Chris Moyles, former ‘saviour of Radio 1’. At eight years it is the longest running breakfast show in BBC Radio 1’s history, with Moyles taking listener numbers up by a million in his first three months, hitting 7.7 million at his peak. Of course, this fantastic success had to come to an end at some point, with the show wrapping up for good on the 14th September 2012.
Employer brand continues to become more and more prevelant, with increasing organisations turning to it as the silver bullet in their staff retention, recruitment, engagement and general market perception. But is it the Moyles equivalent of the ‘saviour of recruitment’ or a waning fad that nobody is ever quite going to get right?
Personally I think the answer lies in how seriously you take your employer brand. To Broadbeans mind it’s a phrase heavily overused and an easy (but wrong) answer to tactical issues where the employer brand lacks the strategic foundation it needs in order for it to have any meaningful impact on tactical challenges.
Take Radio One in 2003. They identified falling ratings from Radio One breakfast’s show at the time with Sara Cox, amidst an increasingly competitive landscape. Radio One assessed their current listener profiles, considered their projected target audience and took heed of what their biggest competitors were up to. Armed with this information they made some drastic decisions. Sara Cox was axed and the high risk choice of Chris Moyles, whose style and approach divided opinion was appointed (negotiating a deal that put him amongst the highest earners there). Then came the launch of an aggressive (and costly) advertising campaign promoting the ‘Saviour of Radio One’.
Recruitment faces a similarly aggressive competitive landscape and harder to reach high quality talent pools. At this point the most magic of phrases is where we turn for help. EMPLOYER BRAND! Put some more content out on social; makes us look fun! Redesign the career site, reword the job adverts, create a cool video. It’s not to say these tactical actions aren’t valid, but individually they mean nothing without adequate research and understanding of your target audience (your talent pools). Getting employer brand is a serious investment of time and money. Accurately analysing your market place, identifying the wants and needs of your audience and taking calculated risks to achieve your desired outcome has to be done. It’s often scary, tedious and expensive, but without this level of insight to inform your tactical actions, you’re just p*ssing in the wind.
So I think the answer is yes, employer brand could well be the saviour of the recruitment market place in the same way Moyles was for Radio One, but only with the right level of thought, consideration and resource, underpinned by execution that’s nothing less than on point.
But on the other hand, maybe all you need is a catchy jingle?
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