A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.”

–Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com

A brand is a living entity and is enriched or undermined cumulatively over time, the product of a thousand small gestures.”

-Michael Eisner, Former CEO, Walt Disney

These two business greats do a brilliant job of describing that ethereal concept we call a brand.

If you ask the average person about brand they will describe it as a logo or some other marketing oriented concept, but in the age of social media and instant gratification branding has taken on new dimension and meaning.

We live in an environment where the competition for experienced talent is becoming more and more pronounced and a recent survey pointed out that the rate of voluntary turnover; employees electing to leave their job, increased by 45% between 2012 and 2013. 

Since the average cost of hiring has increased 15% during the same time period attracting and retaining talent is a key consideration for businesses and organizations of every size and in every sector.

When Eisner talks about enrichment or undermining over time he was describing customers, but the same reality applies to the employment relationship and the even colder reality is your brand lives where your customers intersect with your employees. Building a strong employment brand is an essential component of having a truly engaged culture.
Employment branding is not the domain of one executive or department, but rather a collaborative, integrated strategy.

Brett Minchington, Chair and CEO of Employer Brand International describes it this way-

“Employer branding is not an HR function, it is a business philosophy and all functions have a role to play. The business environment is dynamic and moving way too fast for Human Resources, Marketing, and Communications professionals to continue driving the strategy in isolation whilst trying to achieve alignment between people, products, and consumers.”

The employment brand is a systemic part of building an engaged culture, and when I talk about engagement I am not describing morale or “happiness”, but rather alignment between the organizational mission and individual employee goals and objectives.

Engaged employees produce more, much more averaging per capita productivity at a rate 21% higher than the median and organizations with high employee engagement outperform their competitors in every key performance indicator from revenue per employee to earnings per share. Engaged organizations also see ancillary benefits in reduced absenteeism, reduced health care expenditures, and significantly reduced turnover.

There are two primary vehicles to build an effective employment brand; build it in, or bolt it on, and as you may suspect the former is much more effective than the latter.

With that premise in mind the Lane County Human Resources Management Association in partnership with the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce and the Lane Community College Business Development Center are presenting the perspectives of three subject matter experts in building an Employment Brand.

  •  Mitch Hagstrom, Regional President Pacific Continental Bank
     The View from the C suite
  • Cheryl Collins, Vice President Organizational Development Ninkasi Brewing Company
     Building your Brand into your Culture
  •  Anne Marie Levis, President and Creative Director Funk/Levis & Associates
    Developing and executing your Employment Brand Strategy!

This interactive session will be held on April 9, 2014 at the Lane Community College Center for Meeting and Learning on the LCC Main campus from 7:30 a.m. to noon.

If you are a small business owner, C level manager, human resources professional, or in the communications arena this session is for you.

Every organization has an employment brand, top organizations are deliberate about the development and nurturing of theirs enabling them to attract and retain the talent they need.


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