How Can Employer Brand Perception Meet Reality?

Positive perceptions of an employer will lead the best available talent to choose an organisation over others. How does an employee determine this perception, and how can you shape it in your organisation's favour?

How Can Employer Brand Perception Meet Reality?

14 Dec 2017 by  Yamini Maheshwari

Perception drives all aspects of our lives—from the phone we buy to the airlines we choose to fly and in our big life decisions, such as our friends, career, or even a life partner.

This is why, in our different career stages, we find our list of dream employers evolving. Early in our careers, we may look for an employer with a swanky workplace, opportunities to learn, and attractive pay packages. As we progress, we start to look at an employer’s industry leadership, unique work culture that lets you make a mark, or with a forward mind-set to become a market disruptor.

Brand positioning is a key factor in consumer decision-making. The drivers of brand positioning are product features, use case reviews, warranties, past experience with the same company, to name a few. Together, these inputs form a strong ‘perception framework’ for a buyer. And just as positive perceptions of a brand encourages a consumer to buy its products and services, positive perceptions of an employer will lead the best available talent to choose the organisation over others.

But how does an employee determine this perception? Unlike product brands, very few inputs are available for an employee to make the ‘right choice’—and the connection between what is perceived and what is real. Most employees rely on friends for their vote of confidence on a company they work with, supplement the consumer brand to build a picture of the employer brand, and check out reviews on employer review sites. Yet, a gaping hole still exists in bringing the perception closer to reality.

Through the Aon Best Employers programme, we evaluate organisations on ground experiences and business outcomes and discover that the reality is far away from perception. The limited view employees have of a company from the outside does not do justice to the aspirations and expectations of an employee.

So, what makes the two ends meet?

Two inputs bring the story together: Business-aligned talent strategy and a company that walks the talk on a seamless experience for employees. When these have minimal dissonance, there is positive business impact, high performance, alignment of personal and business goals, and ultimately, an engaged workforce.

The Aon Best Employers programme ‘Intent-Design-Experience’ principle provides a clear understanding of how close perception is to reality when an employee looks for a dream company. The principle does this by bringing objectivity to perception by clearly linking the required experience to the defined journey of being a Best Employer.

The robustness of the Aon Best Employers process, coupled with the experience of an independent, credible jury that critically assesses the organisations on their commitment and sustainability towards creating a winning workplace, strengthens the objectivity of the Aon Best Employers recognition. As a result, it also serves to help build the bridge between perception and reality—convincing curious employees of the strength of an organisation’s employer brand.

Start a conversation with us

Need help creating a strong employer brand for your organisation? Or interested in participating in the Aon Best Employers programme 2018? Get in touch with us.

About the Aon Best Employers programme

Aon Best Employers is a flagship programme, designed to improve your employee engagement, leadership effectiveness, employer brand, and culture to drive high performance. It is the most credible and comprehensive survey of its kind in Asia Pacific, and leverages on Aon Hewitt’s professional 3-tier assessment tools. Now in its 18th year, the Aon Best Employers programme runs across 11 markets in the region: Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Middle East, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Find out how to participate now!

Yamini Maheshwari

Yamini is part of Aon’s leadership team and is the commercial lead for Aon’s Culture and Engagement Practice in addition to being responsible for strategic account management for the organisation. Yamini is a subject matter expert in driving continuous listening strategy, in addition to helping clients create and align their Employee Value Proposition. She has been working with some of the largest clients in India to define an effective strategy enabling business performance and desired outcomes. She also leads the Aon Best Employer study in India.

Get in touch
Yamini Maheshwari
Yamini Maheshwari Sapra
Mumbai, India
Shruti Chhibber
Gurgaon, India