I’ve been speaking about employees as organisations most important Brand Ambassadors for quite a long time now. It was, therefore great to go the Recruitment Festival – RecFest and hear people directly or indirectly speak of the importance of both employees and potential employees as Brand Ambassadors.
First was House of Fraser with a five minutes recruitment video in which employees spoke about their experience of working in the organisation. Critically talking not so much about the jobs that they do, but how they felt working within the environment. Resounding in my mind is people talking about being able to bring themselves to the workplace and be themselves. This is critical to me, as I specialise in Human Value Optimisation, which is all about optimising the value that individuals have to offer and how it is utilised, be in education, the workplace or wider society.
House of Fraser through their advert demonstrated the glamour of retail, though if we are to be honest, this isn’t really a true reflection of most retail environments. Most important of all, was the message of what it feels like working within the environment. From now on, when I bump into House of Fraser employees, I will ask them what it’s like working with the organisation as their response will be a key test of the authenticity of the advert. Not so much for me, but for the people that will apply to work with the organisation and perhaps gain employment with the organisation. True Brand Ambassadorship goes beyond the banded messages of an organisation to the everyday experiences and feedback of each and every individual employee.
I still remember meeting with the Chief Executive of a major House Builder. He told me all about the organisation’s ethos and approach. It sounded really good – I was impressed. A few weeks later, a bumped into the husband of a friend who turned out to work for the same organisation. With very little prompting, he spoke excited of his employer. Although he used different words, he virtually mirrored the sentiments expressed by his Chief Executive. I hope that when I speak to House of Fraser employees they do the same, as that is true Brand Ambassadorship.
I was glad that RecFest didn’t just speak of the Brand Ambassadorship from perspective of the current employee. There was also the talk from Lorraine Scroope of The Hire Lab who spoke of the recruitment system that her organisation had developed to make the recruitment process more interactive and human. As I come from an HR Systems background with the viewpoint that HR (and Recruitment) are not just tools for management processes, but key strategic enablers, I’m very much excited about The Hire Lab and look forward to a demonstration.
I’m conscious that none of this provides the Why of the importance of Brand Ambassadorship and what employees and prospective employees think and say about organisations. It was therefore great to have Virgin present to talk of the financial costs when prospective employees (as is the case of employees) have a bad experience with an organisation and go home and mention this to friends and family members a like, with the result that they all stop using the organisation’s services.
The talks that I heard at RecFest have given me the extra boost to go forward and continue to talk about employees and prospective employees alike. I hope this provides food for thought for you to.
Susan Popoola is the Managing Director of Conning Towers Ltd, an HR firm focused on Talent Management and HR Transformation for Innovative, High Potential organisations. She is also the published author of Touching The Heart of Milton Keynes: A Social Perspective and Consequences: Diverse to Mosaic Britain.
Copyright 2016. This document is the specific intellectual property of Susan Popoola. Content may not be reused or reproduced without the specific permission of the owner or a reference to the source.