“Employer Brand,” the “Employee Value Proposition,” and the “Candidate Experience” are trendy topics in HR circles these days, and while some may put down the terms as marketing-speak, marketing is a valuable metaphor for reorienting HR to drive business outcomes.

Just as marketing has become more relevant and able to quantify its value to the business through owning and orchestrating “customer experience,” HR can do the same by addressing the ways all workers get the support they need to have a positive and productive relationship with a company. How about a net promoter score (NPS) for the employee experience?

In simple terms, Employer Brand is what the company represents to a worker in terms of its mission, vision, and values. It also embodies the workplace environment and what it is like to work there.

The Employee Value Proposition represents the “what’s in it for me?” for the potential hire. This includes everything from the type of work, expected contributions, compensation, as well as other non-monetary benefits such as career development opportunities and workplace policies (i.e. flexible schedules, travel and expense reimbursement, etc.)

The Candidate Experience is what is it like for potential employees to learn about a company and opportunities to work, including how the people are treated throughout the application process. The care with which a company acknowledges a person’s interest, offers a position, or indicates there is not an opportunity for employment are also key considerations in the space.

These are all very valuable and valid concepts to improve attracting and acquiring talent today, but delivering on the employer brand and employee value proposition is the most important part of enabling the workforce. This means companies have to create environments that value, enable, and support learning and development, even beyond traditional employees, as more work is done by contract labor, statement of work consultants, and third-party service providers that represent a company in collaborative, crowd-sourced ways.

Maintaining the integrity of the employee value proposition post-recruitment is going to be particularly critical as the economy opens up and frustrated workers seek new employment opportunities better aligned with their interests and values. HfS research of nearly 5,000 workers worldwide shows that one out of two workers is actively or passively looking for new work this year, and the most desirable talent today are the people most able, willing, and interested in change.

Just as marketing has to win in every interaction with consumers, HR must understand the touch points in place – starting with recruitment and continuing through all self-service applications and communication and development tools. HR must make it a priority to centralize and simplify interfaces, integrations, and instantiations of service wherever they can.

When exceptions to processes or policies arise – and in dealing with people they always will – companies have to focus on delivering a positive experience to keep people focused on meaningful work and productive tasks in order to retain and engage them. This is the totality of the employee experience.

To this end, SAP’s development of the Employee Central Service Center solution is particularly compelling from HfS’s point of view in helping HR – through captive service centers or outsourced partners – to better serve and streamline the employee experience. In this way, the EC Service Center supports the integrity of the employee value proposition by coordinating helpful support and ultimately validating that the company cares about the worker and the promises it made during the recruitment process.

Indeed strong commitment to communication and collaboration are part and parcel of workforce enablement and engagement today, from centralizing support inquiries, to helping people find the right information to complete a task, process a transaction, and serve a customer, to sharing knowledge, gaining new expertise, and being recognized for those commitments. It is also about building relationships over time with extended enterprise participants who all need more sophisticated and streamlined support and information. 

In subsequent blogs I’ll explore key components of these ideas to help organizations think about what they can do to significantly impact organizational effectiveness, including how businesses need to:

• Support all workers in the talent acquisition, development, and measurement processes

• Empower individuals beyond self-service point solution tools with true integration and productivity optimization

• Evolve from processing transactions to enabling people and ideas

It’s an exciting time for companies to get involved in defining their core value propositions as employers and partners, as well as redefining HR’s role in driving business strategy, planning, and outcomes. But as they say: vision without execution is an illusion and companies must not fail to deliver on these value propositions beyond the recruiting or requisitioning processes.

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  1. Chiara Bersano

    Interesting blog and point of view. I blogged on different aspects of the workforce of the future (or future of work… ) last year, republished by SAP in their innovations blogs here.

    I’d love to discuss your points of view!

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