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We have moved to Wordpress! Posted by Jason Links to this post The Recruiting Front Lines has evolved. At the beginning of the year, I changed jobs within my company, moving away from Outreach and Education, and into my new role as Director of Business Development. While I remain closely involved with our field activity, I am now more focused on strategic partnerships, social media, and the world of internet recruitment resources. As I have made this change, the focus of my blog content has also changed. Recently, I began to feel that many of the ideas I had for blog posts would not fit within the framework of The Recruiting Front Lines. This was a cause of some frustration, as I felt that I was either misrepresenting my content with the title of my blog, or that I was stifling my writing because I felt it didn't fit. To rectify this situation, I have created a new blog home, now on WordPress. I am still ironing out the wrinkles, but feel that it is far enough along that I can move all my past content, and begin posting all new content, at the new address. I would like to formally welcome everyone to come check out my new home at I can't wait to hear what you think! Best Regards, and Thank you for your time and attention over the past 18 months. Jason

Mar 2, 2009

RFL: 4 Keys to Internal Employment Branding In A Recession

Following up to my previous post, here are 4 keys to success for promoting your employment brand during hiring freezes or staffing reductions. Remember, in consumer markets, the effort you put into advertising and marketing during a downturn will directly affect your ability to capture market share when the economy turns.

The same applies to the labor market. If you want to sustain organizational excellence, you must be able to attract top talent in all positions in your company. You can greatly increase your ability to make good future hires by continuing to develop your employment brand during this recession. Here are 4 simple keys to remember as you go forward:

  1. Whether your business is top-down, bottom-up, or organizationally flat, EMPLOYMENT BRANDING develops from the inside out. During these hard times, it may seem attractive to reduce spending on training, company events, and recognition programs. It will be up to HR professionals to fight to keep these activities in the budget. Further, if you are in a position to do so, now is the time to increase these types of activities.

  2. Communicate, communicate, communicate! There is a great deal of anxiety in virtually every workplace in America right now. Be sure to over-communicate to your managers and to your employees. Go the extra mile to reinforce that communication is a two way street, and arm your front line supervisors with the knowledge and skill to handle employee concerns and questions constructively.

  3. Remember The Law of Seven when announcing layoffs or salary freezes. This law, taught to me by a VC and former VP of National Advertising for BF Goodrich, states that a customer who experiences a negative interaction with your company will tell 7 people about it. Conversely, only one in 7 people will share a positive interaction with others. What does it mean? You have to put in extra effort to generate positive internal messaging even when delivering bad news. If people feel treated fairly, they may pass on just how well you handled things. If they feel treated poorly, they will yell it from the mountaintops.

  4. Utilize Press Release distribution services to reinforce positive employment related events. Consider announcing long-term anniversaries, promotions, completion of trainings, employee events, and internal employee survey results. This is a low cost way to keep your employment brand alive even when you have no job ads to post. It also reinforces the value of your work internally, provided you follow key number two above.
All of these keys are directly related to positive word of mouth campaigns developed by you and carried out by your employees. Remember, the reality of your employment brand is what your workforce says it is, regardless of what you want it to be. The more focus you can put into guiding that internal dialogue, the more long-term brand integrity and brand penetration you'll have.

That's all from now from the Recruiting Front Lines! Next time, I'll share a few keys about external branding during a recession. Please share any thoughts or comments, and remember, if you like what you read here, please pass it on!



Alicia Arenas said...

Hi Jason, thanks for this post. I would like to make a comment regarding your 1st key.It is critical that HR professionals know to create a value-proposition around keeping employee activities, training and recognition programs. The only way upper management will keep these items in the budget is if we are able to clearly link these items to productivity and profitability. If we're not able to do that, then at best we are viewed as out of touch with the market and at worst we have compromised our reputation as strategic business partners. What are your thoughts?

Jason said...

Alicia makes a good point, which I believe is relevant in any economy. Some will argue that it's nearly impossible to put metrics in place to assess training. In my opinion, that's ridiculous. In addition, good retention practices can often be viewed as a waste of time during this economy when business leaders are too focused on the short term. In response to Alicia's assertion, I would emphasize that this is directly related how well we communicate internally. When HR departments become highly skilled at internal branding and communication, it is easy to see the potential downfall in making changes. That is, positive, relevant, and lively communication about these internal programs make it easier to make a case to the business leaders. Keep the good things top of mind and on the tips of your tongues. Make sure that every few days positive feedback from managers and employees is shared either through email or billboards. Make it impossible for anyone in the company to avoid seeing the positive results of these critical activities.

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