• Expert Tips

Employer Branding — Part 1
Facade or Foundation?

  • Expert Tips

Compa­nies and the next gener­a­tion agree on this fact: employ­er brand­ing is a “rele­vant to the construc­tion and real estate indus­try and will most like­ly gain in impor­tance in the future.” A study on employ­er brand­ing in the real estate indus­try recent­ly published by the Berlin School of Econom­ics and Law (HWR), for which both HR managers and poten­tial appli­cants and, above all, younger employ­ees were surveyed, only confirms this.

Howev­er, what is employ­er brand­ing? And why should compa­nies in the construc­tion and real estate indus­try both­er with such buzz words?

What is an Employ­er Brand?

To say it right away: A company’s name or repu­ta­tion with its customers and with­in the market is simply not enough. The employ­er brand may include char­ac­ter­is­tics of the corpo­rate brand. Howev­er, it defi­nite­ly takes more than that: it has to convey social char­ac­ter­is­tics and basic elements of every­day work life. Above all, it has to have an impact inside the compa­ny. For nowa­days, retain­ing expe­ri­enced profes­sion­als is just as impor­tant a task as attract­ing inter­est­ing applicants.

There­fore, employ­er brand­ing should be more than just some­thing to put on display. With employ­er ratings on kununu, Glass­door or Indeed, pure feel-good appear­ance no longer stands a chance. The term at the core of effec­tive employ­er brand­ing is EVP (Employ­er Value Propo­si­tion) – in a nutshell, this is every­thing that makes up the company’s attrac­tive­ness as an employ­er. It includes funda­men­tal char­ac­ter­is­tics, such as the culture of inter­ac­tion, but also numer­ous vital compo­nents from areas such as career oppor­tu­ni­ties, moti­va­tion or social atti­tude. We will be look­ing at some of these elements in more detail in future Valdivia Expert Tips.

Where are the “Construc­tion Sites” in the Indus­try

Out of seven­ty-three construc­tion and real estate compa­nies which partic­i­pat­ed in the HWR study, most see their own employ­er brand­ing as satis­fac­to­ry at best at this point. More often than not, HR or Market­ing are left alone when it comes to the task of shap­ing or commu­ni­cat­ing employ­er brand­ing. The desir­able inte­gra­tion of junior staff or the C‑level, on the other hand, hard­ly ever happens. A holis­tic view and the neces­sary verti­cal inte­gra­tion are often miss­ing. The use of digi­tal tools is still at rather a low level. The study partic­i­pants also recog­nise deficits when it comes to exter­nal percep­tion – in compar­i­son with competi­tors or in the view of poten­tial applicants.

So there are plen­ty of start­ing points. Compe­ti­tion for the best talents does not only come from with­in the compa­ny: lawyers, comput­er scien­tists, commu­ni­ca­tion experts and many more have a wide range of choic­es in today’s labour market. With­out tangi­ble employ­er brand­ing, it will become increas­ing­ly diffi­cult to attract special­ists and high poten­tials from the younger, upcom­ing gener­a­tions – espe­cial­ly for the rather conser­v­a­tive construc­tion and real estate indus­try.