The Role of CEOs in Championing Employer Brand

Every company has an employer brand – the visceral, emotional experience that employees and potential employees have at any point of contact with the company: When they visit the website. When they apply for a job. When they see the company logo. When they walk through the doors. When they tell someone where they work. How consistently positive that experience is depends on how well the company hones and cultivates that employer brand. And the success of that cultivation effort hinges on the involvement of the CEO.

Wait – isn’t this about HR and internal communications? How involved does the CEO have to be? In short, very.

The CEO sets the tone for everyone else in the company. Her or his enthusiasm, passion for the business, language and ideas are intentionally and unintentionally copied by staff members at every level. You could establish the most compelling messages around what it means to work at your company. But if the CEO doesn’t “walk the talk,” those brilliant messages won’t catch on.

By contrast, if your CEO recognizes his/her responsibility to live and breathe the employer brand, quoting and modeling it in their day-to-day interactions, something amazing happens. Employees and potential employees do more than merely understand the brand. They adopt it as their own, bringing it to life at every level of the organization.

At Relish Marketing, we help a lot of companies define and communicate their employer brand, including a strategy for communicating the brand messages to team members, prospective employees and even alumni employees. And perhaps most important, we help them create a business case for the employer brand, connecting it to how key employee behaviors connect directly to employee engagement, retention, corporate reputation, shareholder value and the bottom line. From there, it’s easy for CEOs to lead the way so that everyone wants to follow.