OUTNR.org is honored to post this blog on Employer Branding by Igor Beuker, the Math Man, the professional communicator with a proven track record as keynote speaker and serial entrepreneur who appears on countless television and radio shows as independent, expert voice on emerging trends on marketing, media and innovation.

Fury of the Founders, the mobilization of purpose to attract talent 

The era of digital Darwinism

We are witnessing the 4th industrial revolution and the era of Digital Darwinism; adapt to change or die. BlockBuster, Kodak, Nokia and V&D are examples of this ruthless business trend. All corporate brands need to make the digital transformation seamlessly. To go through this transformation truly successful, companies have to promote HR to the C-suite.

igor 1.jpgDigital transformations can only be successful if the Chief Human Resources (CHR) is able to convince the CEO that in the age of ‘data-driven integrated digital marketing’ the organizational architecture needs adaptation as well: which requires the hiring of a Chief Digital Officer, Chief Information Officer and Chief Technology Officer. Today in 37% of the cases when targets are not met CEOs fire the CMO. However, in this digital era CMOs can no longer win this battle by themselves. Without the required new hires, the digital transformation is doomed. We need to remove all silos. The question is who is going to do that? The CHR? And is she/he empowered within the board to make those changes?

Talent attraction is tricky

Of course the CHR is crucial to attract and maintain the necessary talent. To hire people with willingness, the right mentality and cultural fit with the company. Skills can be developed, for the digital transformation process willingness is much more important than skill sets. Especially in a market where talent is scarce, talent attraction is crucial and increasingly complex. All the more reason to promote the CHR. The success of Talent Attraction is dependent of the empowerment given by the organization to HR. Supported by the CEO. The roles and responsibilities of HR should definitely go beyond the usual tactics and practices. That’s a strategic choice with a critical impact.

Employer Branding is not just printing posters

Not promoting the Chief HR will result in another reality, around me I see most companies leaving HR the way it is. As a result, the HR organization is not able to execute ‘Employer Branding’, and the only solution is to manage Employer Branding through the Marketing organization. Today’s job market is shifting from employer to employee in ways that can be compared to the ICT market before the first DOTCOM bubble burst (2000). A harsh war for talent.

HR has to copy marketing solutions in a job market where talent is shortage. From content marketing to customer journeys, it’s time to bring out all best practices. HR marketing has to build the complete employee journey and excel at each touchpoint. The big question is; does HR have the necessary skills? What time does it take for HR to develop these skills? Or do we actively combine the HR and Marketing specialties to turn the tide?

Millennials tick in a different way

Employer Branding by big corporates today is too much focused on ‘promises’. But millennials are not buying these hollow phrases and look for real life proof points. They choose to work for inspiring and innovative companies with a clear vision, and a deep rooted purpose. In today’s reality of unicorn start-ups that grow from zero to billions ignited by passion, corporate brands have to play catch up. Has corporate HR already accepted this new reality? Do we really understand how millennials explore their future employer? Their ambition is fueled by inspiring keynote stories by a generation of Math Men with a vision, passion and purpose.

Fury of the founders

Photo by: Remy de Klein (www.remydeklein.com)We are witnesses of how Reed Hastings continues to innovate Netflix, how Jeff Bezos continuous grows Amazon through robots, AI and VR. Tesla‘s Elon Musk shares his visions on Hyperloop, the liberation of energy and missions to Mars. They hear Jack Ma explaining to his shareholders how he will grow Alibaba from 500 million to 2 billion customers, providing profitable growth to 10 million retailers and creating 100 million new jobs. And along the way, putting China on the world map and realizing a cleaner environment.

Finally, what is the impact of Netflix’ values, if the organization is not led by a radical visionary leader with a purpose? Math Men like Musk and Ma are the embodiment of the company’s values and purpose. Let’s do the math. How many inspiring Fortune 500 CEOs with vision and purpose can millennials list? They rarely read or hear these established brand leaders take the stage and make an impact. In contrast the Netflix Company Values by Reed Hastings are already viewed 16 million times on SlideShare. Most Fortune 500 CEO’s are non-founders hired by a supervisory board to increase shareholder value and the purpose they convey is not theirs but a corporate legacy they have inherited. Millennials smell true innovation, inspiration and authenticity from miles away.

Employer Branding or advanced HR marketing are great tools, but they are by no means an alternative to authentic founder fury.

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