Billions of dollars are spent every year on branding and advertising in an effort to make consumers associate specific ideas and feelings with particular companies or their products.
However, many companies don’t consider how their brand is perceived when it comes to recruiting the top talent they need to develop their business. Just as consumers make product choices because of long-established opinions about a given brand, job seekers will make career choices based on their perception of a company’s reputation or brand character.
Your employer branding can be the deciding factor between getting the candidate you want or losing them to a rival in a competitive job market.
In a hyper-connected society, it’s no longer possible for companies to treat recruitment as something separate from their core communications strategy. Whether it’s well-placed ads, product reviews, or prospective employees blogging about their experiences with your process, it all becomes a part of the market’s understanding of your brand.
In order to improve or assess the effectiveness of your employer branding, we’ve put together a list of strategies to help secure top tier talent. Keep in mind that brand building is an active process that requires continual maintenance and development in order to remain effective and in line with corporate and recruitment goals.
It Has to Start With Vision and Values
As a business grows, it’s essential to have a well-defined vision and a set of corporate values that the entire company understands and lives by. Of course, it’s not enough that these ideas are set out in the employee handbook. Successful organizations ensure their values permeate the whole company, including the hiring process. Potential candidates should have a clear understanding from the start what the company believes in and how it values its customers and employees. Not only will this maintain your corporate reputation as a well-run operation, but it will also help you attract and retain employees who align with the company’s values.
Invest in Your Corporate Culture
A lot of attention was paid a few years back to tech companies that went over and above with nap rooms, pool tables, and free snacks. However, looking back now, the results seem to have been a little lacklustre. It turns out what many employees were looking for was a culture that genuinely valued their well-being and asked for their opinion. Ensuring that your staff feel comfortable taking time off, working remotely when necessary, or supported in completing their projects goes a lot further to creating a good corporate culture than video games in the lunchroom ever can.
Sure, the high-tech toys get headlines, but when your staff talks to their peers about why your company is a great place to work, it will have more to do with whether they feel heard and appreciated than if you’ve installed the latest game system. When it comes to recruiting millennials, this Deloitte study found 83 percent of them are actively engaged when they believe their organization fosters an inclusive culture.
Communicate Through Stories
One of the distinguishing things about human beings is our preference for communicating through storytelling. Not only is it an most effective means of delivering a message that sticks, but also helps us build rapport with the people we work with.
To improve your employer brand, think about how each communication affects real people and tell those stories. If there are actual case studies that make your point, use quotes, photos, and anecdotes that demonstrate real-life benefits enjoyed by the team.
Talk to People Where They Are
Whether it’s your corporate or employer brand, it’s important to engage with your audience where they are; which for prospective employees could mean, Indeed, LinkedIn, or Facebook Jobs. To maintain your employer brand, it’s essential that you understand where and how to speak to the talent that you need. Not only does this mean you’re not waiting for them to find you, but it also allows you to develop your corporate reputation ahead of time with the people who you want applying for future positions.
Developing new communications channels for your employer brand is also an excellent opportunity for the HR team to work cross-departmentally with the Marketing or Communications team. By working together, you can develop new insights into your audience and better craft your messaging to attract the right people. Whether it’s a piece of consumer advertising or a job posting, it should all sound like it’s coming from the same brand. It’s also worth mentioning that if your company has a dedicated Social Media team or person, they need to be brought in to help plan any upcoming employment posts. They will be able to give you great advice on the channels to use and how to speak to the right segment of the audience in your corporate voice.
Know What People are Saying About You
The only way to know if your message is landing or if your employer brand is causing you problems is to listen to what people say about your organization. This means paying attention to social media feeds, reading the comments, and asking questions.
In today’s social media world, your customers, employment prospects, or anyone you interact with can go online and instantly share their opinions about your brand. While this presents a slew of challenges for managing your corporate identity, it also provides the opportunity to engage meaningfully with your audience.
When someone online tags your company in a post, do your best to reply to it promptly. Even if the comment is critical, try to address their concern or offer to connect with them one-on-one to sort out the problem. You won’t be able to tackle all issues to everyone’s satisfaction, but your efforts to correct the problem will demonstrate to anyone who sees the feed that you actively work to find solutions.
Another great opportunity of the digital world is electronic surveys. And while they can provide great consumer insights, they can also help you develop and establish your employer brand. Ensure that every candidate you interview is invited to give you feedback on how they felt about the process. A well-thought-out Survey Monkey questionnaire can provide you with reams of valuable data about where you can do better.
Just be sure that you make changes based on the feedback and thank respondents, even those that didn’t get a job offer, for their input. It will go a long way in ensuring they have nice things to say about you to their peers.
Treat All Potential Employees Like Customers, Because They May Well Be
While you’re not going to hire everyone that comes in for an interview, you can make sure they all have a good experience and leave feeling that they were treated fairly by your company. By giving them timely updates on the process and providing honest feedback, you can help ensure that even the candidates you pass on become great brand ambassadors for your company. On the other hand, it’s worth noting that a report by employer branding agency Ph.Attraction, found that 25% of job-seekers in the UK have stopped purchasing or purchased less from a brand because of a poorly handled applicant process and data shows that it’s costing businesses millions of dollars. The report also highlighted that of 1,200 British-based workers surveyed, nearly a third (29.3 percent) of candidates would consider becoming a customer of a brand if they had a good experience in the interview process.
Get Help When You Need It
In today’s connected world, your brand as an employer is inseparable from your corporate persona. This is why it’s critical to your long-term success as an organization that your company monitors and maintains your reputation on many fronts. As a staffing agency with years of expertise, we’ve been assisting corporations in refining their hiring practices and procedures to improve their standing in the market and become the top-of-mind employer for candidates in their industry. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you align your employer with corporate brands and attract more of the talent you need, get in touch.