The employer brand, a strategic tool that retailers can use to retain their workforce

Employer brand

The labour shortage, an issue that affects several sectors in Quebec, will be more prevalent than ever in the coming years, as will the challenges of retaining talent. Indeed, employee demands and expectations are evolving, and it is no longer the same advantages and qualities that future workers are looking for: let’s think about the fact that the younger generations want to be part of companies that stand out in different ways. Organizations must reinvent themselves to find the advantage that will allow them to be distinct from other companies. Retail is no exception: this customer service-oriented industry is constantly looking for workers and it is an issue that will not simply go away.

As a result, employers are looking for solutions and best practices to address this problem: one appropriate response is the adoption of an employer brand. The human resources (HR) sector is increasingly embracing this strategy, which is a form of HR marketing.

What is an employer brand?

The employer brand refers to the identity and image of the employer. It includes both who an employer is as well as the perception of that identity, whether it is internal to the company or external. It also involves the HR strategy of the brand.

It is a critical element for retailers who wish to attract and retain talent. This HR exercise is accessible to all organizations and it can have significant benefits for businesses that are looking to hire.

(Re)defining your values and mission

Define business values and mission

It is important to reflect on the values of the organization before embarking on an employer branding exercise. You will need to be able to identify the goals and principles of your company. These actions will allow you to identify at least five key principles, and, afterwards, it will be easier for you to consider your opportunities.

The employer brand, an effective HR strategy

Stratégies RH

It will be very important to include the entire team in the process and not to do this in silos: indeed, feedback from your organization’s stakeholders, especially employees, will be very valuable. For instance, you may want to reach your colleagues by conducting surveys or interviews to collect data on the governance of your organization. It is important to know what is negative and not only what is positive: remember that your strengths and weaknesses will be best known by your current employees.

The same step must be taken with candidates who are applying to join your organization. What are they looking for in you? A benchmark analysis can also be undertaken to compare your practices to those of other organizations. Also, consider the companies that your previous employees have joined, in order to understand what they are looking for. This will allow you to adjust your offer according to the market in which you operate. This data, when analyzed, will allow you to determine what your advantages are and what you could improve in order to develop your own employer brand.

Promote your strategy with the right communication

After analyzing all the data, you can use your employer brand as a human resources strategy. In order to promote your employer brand, you will need to develop a communication strategy. Among other things, you will need to focus on your strengths, i.e. the values that were chosen during the previous analysis.

In your job postings, interviews, onboarding process, communications and internal employee experience, use concrete examples from your company: think of attractive content, promoting your team and its people, and having a storytelling and success story approach (for example, testimonials made by your colleagues). The communication strategy could also help you to be more noticeable on social networks, on career pages, or even on your website. Remember that the more you spread your employer brand, the more you will embody it in the eyes of potential candidates.

Reinforce your employer value within your organization

Keep in mind that the employer brand represents everyone in an organization, not just the leader, and that it is important to maintain it: that is why it is possible to reinforce it periodically through various activities or training. Also, don’t develop an employer value based on strengths that are not your own. Talent attraction will be based on your current strengths that will be recognized by your targeted audience.

The employer brand will be enabled by the employer value proposition. The realization of this will involve a number of other strategies, which, in fact, will be the sum of the strengths that your company holds over other companies.

Does your business need support in building or optimizing its employer brand?

Sign up for the Accompagnement RH (HR support) program of the Quebec Retail Council! A certified human resources specialist will accompany you and will provide you with numerous tools (workshops, webinars, toolbox, human resources guide) to optimize the management of your human resources.

In addition, several conferences on the employer brand and human resources management will be presented as part of the TAG – A new perspective on today’s retail business event, which will be held on October 5 and 6, 2022 at the Palais des congrès de Montréal. For more information, click here.