More-than-Resume-150x150Your Employer Brand includes everything. But is it Inclusive?

An Employment Brand consists of everything you do and say as an Employer. Simple. But is your Employment Brand inclusive? Surprisingly, that may not be such an easy one to answer.

In the 15 years since McKinsey coined the term ‘War for Talent’ , many Employment Brands have been built on the methodology advocated by those bright people from Boston. The Second of the Five Steps outlined by McKinsey was to ‘Build A Compelling Employment Value Proposition’ – researching, refining and shaping the core attributes that make you a unique employer in your own candidate space. Well, many hundreds of Employment Brands have been built since – I’ve been involved in a few myself, for the likes of B&Q, Airbus Industries, Pfizer R&D and our recently completed EVP for Rank Group plc.

But does every EVP genuinely encapsulate the soul of an employer for all employees and potential employees? Is the research really focused on deep insights into the loves, fears and ambitions of all candidates and communities? That is summed up in the usually-forgotten Fourth Step: ‘Engagement & Validation of All Employees”. Not just the superstars of your organisation (who normally move on) – but the core employee base who form the backbone of your organisation.

To achieve that, it’s not enough to include as part of your exploration a matrix of Age, Gender, Ethnicity, Sexual Orientation and the other nine protected characteristics. That will allow you to compare and align the findings from those specific groups– but that is in itself excluding other groups who are more defined by factors such as education, socio-economic circumstances and past work experiences.

An authentically Inclusive EVP can only be achieved if it is founded on an initial Employee Segmentation that digs deep to identify the primary motivations and experiences of every employee. It’s not enough to rationalise away any contradictions or smooth down any unpalatable moments of truth, just to arrive at an EVP that rather conveniently ‘fits’ into a corporate agenda. People don’t really join companies for the corporate agenda (important though that is). They join – even if it’s just for the money – as part of their own personal journey.

There are examples out there of genuinely inclusive EVPs. The work completed for Rank Group plc drilled down to create an EVP of “Where Everyone Counts” – be they a Software Developer for Blue Square, a Croupier for Grosvenor Casinos, a Team Member at Mecca or a functional expert at the plc European Support Office. Beyond that, “Where Everyone Counts” included not just employees and candidates, but also customers, investors, suppliers and the wider community in which Rank Group operates.

It’s also why the EVP has also been adopted as a core Corporate Value for the whole Group – defining what the company stands for and how it behaves. Inclusion indeed.

Written by Steve McNally.

Communications Director of Equality Law, has been building employer brands in all sectors for over 20 years – and has won an unparalleled 35 CIPD and RAD awards for creative excellence.

October 16, 2013 in Resource Centre