Every employer brand starts the same way: With a claim.
- We care about our employees!
- We offer our people autonomy and freedom!
- Our people are able to bring their whole self to work!
- (and everyone’s favorite) We’re a great place to work!
Notice that I didn’t call it a value or a pillar or a tenet or culture or a brand. It is a claim.
Anyone can make a claim. I can claim to be a 5-foot-three agoraphobic chess champion wanted for “light treason” in seven states. Or that I once dunked on Charles Barkley with a donut in my dominant hand. Or that I invented the hashtag by accident. Go ahead. Make your own claims. It’s fun!
And that’s the trouble. Every employer brand is filled with claims that are pretending to be facts. They are filled with generous helpings of spin, contextualization, revisionist history, and a generous dose of aspirational thinking (also known as “lies”). We assume the fact that we said it means that people believe it.
And every candidate who can save a decent resume to PDF knows the difference between a claim and reality.
So let me bottom line things for you. Too many employer branders think their job is to make claims, to figure out what claims are “true enough” or are “what candidates care about” or (ugh) “what talent wants to hear.”
Our job isn’t to make claims, but to prove them. Our job is to create certainty.