The Silicon Review
Employer brand is often seen as a marketing luxury that many organizations struggle to justify as an investment - often because emphasis on marketing spend is allocated towards customer-centric activities with very little budget remaining for organizations to invest in their employer image. As The Great Resignation continues to unfold since its debut in late 2020, organizations are beginning to take a step back and realize that their reputation and image has never been more of a vital investment.
For a variety of reasons, employers struggle to attract top talent and even more so to meet DEI metrics. Many businesses frequently overlook the need to invest in their employer brand, and, due to fierce competition for key personnel in today’s workforce, businesses that fail to establish a strong employer brand, from appropriate website representation to positive Glassdoor reviews, are struggling to keep their competitive edge and execute their go-to-market strategies.
As a result, a common question that businesses find themselves asking is how to justify employer brand investment? How should executives go to the board room table and try to prove the business case for employer brand and explain how the lack of investment is impacting the organizations bottom line? Typically, organizations will find the CHRO or a Human Resource leader trying to do just this, but many times, instead of succeeding, they find themselves struggling to create the data to support their case. With retention and recruitment challenges at an all time high, organizations are tasked with but still struggling to figure out where their employer brand needs to be improved and then how to actually improve it.
In mid 2021, Miranda McKie found herself in a similar situation. McKie, CEO & Founder of McKie Consultants, worked with an HR-centric organization to optimize a data-driven analytics solution for HR leaders that allowed them to properly understand how to quantify investments in Employer Brand. A tenured HR, Data Analytics and DEI consultant, she realized that not only have HR leaders lacked the ability to capture HR data to justify business decisions, but also, many of these leaders struggled to then understand how to take that data to create employer brand modifications that help attract new talent.
During her time working with this company, McKie was introduced to Elizabeth Krohn, CEO and Founder of Krohn Marketing Inc - an education-based marketing and business development consulting firm that focuses on building programs and resources to support the independent growth of organizations, emphasizing brand evaluation, construction and deployment as an essential foundational piece to conduct successful marketing.
Together, McKie and Krohn realized this challenge and devised a new solution that provides a stronger go-to-market strategy for employer branding - offering organizations the ability to leverage people analytics and marketing to help support and drive a positive, healthy and competitive employer brand. As a result, McKie and Krohn have created holistic solutions for companies that are struggling to properly communicate their culture, mission, and vision across all facets of the organization - from brand to platform.
“We were really shocked at how much of a void exists in this area of business as well as how many organizations don’t understand how to quantify their investment in employer brand.”, said McKie. “When Beth and I discussed creating this joint solution, leveraging her expertise in brand consulting and my DEI and Data Analytics tenure, the solution was clear: there IS a way to drive your organization forward and develop an effective, data-driven employer brand - and we can provide that.”
Working collectively, McKie and Krohn help firms effectively identify, communicate with, and deliver their corporate identity from the front end (marketing channels) to the back (HR and DEI recruiting policies, processes, and practices). Clients are then able to work to improve their existing brand and create data-driven procedures and processes that open up a talent pipeline that were otherwise unavailable to them in the past. The ability for organizations to now comprehend how their branding defines their culture and align that understanding with quantifiable data, along with supportive processes and procedures is now accessible.
Krohn Marketing- Krohn Marketing offers education-based marketing and sales consulting services that help executives identify and create solutions for sales and marketing challenges in their organization. Krohn Marketing is not an agency and does not simply point and direct using buzzword-heavy ideas and strategy. Krohn and team work closely with clients to construct complete marketing and sales systems, from go-to-market strategies, top-funnel processes, for start-ups and SMBs to help companies avoid agency dependence and truly build teams, solutions and programs that help clients turn into the Enterprise they would like to become.
McKie Consultants- McKie Consultants offers consulting services in HR Analytics, Inclusive Product Design, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) to start-ups, SMBs, and enterprise organizations. McKie offers services like design thinking workshops to support enterprise-wide DEI training, fractional DEI support, HR analytics consulting, and inclusive product design to CEOs, CHROs, and CTOs across the United States and Canada. For the purpose of achieving strategic business priorities and fostering organizational growth, They focus on assisting organizations in integrating DEI across business functions. According to McKie Consultants, data and design can be effectively used to drive DEI and enable value realization.
New Service: Data-Driven Brand Analysis- a customized service that helps organizations understand how effective their brand is, from applicants and candidates to internal team members. The company is also currently expanding its services and will be developing classes and training to help provide continuous education and resources to its clients.
When we at The Silicon Review (TSR) asked the leaders about the pricing of their services they stated that “We help clients calculate our costs with projected ROI by working with us. We don’t deal in vanity metrics. Our costs reflect the value of the solution that they will receive once we’ve completed our projects with them. We have yet in nearly 10 years to have a client tell us that we weren’t worth their investment.”
Dealing with uncertainties the McKie Consultants’ way
When TSR asked Miranda McKie about failures and overcoming uncertainties she stated that “There’s always that possibility - it’s just a fact of life. Why we have such high retention and success rates with our clients, along with long-term relationships and referrals, is because we don’t take on projects we can’t deliver on. Hence why we both abhor agency models. Our clients are real people, not just an invoice number in the billing department. We’ve both been in the industry for years and have been trained in top enterprise environments - providing both company’s leadership teams with the wisdom and experience required to properly identify where we can help and where we can’t.”
Harnessing data to improve outcomes and maintaining unparalleled quality of work
Both Krohn Marketing and McKie Consultants make use of data and advanced analytics to create and drive employer brand marketing decisions. The company leverages internal and external data to form an evidence-based understanding of the perceptions and expectations that applicants and candidates may have about the organization. Additionally, Krohn Marketing and McKie Consultants support clients by analyzing internal HR data from ATS (applicant tracking system), HRIS (human resource information system), engagement surveys, DEI surveys, etc. to identify the root cause of potential gaps in the client’s talent pipeline and employer brand. In parallel, both companies work closely with their clients to understand who they want to be and how they want to be perceived (their external image), create that, and then build out a structure that supports their achievable goals. Next, the company brings together insights captured from the data analysis phase to develop and implement an internal model that drives outcomes and enables strategic priorities that support all areas of the business.
When TSR asked the leaders about their companies’ quality management, they stated that “We’re first heavily involved directly with our clients. We don’t assign team members to our clients until we’ve properly identified who they are, what personalities are in the room, what skill sets are needed, and the length of support they require”. Furthermore they added that “Everything is custom tailored to be a smooth ride -- assisting our clients in quickly and efficiently achieving their goals and focusing on what they do best while we worry about the rest -- providing the data that drives decision-making.”
Meet the leaders behind the success of McKie Consultants and Krohn Marketing
Miranda McKie is the CEO & Founder of McKie Consultants, a strategic consulting firm that specializes in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategy, HR Analytics, and Inclusive Product Design. Miranda has worked at top-tier consulting firms in data architecture, data engineering, and data analytics and data strategy. She has worked on various initiatives focused on utilizing artificial intelligence capabilities to gain insights on systemic barriers that impact marginalized groups. Her work has led her to be the 2020 recipient of Catalyst Canada’s Emerging Leader Award.
Elizabeth Krohn is the CEO & Founder of Krohn Marketing, an education-based marketing consulting firm that specializes in Fractional CMO/CRO, Channel Marketing, HubSpot and customized Digital Marketing services. Elizabeth believes in putting people before profit and making sure that every business has the opportunity to gain the knowledge and services they require to become independent, successful entities. As a result, Krohn Marketing was awarded the Top HubSpot Service Provider of 2022 Award by MarTech Outlook.