Employer Branding –as the future of talent management
Pinaki Ganguly

How to stand out as an Employer Brand in this new normal

While advanced western capitalistic economies have long adopted the policy of hire and fire, the east specially India had really never come to terms with the impermanency of loyalty towards employer. In India, the predominant definition of a good job is a ‘government job’, where you enter the workforce in your 25 and retire at 60. In the past individuals viewed career growth as how fast and steady they climbed the ranks within one organisation. Losing job in India is no less than a crime and even switching companies has always been questioned by their friends and families.


However, the good news or bad news (depending on where you stand) is things have changed, and changed at an unprecedented pace in India with the predominance of service sector and especially IT Services. Now jobs are a contract, offer letters are binding agreements mutually signed by employer and employees. Previously employees were bounded by ‘Code of Ethics’ and ‘Code of Conduct’ and not on targets alone to be achieved. Although a host of code of conduct, still exist in ‘employee hand-book’ but those has been relegated to a back seat instead clauses like ‘Non-compete’, Termination’ and ‘Confidentiality and Non-disclosure’ has gained prominence. The nature of a offer letter presupposes that the employee’s association is temporary with the company and the individual is under constant fear to be fired, and hence is always in lookout for a better opportunity to insulate himself/herself.


At this point, if I may take the liberty of digression, and point out an interesting fact, that the phenomenon of contract-based labour is not new to India. In the epic Rāmāyaṇa we find king Janak the father of Sita. The name ‘Janak’ coming from the word Jan, means production by labour. The word jan is still today used as jan-mojur, meaning daily contractual labour force. Ram by marrying Sita in a sense approves and adopts this contractual labour arrangement, or project-based workers Jana complimentary to the fixed tenured, equal membership based Gaṇa formed as association for attainment of common purpose. Bingo there was a unprecedented economic growth and wealth creation that we know today as a aspect of Ramrajya. We have this system even today – Government or king’s employees – fixed tenured immobile Gaṇas (whose leader is GaṇeÅ›a), and private sector employee, mobile and specialised workforce the Jans. The two Gaṇa and Janas working side by side is the ideal mix and we call our combined population as janagaṇa establishing the balance between demand and supply of workforce.


Now coming back, although India had both labour systems but both rolled up to the same king and bounded by a relationship of mutual trust, duty and infallibility of the king’s authority. However, today if you replace the word ‘nation’ with ’corporation’; previously one king fought with other king to capture the land and people by force, today companies are doing the same by acquiring talent not by force but by alluring them with better salary and better benefits.


Companies have recruiters either inhouse or outsourced to find the right people – words like ‘head hunters’ have cropped into the scene, who actually is fighting to get experience talent to their companies. Reaching out to individuals and posting jobs on job boards can only serve up to a point, as the fact is very resource intensive, uncertain, and match-making is time consuming and chances of success with in a particular time frame is challenging, says one of my recruiter friend.


Another option that many multi-national companies had adopted for last 20 years is ‘referrals’ with referral bonus. Referral strategy is just levering your existing workforce to scout for suitable people with in his known circle. Although it is a less expensive and little more effective strategy, but favouritism can’t be kept at bay because of the incentives attached. But what is the guarantee that a company is really getting the best candidate for the position?


Luckily there is yet another strategy – ‘Employer Branding’; that is surely more effective as a long-term strategy not only to recruit but also to retain best talents in the company. Consider the company as a ‘flower’ and its branding as the ‘sweet smell’ that will draw the bees to help pollinate and grow. So having a strong brand presence is not just good to have thing, it’s a survival and business continuity is the need of the hour if they have to have the fruits of all the hard work that has been put it having the company in place.


Employer branding is the image that current and prospective employees have about your company. It is the first (may not be the last) thing that comes to their mind when they think about your company’s reputation. It is an image on a mirror and is fragile and transient. The mirror breaks when their a negative image and the your face is removed from the mirror with another better looking employer comes to the scene. There is no precise science on how to continuously influence employees’ decision and keep them loyal to your brand, however there are certain techniques, if applied consistently and intelligently you wont have to reach out to the work-bees rather they will come to you and help you flourish.


Every touchpoint with an employee and candidates are flooded with data on the internet and everyone has an opinion about that. You can’t counter that opinion but you can certainly improve it and make it work in your favour. Starting from the first time they see the ad of the company, to the job posting, to first call of the recruiter, then the interviewing process, then onboarding and welcoming them to the workforce, keeping them engaged continuously during their tenure and finally during their exit interview,  at every point there is branding and image building. The sooner a company learns to not only manager but own the narrative the better chance they have to attract talent and insulate their business from disruption specially in the face of pandemic.


In the next part of this article we will talk about how to build your unique narrative as employer brand in the face of new normal…

thanks for reading and stay tuned!

#Employer Branding #Branding #Marketing #Recruitment #Job Mobility #New Jobs

Leave a Comment
Debraj S Roy
9th January, 2022

Pinaki has unique way of story telling and mixing science with history. His lateral thinking has evoke many insights in past and continue to create new zeal to do new things in personal and professional sphere. A big shoutout to you Pinaki.