Employer Branding is a Journey and Other Secrets to Attracting Top Talent

Employer branding tips from Lisa Chartier of Philips.

Technology companies today face unique hiring challenges. Not only must they compete against some of the world’s most recognized brands, but also disruptive start-ups with big ideas and lofty ambitions. Regardless of size and stature, a strong employer brand helps businesses attract the best candidates and increases retention.

Lisa Chartier, Global Head of Executive Service Programs and Marketing at Philips, recently shared insights on employer branding and discussed how her team used consumer brand management techniques to solve talent management challenges faced by its North America business and fill jobs.

In her talk “Innovation Secrets Behind the Future’s Most Valuable Employer Brands,” Lisa presented three guiding principles to build an effective employer brand:

1. Give employer branding a full seat at the table

Lisa began by explaining the importance of executive buy-in — convincing internal stakeholders that employer branding initiatives have a measurable impact on both talent acquisition and the corporate brand at large enables a company to invest in the right organizational structure, thereby optimizing the impact.

With the backing of Philips senior management, Lisa’s team draws upon the diverse talents of brand managers, marketing experts and creatives in their employer branding efforts. “You can’t give employer brand responsibilities as a side job for recruiters. There need to be people in your organization who focus on this full time,” she says.

2. Choose to go bold over safe

Reflecting on her roles in consumer marketing and talent acquisition, Lisa expressed frustration when employer branding ideas are dismissed for being “too edgy,” and called on her industry colleagues to be more creative: “If you want to do what everyone else is doing, you won’t get the attention of top talent.”

One challenge that Phillips faces is communicating about the recent achievements and innovations the company has experienced while also continuing to build upon the heritage of the brand. She discussed how Philips seeks to create a vision that’s relatable, and that people will want to be part of today and in the future.

As part of its latest employer branding campaign Philips created a video which “focuses on revealing the real lives of our employees — not just what’s written on their business card,” Lisa explains.

3. Embrace employer branding as a journey, not a single destination

In her final point, Lisa emphasized that companies must continually invest in employer branding programs. She advised talent acquisition leaders to undertake research into existing brand perceptions, and use insights from this research to shape strategy. To make the business case and secure funding, Lisa shared the Havas Media study on the value of a meaningful brand, which found that companies with a strong brand outperform the market by up to 120%.

Lisa concluded by stressing the importance of the employee experience and employer brand being truly aligned so that an employer brand specialist can see the full effect of their role on the organization and the hires it makes. As she explains, “know that what you do seriously matters to a lot of people you’ll never meet. Keep doing it with passion.”