The CEO’s vital responsibility for the Employer Brand of the organisation

HR and Internal Communications are seen as specialists and EB responsibility if often placed there but it is the CEO and the senior line executives who create, inspire and earn their people’s loyalties, i.e. their employer brand. Their values and their behaviours demonstrate their culture and what they believe to be most important. Doing the right things right starts at the top and encourages the whole team to follow suit. A strong employer brand will help build profits and growth long term. Conversely, putting short term profits first will undermine the employer brand and lead to decline in the longer term.

Specialist functions can assist employer branding — the recruitment communications, the websites, employee research and internal media but the substance of an employer brand is created by the top team and in particular the CEO

The difference between consumer and employer brand equity is that the former grows primarily from the experience of using the product or service whereas the latter grows from the employment experience. Of course, communications, promotion and pricing/compensation are important but they can only build on the reality which is the experience itself. In some consumer categories, with basically me too offerings, outstanding advertising and promotion can truly transform brand reputation. Only the realities of the employment experience can do that for an employer brand. Choosing a job and then being there is a vastly different ball game to buying shampoo, a phone or a car, Work is not about life style, it is about life itself and an employer with an image which is out of line with reality is heading for a rapid fall.

“If CEOs get their employer brand equities right, then they don’t have to worry about consumer brand equities as their employees will take care of those.”

Tim Ambler – ‘Marketing and the Bottom Line’