Friday, 18 July 2008

Employer Branding

Judy Pate, Sheena Bell and Steve Ansell (all from Glasgow University Business School) and I are conducting a major exercise for NHS Scotland on employer branding and reputation management. This involves an examination of internal and external perceptions by different groups staff and potential employees of four NHS Boards in Scotland, which cover more than half of the population. We are using a mixture of group interviews and questionnaires to establish the extent of identification of people with the current employer brand(s) with a view to recommending changes in the design of the brand(s) and the HR and people management drivers of the brand. We hope to report on this project later on this year. However, anyone interested in these issues might want to look at a new survey and research report, entitled 'What matters to staff in the NHS' by Ipsos/Mori for the Department of Health, published in June 2008.

This work builds on recent ideas that colleagues and I have published for the CIPD and a book of our own (see side-bar) and in chapters in two forthcoming books on HR by Paul Sparrow on international HR and by Cary Cooper and Ron Burke on High Performance Organizations due out later this year.

In February, we presented at a conference on 'Employer Branding and Employee Voice' run by the London School of Economics and the CIPD. At that conference, a panel made up of employers were largely sceptical of the notion of branding as it applies to HR practice. We were quite surprised but would enjoy hearing from practitioners one way or another. We are particularly interested in any work that has been done to evaluate the effectiveness of employer branding on either improved recruitment or on improvements in employee identification or engagement with organizations.

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