Employer branding: Take advantage of the lasting effect of events!

When it comes to employer branding, there is no better way to build a strong employer brand than through events. This also counts in times of home office and lockdown. You just have to figure out how. But not every Christmas party or barbecue - be it digital or live - can be considered an employer branding event; it takes more than that. But what is important for such events? And how can they be realised digitally?

Building a brand is a long-term process, as is establishing a positive corporate image, and it doesn't happen overnight. One important measure in employer branding is the organisation of employee events. In this respect, it is essential to keep at it, because a one-off employer branding event does not make an employer of the year. Rather, it takes a good idea, professional implementation, and a portion of endurance to achieve a lasting positive effect.

It is important to think in advance about which event format could fit your strategy and to develop an individual concept. Ideally, it should be possible to implement the concept on an annual basis. Remain open to further optimising it according to the feedback of your employees. The best way to further develop your event format is to define key figures and factors for measuring success and a feedback process. In this way, you set the course for making your employer branding event a fixed point in the company calendar that contributes to the motivation of your employees as well as making your company more attractive as an employer.

 

Employer Branding-Event: Top Key Questions for Success

So how do you turn a simple corporate event into a sustainably impressive employer branding event? How can you ensure that it is not just another "social gathering" but an event that strengthens the position of your employer brand?

For this purpose, you need to develop an event concept that optimally fits your employer branding strategy and integrates your core messages. In addition to organisational issues such as costs, venue, programme schedule, personnel, security and so on, you should therefore pay particular attention to the following key questions:

  1. Goal definition: What primary and secondary goal are you pursuing with the event? How can these be achieved?
  2. target group: Who is the core target group? Will the event concept reach them? Who will be invited? How can external participants be preselected?
  3. Employee integration: Do the employees identify with the idea? Are your brand values communicated in a comprehensible and credible way? Have the employees who participate in the event as representatives of the company been properly trained?
  4. Authenticity: does the event format fit your company and your values or does it seem forced? Is there an opportunity for participants to experience your employer brand in a lifelike way? Can the promise made at the event be kept in everyday life?
  5. Communication: Which channels should be used to promote the event? Which channels should be used for subsequent communication? How can this event communication be integrated into the employer branding strategy? How can employees be involved in the communication?
  6. Success control: How will the success of the event be measured? What criteria must be fulfilled so that the event can be repeated in the same way, expanded or implemented completely differently with new ideas?

 

What are the benefits of employer branding events?

Working life is like a relationship: without highlights to give it new drive, it loses strength and solidarity. Employer events - in other words events for and with the employees - can become such highlights if implemented correctly and are nowadays essential components of employer branding. In such events, the values with which your company identifies and for which the employer brand stands can be experienced directly. Another effect is that employees are shown appreciation for what they have achieved. In everyday working life there is often little time for a thank you. An event cannot replace the positive feedback from the direct superior, but it can at least convey the feeling that the employer is aware that its success essentially rests on the shoulders of its employees, their commitment and teamwork.

A visible presentation and a certain fun factor are part of the business nowadays. Younger employees in particular not only appreciate events in their private lives, but also demand them more and more in their professional lives. In short, one could say: If you as an employer do not offer anything that your employees can proudly and happily share and like on your social profiles (Facebook, Instagram, etc.), you will be lost in the masses and considered less attractive.

 

Top 5 ideas for employer branding events

Employer branding events can be used to address new colleagues as well as established employees. They can also be used as a platform to put your company in the focus of potential new applicants. From a variety of possibilities, we present our top five ideas below, which can be implemented live or digitally for different age groups:

1. Sports events

This doesn't sound like a new idea, but it has proven itself. Even those who don't like sports can be motivated if you come up with creative ideas. Sport not only strengthens the team spirit, but also brings people together through shared experiences. A football match is a relatively popular variant: little effort and a popular sport. The organisation of a golf match, for example, depends on the company's image. Teamwork can be promoted during an excursion to a high ropes course or a climbing course; it also strengthens trust among employees. Unusual sports such as archery can also be very interesting. They offer the opportuSnity to try something new. Since there are only very rarely participants who have already mastered this sport, equal opportunities are guaranteed. If they prefer a digital realisation, a health day with a renowned partner from the fitness sector or a health insurance company can be a good option. As an employer, it is often also possible to obtain corresponding certifications, for example "Healthy Company" or "Healthy Employer". An alternative are smaller series events with employee-internal online sports courses: back training, exercises against bad posture and tension at the workplace, guided relaxation or yoga courses during lunch breaks.

2. (Remote) Escape Rooms Events

For those who don't want to be quite so sporty, remote Escape Rooms can be the perfect solution to start a joint activity in times of home office and lockdown. Supported by a video conference system, your employees can set off on a challenging game mission. In classic Escape Rooms, participants meet at a provider's location. Depending on the budget, a corresponding room can also be created on the company site. In this type of puzzle event, your employees have to use their talents, find creative solutions in teamwork and will have fun in an uncomplicated way. A great advantage of this type of event is that colleagues automatically train their problem-solving skills during the game. In addition, new employees can integrate into the team more quickly and playfully, and friendships can develop through the informal context. Last but not least, this promotes communication and cooperation, as the puzzles can only be cracked through joint efforts. The result is an entertaining promotion of team spirit and motivation in a professional context. You can be sure that your employees will talk about this experience for a long time to come and that it will possibly attract potential applicants to your company. As always, it is important to choose the one that suits your company values from the range of providers and puzzle rooms.

3. (Digital) Roadshows

Roadshows are a great option if you are recruiting nationally or internationally. However, a roadshow should not be mistaken for a job fair. You need to offer something special, such as a performance by an artist, a popular testimonial or presentations on new and relevant study results by well-known experts. These options can also be implemented in digital or hybrid form. At roadshows live on site, sports courses or live cooking acts and a good buffet can be inspiring too. All in all, it is advisable to select the external participants for roadshows in advance, as you want to reach the right target group with your recruiting efforts. In the context of the roadshow, you can hold direct assessment centres or job interviews, even direct commitments are possible. This type of event allows you to let applicants experience your employer brand in a vivid and direct way. In return, your recruiters get a direct impression of which applicants would be a good fit for your company. This is why this type of event is mainly used in university marketing and in recruiting young professionals.

4. Expert congress

What about an in-house expert congress with employees and business partners as speakers? External top experts or celebrity speakers guarantee greater attention and are also recommended. Such in-house congresses motivate and inspire your employees, set new impulses and at the same time present your company as an innovative top employer for highly qualified people. You can even sell tickets to trade visitors and this will guarantee that you stand out favourably from your competitors in the industry. During the breaks of the event or at a joint lunch or dinner, there are also many opportunities for networking and getting to know potential candidates.

5. Event sponsoring

If you do not want to design and organise your own event, you can rely on sponsoring local sports tournaments, festivals or cultural events and thus take advantage of a kind of free-rider effect. The more intensively you get involved, the greater the effect. Just putting your company's logo on a billboard or the invitations doesn't seem very innovative. Ideally, you should be able to offer your own supporting programme and your employees should also participate visibly as brand ambassadors. This type of event is especially suitable for companies that are rooted in their region and recruit employees from the local area. In this way, you as an employer convey your connection to the region and your responsibility towards society.

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