CSR to Boost Employer Branding-Think Like a Marketer, Act like an HR

Posted in Human Resources Articles, Total Reads: 1604 , Published on 18 June 2015

“Your employer brand isn’t what you say it is. It’s what people tell you it is.”- Sir Terry Leahy (former CEO of Tesco)

In the present business world of talent wars, companies are constantly trying to attract the most talented pool of human capital and retain them. And to survive in such competition, building one’s employer brand-both internal as well as external becomes crucial for the business. With the rise of social media, most candidates do a lot of research on the company’s employer brand value before joining it.

(Image Courtesy: freedigitalphotos.net, David Castillo Dominici)

Research shows 46% job seekers say Employer Brand plays a very big role in their decision to even consider applying for a position. They refer to employer review sites like Glassdoor to know about the company’s employer brand.

Research also shows 69% would not take a job with a company that had a bad reputation, even if they were unemployed (Corporate Responsibility Magazine / Allegis Group Services Study, August 2012)

In an attempt to attract and retain talented employees, an HR has to think like a marketer and strengthen the Employer Brand of the company. Only here the difference is that the customer is the talent pool of job seekers as well as already existing employees of the organization and the product is the reputation of the organization. An HR has to think of ways of making his organization “The Employer of Choice” through various activities and building up an employer brand that attracts more of the talent pool. The Employer Branding strategy is thus nothing but Human Resource marketing.

CSR for Employer Branding

Creating a strong business and building a better world are not conflicting goals – they are both essential ingredients for long-term success” – William Clay Ford Jr. Executive Chairman, Ford Motor Company

“CSR is defined as a concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis as they are increasingly aware that responsible behavior leads to sustainable business success” EU Green paper on CSR.

CSR helps in reinforcing the positive image of an organization. There exists a strong connection between these two concepts of CSR and Employer Banding. CSR sends out a positive message about the company and thereby increases the Employer Brand value.

A comprehensive CSR policy needs engagement from employees and internal stakeholders, rather than only the top management in order to be sustainable. Integration of CSR into a company’s Employer Branding strategy is necessary to attract talent required for the business.  While developing Employer Branding strategy principles of marketing are applied to human resource activities with regard to current and potential employees. CSR being included in the list of Employee Engagement activities of various organizations is now being used as a tool to increase the Employer Brand value of organizations.

Several companies have adopted CSR activities which are helping them to strengthen their Employer Brand as well. Some examples are mentioned below:-

TCS- Their CSR activities include Water conservation across locations, Electricity conservation across locations, Green area environment preservation and enhancement across locations, bio-digesters of canteen waste etc. Apart from these initiatives TCS also has several volunteering and fund raising initiatives which enable their employees to reach out to the society.

WIPRO: Wipro Cares is Wipro’s community initiative focused on certain key developmental issues faced by underserved and underprivileged communities. It was formed in the year 2003 and is committed to work with communities proximate to Wipro’s center of operations.

Thus in today’s competitive business world Employer Branding and Corporate Social Responsibility goes hand-in-hand and since an HR has to strengthen the Employer Brand of a firm he/she must be able to apply the marketing principles and incorporate CSR initiatives in the company’s strategies in such a way so as to boost the Employer Brand.

The article has been authored by Sayantani Sarkar, TAPMI Manipal




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