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The Importance of an Employer Brand

Empoyer Branding

Attracting talent and retaining quality employees is becoming increasingly difficult for most organisations, including law firms. This is due to a shortage of skilled candidates, the lack of employee loyalty as well as the many opportunities that exist for lawyers to work overseas.

The question becomes how does a law firm position themselves and make themselves more desirable to future employees? In order to attract, retain and develop talent, the recruitment function should be viewed as an extension of the marketing function. Organisations (and law firms included) must have clear strategies regarding marketing their brand to existing and future employees. This is because your employees are the organisation’s best  form of advertising.

What is an employer brand?

An employer brand communicates the organisation’s culture, vision, reputation and value system. Therefore, anything that an organisation does e.g. how management communicates internally and how an organisation’s services are perceived in the marketplace, impacts on the employer brand. For an employer brand to be successful, the entire employment lifecycle (e.g. the interview process, on-boarding, induction, performance reviews, exit interviews) needs to be scrutinised and where necessary improved and enhanced. It must always be remembered that quality candidates will always have several options to choose from.

How can interviews portray employer brand?

When attracting talent, the first interview is crucial in communicating the employer brand. Interviews are always a two-way street and talented candidates do not move purely for an increase in remuneration. Candidates want to know about an organisation’s culture and philosophy and whether it is in line with their own value system, objectives and career goals.

What are the main reasons for employees leaving?

It is very clear that in today’s mobile workforce, retaining talented employees is just as challenging as attracting new talent. Therefore, an organisation’s leadership, the way it communicates to its staff and the opportunities within the organisation to develop and progress all impact on whether an employee will stay or jump to a competitor. The lack of training and development opportunities are the main motivators in employees leaving, not necessarily reward and remuneration. Keeping your staff motivated is one of the keys to low turnover as well as offering a workplace that is flexible and a management that is transparent in their decision-making.

How can a company improve their employer brand?

There are many ways for an employer to improve their employer brand. Here are 5 tips to help improve an employer brand:

  1. Undertake research (both internally and externally) regarding the way current and future employees perceive the experience of working at the firm;
  2. If you make a job offer and it is declined, find out why the candidate was not interested in working for the organisation;
  3. Conduct an audit of your organisation’s values and vision statement. It may be worthwhile to conduct a survey within the organisation to compare the value statement with the employee’s reality;
  4. Always ensure that your values, vision and philosophy are conveyed at every step of the recruitment process;
  5. Conduct an annual review of your employer brand and where necessary make changes to your organisation’s vision statement. This is where your staff’s feedback is useful.

The aim of every organisation is to be an ‘Employer of Choice’ and a strong employer brand will help a law firm or any organisation, attract and retain the best talent.

Your Career – Taking Stock

Before you can commence writing a career plan, it is important to look at where you are now, and what brought you to this place, as well as where you want to go. ‘Take Stock’ of your life and career to date before deciding where you want to go.

Taking stock involves:

  • Looking at where you are now
    • How did you get here?
    • What decisions led you to be here?
    • Do you have any regrets?
    • If you could do things differently, would you?
    • What has been a highlight for you?strengths 1
  • What are your values?
    • What do you value most about your role and yourself?
    • What is most important to you (choose three things)
    • Is the balance between your work and other interests about right?
    • Do your personal values align with the firm’s values?
  • What motivates you?
    • Does what you do provide you with fulfillment and enjoyment?
    • What work activities give you the greatest sense of achievement?
    • What do you want to learn?
    • What does the firm you work for do that provides you with a sense of satisfaction?
  • What are your strengths?
    • Do you know what you are good at?
    • Do you understand what lies in their shadows (http://empirecareers.com.au/know-your-strengths-but-be-aware-of-their-shadows/)
    • Do you have any unique skills or gifts?
    • What feedback have you had from others about your strengths?
  • How do others see you?
    • What is your perception of how colleagues and clients see you?
    • What is your relationship like with others?
    • Do you have good self-awareness?
    • Are you able to act on feedback given?
    • Do you need to have a personality profile done to understand your personal preferences in terms of behaviour?
  • Where do you want to go?
    • What are your career aspirations?
    • What do you want to do in your life other than career?
    • What does your preferred work culture look like and is it where you are now?
    • Do you have a fall back position if your career doesn’t give you what you are looking for?