Nailing Employer Brand with Amy Frampton, BambooHR

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In this episode of SaaS Half Full, the first in our new 3-episode HR Tech Series, Lindsey Groepper speaks with long-time MarTech alum and BambooHR Head of Marketing Amy Frampton, to unpack how critical it is to nail employer brand, especially when staring down The Great Resignation and pending recession. 

How can organizations balance their employer brand and employee experience? And who owns employer brand strategy — marketing, HR, communications? Listen in for Amy’s answers to these crucial questions and a very necessary definition of what the heck employer brand is.

Keep consistent and carry on

When applicants close their eyes and imagine what it would be like to work at a company, they’re calling on employer brand to shape that perception. But when someone signs their offer letter and becomes an employee, they’re faced with the day-to-day realities of employment, which Amy identified as employee experience.

“[Employer brand and employee experience] are not totally interchangeable. But I think it definitely overlaps,” said Amy. “If you’re saying, ‘Hey, it’s A, B and C,’ and internally, it’s X, Y and Z — you’re in real trouble.”

As the B2B SaaS market becomes saturated with new positions and retention rates plummet, employee experience and employer brand consistency are more crucial than ever. To assess how an organization’s expectations align with reality, Amy suggests evaluating brand values and guidelines based on employee feedback. By doing so, businesses provide executive leadership with a guidepost for future decisions, eliminating silos that might otherwise alienate employees who feel disconnected from company values.

Amy humbly refers to these possible silos as “the nerd closet,” from which leaders make decisions with little visibility. That’s another vital piece to the puzzle of successful employee experience: transparency. In uncertain times, employees crave affirmation that their organization has their continued best interest in mind.

Delineate employer brand ownership — and work together

Amy described the ownership of employer brand formation as frequently “a scattershot.” Marketing, HR and communications departments often share custody of crafting employer brand. But joint ownership doesn’t need to be a setback. Responsible teams simply must prioritize collaboration and visibility while playing to their strengths.

“HR understands what they’re hearing from employees, their recruiting. So they understand what people are saying and what questions are being asked. In terms of feet on the street, they really know that piece,” said Amy. “What Marketing can bring to the table are the best practices and principles around, ‘How do you think about a brand? How do you focus on the right messages? How do you land those messages with your audience?’”

As the pandemic continues to disrupt daily employee life at B2B SaaS companies — either by scattering employees across the globe or simply instilling a new array of workplace anxieties — HR and marketing leaders must work more closely than ever to create a cohesive strategy for employee experience and employer brand. Amy said this might require a renewed internal communications strategy in some cases.

Make a business case for employer brand

Creating cohesion between employer brand and the reality of employee experience is no side gig. To generate executive buy-in for internal marketing efforts, Amy suggests reminding business leaders about the importance of employee satisfaction for retention and employer brand for recruiting efforts. This reminder is particularly salient in tech, an industry defined by high-level considerations around new software and security solutions.

“There’s an ability to be blind to the human experience, which is your employer brand,” said Amy. “Because without the humans involved, you can’t do any [tech advancements]… And without talking about that in the right way to your community, all the other things become really, really hard.”

Listen to Episode 331 of SaaS Half Full for more of Amy’s insights.

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