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BRANDE : Employer Brand Positioning

March 1, 2017

Moving Past Culture Fit To “Culture Add”

people-diversity-700x467There is so much out there about cultural fit. And it does have its place. We all want that perfect candidate. The one that can live up to all the clichéd buzz words — “hit the ground running,” “add value,” “contribute right away,” and of course “fit in.”

And yet, at the same time, we are looking to build a culture of diversity in backgrounds, thinking and experience. We are looking for people who can bring something to the table versus just bring themselves to work. That’s why I think it is now time we move past culture fit and embrace a new term — “Culture Add.”

Why culture add?

When you are only thinking of culture fit, I think there is a good chance you are hiring people who think and act alike. In today’s world of speed, innovation, and adaptability, you might just need different talents around the table to progress as much as you need to. When you consider if a candidate is a “culture add” then you are looking for candidates to bring in new ideas, a different point-of-view, and bring out different traits in others in a collaborative, positive way. Ideally, this person will fill in what you might be missing to give you that competitive edge for your products or services.

The 3 Es of culture add

Employees: If you embrace this concept of culture add, I urge you to be clear with your existing employees that the next new team member will be great — but may not be just like them. Emphasize the benefits of collaboration among diverse teams, and when those benefits happen celebrate them.

Employer brand: If you want to go even further to embrace the concept of culture add, take the time to look at your employer brand — from your website to your internal materials. What would you need to do to refresh or enhance it to speak more broadly to the qualities of your culture and how prospective employees can add to it? Decide if it’s an option or an imperative and make your choice known.

Expectations: Provide change management training so hiring managers know how to talk with candidates and to help managers understand there are expectations they’ll need to meet. Offer them training so they don’t fall into a bias trap.

And above all, remember that when you hire for culture add you’re not just adding to the culture but adding to the bottom line as well.

Need help with defining your culture? Try Brandemix Rapid-Cycle Talent Branding.

April 26, 2014

Connecting the Dots from Culture to Talent Management

Every organization has values. Curating the stories about the behaviors and decisions that employees make, based on company values, is also part of employer branding. The HR department and, in particular, its internal communications component, shapes those stories.

What does it mean to be a values-based organization — and why should you strive for it?
Here are 3 very good reasons.
1. An organization that places its values first (even above profit) can form closer bonds and longer tenures with its employees.
2. Organizations that hire to their values, and promote those values to the workforce, create a common vision and a culture of shared priorities. The values guide employees’ decisions and actions, making it easier for each of them to contribute to the company’s mission.
3. Longer-tenured employees and more productive employees contribute more money to the organizations that employ them.

A values-based organization

So it’s intrinsic to an organization’s success that they link their company’s culture, talent, and people practices. To achieve this consistency, the human resources department must define the culture and employee experience as it reflects the company’s values. HR must also keep employee performance continuously aligned with strategic goals of the company. Being a values-based organization can be connected as a brand concept through HR and employee communications.

HR and internal communications are significant stakeholders in defining and promoting the culture of the organization, producing a vision and value proposition for each “center of excellence.” Moreover, they can create a line of sight from the culture to the employees that keeps them committed to achieving the business goals. The HR department has the sole ability to recruit, manage, and engage talent in a way that’s aligned with the company’s mission and culture.

Believe it or not, there are still many organizations that have no such values-based foundation upon which to build. They may have a top-down corporate culture, with management leading by directives instead of by example. There may be little sense of community, as departments operate under conflicting priorities. Employees may not be hired for their affinity to the company’s values and feel less of a connection to their employers…who then wonder why their workers aren’t contributing their fullest to the company’s success.


Good news to them — I’m offering a free webinar on this very subject — “HR Branding: Connecting the Dots from Culture to Talent Management.” It should have f
ar-reaching benefits to any human resources professional looking to articulate their company’s values so all employees travel the same road to success. The webinar will be presented on Wednesday, April 30, from 2-3 pm EDT. Sign up for this valuable online presentation here. 

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to align your company culture with the employee experience!

December 23, 2013

The Most Popular Blog Posts of 2013

As 2012 comes to a close, let’s take a look back at the year’s most popular blog posts. The topics range from telling your brand story to embracing new technologies to engaging your employees. I hope these articles will help you become an employer of choice and attract top talent — and avoid some of the biggest social media mistakes. 

Here are the BrandeBlog’s six most-read posts of 2013.

Employer Branding: Recruiters Help You Tell the Right Story

One of the biggest recruiting trends of 2014 is employer branding: the promise your company makes to its employees. And one of the biggest trends in marketing is brand storytelling: the use of content and experiences to bring your brand to life. Combining these trends can bring a powerful presence to your talent acquisition. Here’s how to do it.

How to Become an Employer of Choice
A recent Gallup study found that only 47% of American workers are completely satisfied with their jobs. A MarketTools study found that 21% of employees had applied to another job in the past six months. Clearly, many employees are ready to look elsewhere for the next step in their careers. To attract the best of these workers — and make your current employees stay with you, follow these steps to become an employer of choice. 

Create Goodwill for Your Small Business with Community Involvement

For any small business to succeed, it must build goodwill with the surrounding community. You can have Facebook fans or catalogue customers all over the world, placing orders by phone and email, but if locals aren’t walking in the door, you’re doomed. Branding your business as a “hometown hero” can make a huge impression on your customer base and serve as an important differentiator in the marketplace.

Build an Employer Brand Fortress by Integrating with Your Corporate Brand

One question that gets asked in every employer branding workshop we hold is, “Where does our employer brand fit with our corporate brand?” Some companies create an employer brand slogan that lives only within recruiting or HR. That’s often against best practice, as it has no bearing on a true employer value proposition. A strong EVP is based on the unique elements of your culture and workplace, resonates with the people you would like more of, and integrates with the same value proposition to your consumer base. Integrating the two brands isn’t always easy, but it’s crucial to success.

Social Media PR Disasters: Applebee’s Wild Night
If it’s true that you can learn more from failure than from success, then there’s a lot to learn from Applebee’s mysterious midnight meltdown. After the restaurant chain’s controversial firing of a waitress, critics took to Applebee’s Facebook page to complain. In the early hours of Saturday, February 2, someone from Applebee’s tried to fight back. What happened next is a perfect example of what not to do in a PR crisis.

Recruiting with Google Glass
Google’s new wearable technology may change recruiting forever. Why? Because, as the economy improves and the competition for talent increases, Google Glass will allow organizations to show a job listing and a corporate culture instead of telling. From talent acquisition to employer branding, here’s how this amazing visual device can be used to engage job-seekers in several new and exciting ways.

What do these posts’ popularity tell us? That there a lot of people with an interest in  and a need for  social media trends, marketing, and branding. As it so happens, they are also specialties of ours! 
Want to be more popular to job-seekers, employees, and customer? Put Brandemix on your to-do list for 2014.

Thanks for reading and happy holidays.

July 1, 2013

How to Become an Employer of Choice

A recent Gallup study found that only 47% of American workers are completely satisfied with their jobs. A MarketTools study found that 21% of employees had applied to another job in the past six months. Clearly, many employees are ready to look elsewhere for the next step in their careers.

How do you make them look at you? More importantly, how do you make your current employees stay with you?

Or, in short, how can your company become an employer of choice?  

Becoming an employer of choice means that applicants are eager to work for you, that people envy your employees, that you receive unsolicited resumes, and that your most talented workers stay with the company throughout their careers.

It’s the holy grail for every employers. So do you achieve it?

There’s no single answer to that question. In fact, coming up with the answer may require answers to more questions. Here are a few you should tackle:

1. “Employer of choice” to whom? 
Determine who are the people you want to run your business. Shark-like go-getters? Tech wizards? Ideallists who want to change the world? Employees of your competitors? 

Your workers don’t have to be people who live nearby or happened to see your job listing. Create a vision for your workforce and strive to bring it to life.

The answer to the first question leads to the second: 

2. What do the people that you want, want?
A recent survey of college seniors by the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that, when weighing a job offer, these workers look first for opportunities for personal growth, then job security, and then friendly co-workers. “High starting salary” didn’t make the top three. So if you’re offering recent grad lots of money up front but little chances of career advancement, you’ll need to change your priorities to be successful.

There are plenty of workplace surveys out there, but you’ll get the best information from your employees, your candidates (even the ones who turned you down), and your applicants. Ask them what drew them to your organization. What set you apart? What’s still lacking? Accept the answers without judgment. You can’t improve unless you acknowledge you’re not perfect.

Spoiler alert: Answers to the next question may require collaboration with your senior leadership. 

3. What are you prepared to do to attract your ideal employees — and keep them? 
This may require some changes within your structure or culture. You may have to increase perks, change policies, or even enhance your workplace with, say, a gym or daycare center or coffee bar. And that can’t happen without approval of your senior leadership, who may not see the need behind such transitions (and costs). You can tell them that more engaged employees will lead to higher retention, lower hiring costs, higher  productivity, and eventually greater profits — all true.

Every company wants to have an employer brand that positions them as an employer of choice. Who wouldn’t want to have talent competing for you instead of the other way around? 

 So, in addition to the answers to the questions above, here is a short list of attributes of an employer of choice. How does your company stack up?

1. Interesting work
Challenging but not difficult; straightforward but not easy. Most workers want to be stimulated, challenged, or inspired by their work. No matter what your industry, are your positions actually interesting? Or do they ask too much or too little of the employees?

2. Career advancement
If you want workers to stay with you for their entire careers, you have to give them a career. This includes a clear path to promotions, regular and fair evaluations, and training for new skills. And don’t forget about a mentoring program, which is lacking at most companies.

3. Social Responsibility
Many people want to feel that they’re doing good. If your company isn’t in the rainforest-saving industry, you can still recycle, partner with a charity, and engage in fundraising activities. This attribute also includes business ethics.

4. Recognition
Not just fair pay but also rewards for work well done and for time spent with the company. Contests (such as sales goals) also help employees feel valued, as can bonuses, free food,  and other perks. 

In closing, becoming an employer of choice isn’t easy. It means taking an honest look at your current workforce and what you want it to become. It means acknowledging some difficult truths and making internal changes.

The rewards, however, are hard to overstate. You’ll have the best workers, doing their best work, increasing profits — and not leaving.

Want to know more about becoming an employer of choice? The door at Brandemix is always open.

May 8, 2013

Brandemix Bonus Reel: What is a Brand Plan?



Jason Ginsburg, the Director of Interactive Branding at Brandemix, explains why a brand plan is so important to any branding or re-branding effort.

To learn how Brandemix can help your branding or employer branding campaign, visit www.brandemix.com.