When it comes to the term “branding” most people generally think about how their company might be perceived by their client base, and while that should be a main focus of building brand awareness, business owners should not neglect the value of employer branding.
The way companies recruit candidates and retain employees has changed. Social media, employment and career review sites, and other technological advancements have made it easier for job applicants to find information and apply for open positions. Today’s recruiters are facing a job seeker’s market, with more jobs available than there are potential candidates. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) there are more than 6 million individuals seeking employment as of June 2021, with over 9 million jobs available. Without a strong employer brand, your company is missing out on top talent, potentially affecting the growth and success of the business. Don’t stress — we’ve outlined the basics of employer branding plus tips on establishing a strong employer brand below.
What is Employer Branding?
Employer branding is a company’s reputation as an employer and the perceived value it brings to its employees. It’s the expectation you set internally and externally and is embedded into everything you do – from internal communications to social media engagement and more. Your business needs talented, leadership-bound workers to drive your business forward and the best way to recruit top talent is to cast the impression that your company is a great place to work — and live up to it. According to Glassdoor, 84 percent of job seekers say that a company’s reputation is important when making a decision on where to apply for a job. Having a strong employer brand will help your company stand out to applicants and increase the job pool of quality candidates, giving your company the best choices of potential employees.
An employer brand should focus on how you treat employees, but it should also define the essence of your company, differentiate yourself from your competition, and showcase your mission for the company. When done well, employer branding will spark buzz around your company, attracting motivated job seekers and an army of happy employees. Those employees will broadcast their positive experience to open talent, clients, and other stakeholders, further amplifying your reputation as an employer of choice.
Establish an Employer Brand Strategy
As with all branding, creating a strong employer brand is about good storytelling. If a potential employee is browsing your company website or social media profiles and doesn’t see representation of people they could be working with or examples of how the company treats its employees, that’s a red flag. In order to attract the kind of prospects you’re looking for, you must use specific messaging and imagery that will resonate with your target audience, but it’s equally important to live out the story you’re trying to tell. Read on for a few tips and tricks on how to establish an employer brand strategy.
Dedicate the right resources.
Employer branding should be the collective responsibility of multiple departments, and dedicating the appropriate resources will determine your company’s success. Placing the responsibility of your business’s employer brand on one department or an individual often means taking shortcuts, resulting in a reactive strategy instead of a proactive, multi-channel, strategic approach. Your human resources (HR) department should be involved because they’re responsible for employee engagement and retention. However, you’ll likely need assistance from a marketing team to craft and maintain communication emphasizing your employer brand to current, former and potential employees. In addition, gaining insight from your business development and leadership team will also ensure your competitive differentiation resonates throughout the company.
Define an Employer Value Proposition.
Cultivate an Employer Value Proposition (EVP), a list of values and benefits your company offers. This EVP will serve as a marketing message and a promise to your current and potential employees. We’d suggest using your EVP on the company website, recruitment materials and social media. Additionally, your HR team can discuss the values with potential candidates.
Instead of focusing on compensation, share your company’s passion, positive impact and purpose. People want to feel that their work is meaningful, and they want to work at a workplace they’re proud to represent. Check out these tips on how to create a great EVP.
You’re probably already focused on creating marketing content based on your customer’s interests and pain points. However, to attract potential employees, you’ll need to focus on marketing to their needs and goals, as well. When you’re implementing a strategy to improve your market position, you shouldn’t just communicate your message through one channel. You’ll want to follow the same principle when marketing to potential employees. We’ve outlined a few content ideas below to help showcase your company’s employer brand.
- Write blog posts focused on company events, work culture, employee benefits, and more.
- Share social media posts centered on work culture, employee spotlights, and thought leadership.
- Hint: Happy employees are your business’s best advocates.
- Highlight the employee experience by creating video testimonials from employees.
Live up to the hype.
Let’s be clear. Your employer branding strategy won’t work unless your culture lives up to the hype. If your employee or candidate experience doesn’t mirror what you’re communicating via your employer brand, it can work against you. It’s important to ensure your employees are happy before promoting their satisfaction with the company.
You might not be fully aware of the reputation your company has among job seekers or even your own employees. Send out internal surveys, conduct social media searches and check out sites like Glassdoor to read reviews. Your research should uncover your employees’ favorite aspects of your company culture that you can focus on highlighting as well as any areas for improvement.
When it comes to employer branding, your company must set aside the necessary time and resources to formulate the best strategy to achieve success. Once you put a dedicated effort behind shaping that narrative and ensuring people have an accurate perception of your company’s identity, it will benefit your employee engagement and retention and can positively impact other aspects of the business, too. Ready to take the first step in recruiting top talent? Connect with our team today!