How to practice inclusive employer branding

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Making your employer branding inclusive means being real with current and prospective employees while not being afraid to sell a vision.

As the Great Resignation becomes the Great Reshuffle, companies are increasingly leaning into employer branding as a strategy for attracting and retaining talent.

While the competition for top talent is fierce, promoting your organization as an attractive, inspiring, and inclusive workplace requires well-planned communications.

But above all, it requires authenticity, vision, and a genuine inclusion strategy.

Here are five tips to ensure your employer branding welcomes everyone:

  1. Rethink employer branding as you know it.

There’s no such thing as employer branding. The term itself implies this segment is or should be, separate from a company’s overall branding. This follows the dated logic that external and internal communication should be treated as two distinctly different activities. An organization, and its employees, have little to win by making these distinctions.

Quite the opposite – there’s a lot to gain by having a more holistic view of branding and communication. An organization’s branding includes everyone and everything inside the organization, including its outreach to prospective employees.

  1. Keep it real.

We’re way past trying to sell inauthentic services, products, and brands. This goes for workplaces too.

Display, promote, and showcase the real people in your organization. Forget about stock photos, fake employee testimonials written by copywriters, and glossy, staged recruitment videos. Instead, focus on identifying and showing off your genuine culture. Make sure to include people from all levels of the organization.

         3. Don’t be afraid to sell a vision.

Remember – keeping it real does not mean you can’t portray the vision and change you’re aiming for. For example, if you have poor racial diversity and inclusion in your workplace, you shouldn’t brag about being in a diverse workplace. However, your employer branding can reflect an idealized vision of the inclusion your organization is working toward and invite people to be part of that change.

  1. Engage your existing employees.

Nobody knows your organization better than your employees. Nobody is more credible at selling your workplace – so include them! A happy, driven, and motivated employee is the perfect ambassador to recruit new people. However, it’s essential to identify and actively engage underrepresented groups within the organization. Empowering them to represent your workplace, when done with their input and feedback, can help grow and strengthen the diversity of your workforce.

  1. Reach outside your existing network.

While engaging existing employees is important, and inclusive employee branding strategy cannot rely on them exclusively. While it’s human nature to recruit and bring on people who are already in our social circles, actively working to connect with new networks should be part of an inclusive strategy.

Ultimately, embracing an inclusive employer branding strategy comes down to being authentic, open, and willing to widen the scope of the talent that you celebrate. When employees feel connected, represented, and engaged, half of the job is already done for you. Concentrating on current employees first will give you more time and resources to reach father outside of the existing network and sell your workplace vision.

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