South African leaders from a number of renowned brands such as GE, Comair, Standard Bank and Liberty had the opportunity to learn from global thought leader, Brett Minchington, chairman/CEO of Employer Brand International, when he delivered an International Employer Brand Leadership Masterclass in Johannesburg last month.

Celeste Sirin, champion behind Employer Branding SA (and Managing Director of Strategy Recruitment Marketing) opened the event and welcomed Mr Minchington to South Africa. Local companies Graylink Recruitment Transformation, HR Future and Merylnn also shared valuable insights on Artificial Intelligence, recruitment strategy and how technology is shaping the future of work and the challenges it brings.

Exposure to Employer Branding Best Practice

Attendees were exposed to a global market overview and best practice; reinforced by insights, concepts, strategies, techniques and case studies from leading international brands such as Adidas, Google, Amazon, Facebook and LinkedIn to name a few.

Leaders participated in a number of group exercises which included conducting an employer brand audit, developing an employer brand game plan and analysing their company’s employment lifecycle from pre-hire to retire. Thought provoking discussions and plenty of knowledge sharing took place with many South African leaders realising they are experiencing similar challenges.

Leaders understood that structures within their organisations do currently exist, but they need to look at evolving and optimising their current functional capabilities in areas such as HR, marketing, communications and IT in order to deliver on their strategic employer branding objectives.

Collectively it was evident that leaders need to take a deliberate stand and focused approach within their organisations towards educating both their C-Suite and Functional Heads of Department on the business impact employer branding has in increasing their financial outcomes.

How does South Africa compare with the rest of the globe?

You will see from this interview that Minchington confirms that South Africa, with its challenges of governance, politics and education is indifferent to any other country, having to contextualize things that are outside of our control when building an employer brand strategy.

Furthermore, Minchington was suitably impressed with our group of employer brand forerunners, affirming that our thinking was right and that their ability to execute is an evolving process which would definitely come in time.

Similar to many companies around the world, employer branding is still mostly being lead from the Human Resources Department with little to no involvement from other departments leading to employer branding initiatives which are more tactical than ideally, strategically focused. This thinking needs to change.

With Minchington’s first visit to Cape Town having exceeded his expectations beyond imagine, Employer Branding SA is encouraging him to return; bringing his employer branding expertise back to South Africa in 2018.