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It is better
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John Sumser

is more
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Making Money VIII
(January 29, 2003) - In a recent column, we posed the question, "What is a better term for employment branding?"

Mark Hornung, the West Coast Chief of JWT Specialized Communications, chimed in with this coherent response.

   Instead of a new name helping people understand the employer branding code, I believe what is needed is more education. The LAST thing we need is another "term du jour" that gets flung around without any real understanding of what it represents.
   In this instance, I completely agree that "brand" colors perceptions to the point where it makes education more difficult. But that, in the final analysis, is what we're really talking about, i.e., the organization's brand (not just employer, the whole kit 'n caboodle). I would recommend Uncommon Practice: People Who Deliver a Great Brand Experience, by Andy Milligan and Shaun Smith, as a good reference book on branding written for brand managers that emphasizes the role of employees in building the overall corporate brand. It's a short read—less than 200 pages—but makes the point that great brands require people who believe in and live the brand.
    My fear is that if HR shies away from the "b" word, that will seal their fate and they will be shut out forever from any substantial input into the development and maintenance of great employer brands. I believe-- passionately as you can probably tell-- that employer branding may be HR's last gasp. If they let this one get away then there really IS no reason why companies can't outsource the whole damn function and be done with it.

We agree.

As you may have noticed over the past months, we are slowly arriving at the conclusion that Employer Branding, fully articulated and executed, is proactive recruiting. We've spent time, recently, in HR offices occupied by people, who believe that their job requires that they position themselves to choose their workforce. The foundation of this strategy is always a form of Employment Branding.

We're sticking with the term. Thanks, Mark.

- John Sumser

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Materials written by John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
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