdness; 4. Be adventurous, creative, and open-minded; 5. Pursue growth and learning; 6. Build open and honest relationships with communication; 7. Build a positive team and family spirit; 8. Do more with less; 9. Be passionate and determined; and 10. Be humble.” THE ROLE OF THE EMPLOYER BRAND MANAGER In 2006 when I published my book, Your Employer Brand attract, engage retain, the position of an employer brand manager was virtually unheard of. Today companies such as Nike, Ernst & Young, UnitedHealth Group, Vestas Wind Systems, Starbucks, IBM, Ahold, E.ON, Deloitte, Nordea, DONG Energy, HP and Deutsche Bank now all have dedicated employer brand managers focused on developing their company’s employer brand. When I returned to Copenhagen in May 2011 there were eight employer brand leaders in the delegate audience compared to only two when I delivered an employer brand global masterclass in 2009. I am seeing similar trends when I return to other markets, especially in the UK and USA. The role of an employer brand manager is increasing in scope as the discipline evolves. As the line between the role of human resource, marketing and communication professionals in talent attraction and retention continues to blur, employer brand managers are being empowered to deliver responsibilities from all three functions. In the UK and USA, the trend is for companies to seek employer brand managers with expertise in branding, marketing, communications and publication relations compared to roles five years ago which were seeking leaders from a human resources background. Monsanto’s recent vacancy for an employer branding specialist states: “Bachelor’s degree required, preferably in Communications, Branding, Marketing, Journalism or related field. A minimum of 9 years relevant working experience in related industry or similar capacity with particular emphasis on planning and executing branding / communications programs, with an emphasis in brand marketing.” If you’re seeking to work in a dedicated employer branding role, stay tuned as we’re likely to see an increase in employer brand leader vacancies in your country in the coming one to two years. (HRf) eelmopry abdinnrg INTERNATIONAL WATERS Figure 1: Excerpt: Employer brand leader vacancy at Monsanto – June 2011
  3. 3. Certificate in Employer Brand Leadership About Employer Brand International EBI provides research, advisory and thought leadership in employer branding through strategic consulting, conferences/training, publications, research and global think-tanks. EBI’s expert services are provided through an international network of expert employer brand Senior Associates. EBI’s Global Advisory Board consists of leading corporate professionals and academics from around the world. Why choose to study the Certificate in Employer Brand Leadership? • Study for an in demand leadership skill • Case study approach to support theoretical frameworks • Real world application • Flexible study options • Supportive learning environment • Access to the world’s most extensive employer branding learning resources • Alumni support 1. Since 2007 EBI has trained thousands of managers in employer branding in more than 50 cities in 28 countries. 2. Access to an employer branding global community of 3500+ members. 3. Course is supported by world class learning resources including books, handbooks and global research reports. 4. The first course of its kind offered in partnership with educational institutions, business and the community. 5. Accredited by EBI 5 QUICK FACTS Enrol Today!
  4. 4. WELCOME FROM THE CHAIRMAN/CEO Welcome to the Certificate in Employer Brand Leadership Course – a contemporary leadership program for managers around the world. Since 2007, Employer Brand International has conducted training for thousands of managers in employer branding in more than 50 cities in 28 countries including Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, UAE, UK, and the USA. Employees are fast becoming central to the process of brand building and their behavior can either reinforce a brand’s advertised values or, if inconsistent with these values, undermine the credibility of your messages. Employer branding is a whole of business concept concerned with the attraction, engagement and retention initiatives targeted at enhancing your company’s employer brand. The contest amongst employers to attract and retain talented workers takes place in a world where changes in the political, economic, social and technological environments and concerns about a company’s environmental footprint is driving widespread change in employment patterns. Today, competition for the best employees is as fierce as competition for customers and market share. The course brings together a talented team of academics, strategists and corporate leaders to create an inspiring learning experience in the growing field of employer branding. Our emphasis is on assisting you to develop leadership, communication, problem solving and team building skills, which will enable you to better understand and deal with the complex issues of management in a changing business environment. In selecting students we look for high quality people with the potential to not only benefit but also contribute to the learning experience. Whilst practical in orientation, your learning experience will include networking with like minded professionals around the world to support a solid theoretical grounding in employer brand leadership. Organizations that can attract and retain the best minds by leveraging a unique, relevant and distinctive employer brand will have a competitive edge in the marketplace. We look forward to welcoming you and wish you the very best with your studies. Brett Minchington Chairman/CEO Employer Brand International PROGRAM STRUCTURE CORE MODULE A THE BUSINESS CASE FOR EMPLOYER BRANDING Study Unit 1: The Fundamentals Of Employer Branding (EBLFU) CORE MODULE B BEST PRACTICE IN EMPLOYER BRANDING Study Unit 2: Employer Brand Leadership Principles & Practices (EBLPP) Study Unit 3: Employer Brand Strategic Management (EBLSM) Study Unit 4: Employer Branding Mapping & Competitor Analysis (EBLCA) Study Unit 5: Employer Brand Analytics & Reporting (EBLAR) Study Unit 6: Contemporary Practices in Employer Branding & Social Media (EBLSM) Study Unit 7: Employee and Customer Experience (EBLCE) CORE MODULE C THE FUTURE FOR EMPLOYER BRANDING Study Unit 8: Employer Branding Social Responsibility (EBLSR) Study Unit 9: Future Trends in Employer Branding (EBLTD) Study Unit 10: Employer Branding Case Study Analysis (EBLCS) HOW TO APPLY Apply online at or to enquire please email Andrea at: Please direct all course enquiries to: Ms Andrea Fielding P +61 8 8443 4115 F +61 8 8443 4149 ALUMNI SUPPORT The EBI Employer Branding Global Community is an important part of the life and community of the School, as it forms an integral part of the School’s business relationships. The network is diverse, including students and graduates who work and live locally, interstate and overseas. With more than 3500 members, the EBGC supports members in various ways: • Fostering global networking opportunities • Informing the business community of latest trends in employer branding