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<em>Good, Fast and Cheap - </em>There's no such thing when it comes to Employer Branding

February 15

"Find out how to become a top fifty employer." "Become a best place to work." "Become an employer of choice." "Motivate and engage your employees."

When you open your email these days, you're almost always bound to find some piece of direct email marketing touting the benefits of the latest and greatest approach to employer branding in an upcoming seminar or webinar. Everyone seems to be doing it - and they are willing to offer you the secret. Often, it sounds so simple - and with the lure and promise of a minimal investment of time and money. Wouldn't it be great if it were just that simple?

The practice of employer branding emerged as an influential approach to HR in the late nineties, and it is only now taking root as a central concept in organizational structure and evolving into a means of strategic management.

When you read beyond the email marketing and really think about the practice of employer branding, you realize that an employer brand is not a program, initiative or project, and it's not a means by which to "spruce up" your recruitment advertising. It's much more than being a "top fifty place to work," or having an articulated, differentiated message with your advertising that's "relevant," "compelling" or "true." It's more than a corporate identity. It's more than employee engagement alone. And it's not purely a "people strategy" or a set of goals and actions to drive behavior and ultimately the business. It might be some of these things, but it's certainly not all of them.

The organizations that are known for having a strong, well-articulated and well-managed employer brand realize this. And they also know, as the old saying goes: "It didn't come fast and it didn't come cheap." These organizations have demonstrated that it's a long-term commitment of the business, one that is embraced by leadership and that sits at the center of the organizational strategy. These organizations literally live and breathe employer brand. They are on a never-ending journey of learning, and it is worth learning from them.

So the next time one of these employer branding "learning" opportunities presents itself in your email box, think before you delete. Think about the teachers and what the message is. Get clear on what it is you want to learn. There are plenty of reputable individuals, organizations and gurus out there to learn from when it comes to employer branding.

To learn more, TMP recommends exploring a wide range of resources, tools and materials from the Conference Board, the Leadership Council, national and local HR associations, as well as the world's best selling book on Employer Brand, "The Employer Brand: Bringing the Best of Brand Management to People at Work," written by Simon Barrow and Richard Mosley of the London-based People in Business. Published by Wiley in 2005, the book has been translated into German, Spanish, Swedish and Russian. Richard and Simon are also frequent global workshop leaders.

As we kick off 2008 and organize our ever-growing list of priorities and imperatives for HR, remember that if there is one practice whose time has come, it is most certainly employer branding. To that end, and as a follow-up to the annual 2007 Conference Board's Conference on Employer Branding, TMP's VP of Brand Strategy Rob O'Keefe will be delivering a webinar that will discuss building an employer brand when you're starting from scratch.

Webinar: Building an Employer Brand When You're Starting from Scratch

Organizations of all sectors and sizes are on the employer brand bandwagon. Many of those organizations already have strong product or service brands in place. Even if the product or service brand isn't that strong, the majority at least have a recruitment communications platform that can be evolved.

But what about those organizations that have little to no brand recognition and lack a communications foundation? Where do they begin? How do they begin? Join us for a presentation by the recruiting team from Aldi Inc., one of the most respected international grocery retailers in the industry, who faced this exact challenge. The webinar will take you from the imperatives that drove Aldi's employer branding initiative, through their process, and right up to where they are today with their launch, all while providing the practical insight you need to start and succeed with your own employer brand initiative.

And if you haven't heard of Aldi, don't worry - you will soon enough. To register for this webinar, please visit: www.conference-board.org/Webcasts/

For additional information on the webinar, contact John Refo, Director of Marketing, john.refo@tmp.com. To learn more about TMP's employer branding practice, visit www.tmp.com

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