In a competitive talent market, even well managed companies can face tough times in attracting and hiring the right candidates or lose employees for unfathomable reasons. Could a weak employer brand be the cause? It seems so. A recent Glassdoor survey found that 92% of people would opt to switch from their current employer if given an opportunity to work for a more reputed organisation. And this, with no increase in pay. The survey also revealed that a steep 86% of candidates would not consider employment with a company that ranked poorly in terms of social commitments. Numbers like this reveal a hard truth, that more than ever, organisations must pay attention to constantly polishing their employer brand if they are to attract the talent they need.
Here are some strategies to boost your employer brand and tips on how to implement them:
What does your employer brand look like right now? It is important to understand this clearly before you go ahead with making changes. Auditing your employer brand, from the perspective of current and ex-employees, former candidates and the external world will help you understand if you are sending out the right message.
How to do it:
Get started by reviewing what people are saying about your company brand. Some ways to conduct your research:
Monitor company review sites: Today’s job seekers typically check out potential employers on sites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn to get a feel of the company’s values and work culture. The opinions expressed on such sites can enhance your attractiveness as an employer or discourage good talent. Avoid going on the defensive if your company has attracted a less-than-satisfactory review. Instead, address the reviewer’s concern and state how the company is working towards rectifying problems. A frank and sincere response shows the company’s commitment to employees’ happiness and dilutes negative reviews.
Check Google alerts: Audit your company’s reputation on search engines like Google and others to understand if other perspectives align with your branding goals.
Engage in social listening: Investing in social media listening tools is a worthwhile proposition. These tools help you to collect and analyse online data about your brand as well as competing brands. Tracking online conversations and mentions with these tools - as opposed to scrolling endlessly through Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and more - is a smart and effective way to gain insights into your brand reputation and create responsive strategies.
One LinkedIn study showed that the primary obstacle job seekers experience is not getting a feel of an organisation’s work culture. It is no surprise therefore that candidates trust information from a company’s employee three times more than what the company itself puts out! Potentially, that makes your employees the best ambassadors you can have, a cohort who can play a key role in building your employer brand and attracting high-quality talent.
How to do it: Select small focus groups of employees and have regular discussions to understand what is really important to them. This ensures that you introduce the element of objectivity to your employer branding exercise. Also, it helps you tweak your strategy over time as the brand evolves, workforce demands change, and you need to project those changes to the outside world.
Additionally, get your employees to actively participate in your branding exercises, portraying the company’s work culture and values positively on their favoured social media channels. Authentic content with a ring of sincerity is a powerful branding tool that will resonate strongly with aspirants.
Young candidates who are highly active on social media - we are talking particularly about millennials and Gen-Z - can significantly embellish or dent your employer brand. For this reason, it is imperative that you focus on designing a strong and memorable candidate experience.
How to do it:
Some essential elements of a good candidate experience are:
- Attractively designed job postings on career boards, social media, and website career pages
- Streamlined hiring procedures using automation to save time and cost, and provide quick updates
- A carefully curated onboarding experience to create a good first impression of your corporate culture and to ease new employees into their roles
At all times through the candidate journey, ensure that applicants feel valued and are
treated with due consideration.
Are your recruitment processes aligned with the candidates’ expectations? Today, most candidates appreciate the use of technology to ease and speed-up hiring processes. Selecting the right digital tools can help strongly boost your employer brand.
How to do it:
Some examples leveraging technology to directly impact employer branding are:
- AI chatbots to provide quick responses to candidates
- CRM to provide seamless communications between candidates and hiring teams
- Strong engagement with candidates via automated email pathways
Among the factors that weigh strongly with job seekers’ choice of employer is a company’s work culture. Share your company’s work culture through marketing campaigns so your employer brand can shine.
How to do it: Here are some activities you can incorporate into marketing campaigns to enhance your employer brand:
- Writing periodic blogs on company programmes, tech-smart hiring procedures, employee benefits, etc.
- Posts and videos on social media featuring company events and office culture
- Posts on company’s career page/social media about the value that the company places on employee experience and welfare
Your EVP is the promise or ineffable “glue” which keeps your workforce loyal and invested in your company and is also a powerful magnet to attract future employees. As such, building a strong EVP is a crucial part of employer branding strategy.
How to do it:
Your EVP, in essence, is centred around your employees. What inspires them? What are their goals and interests? And how does your company’s value proposition align with those? Find out what they want from amongst a range of possibilities like healthcare benefits, better work-life balance, vacation allowance, career development opportunities, gym memberships, and CSR initiatives.
A thoughtfully put together EVP should typically cover such categories. Additionally, a great EVP should also embody an organisation’s ethos. Values that resonate powerfully with candidates are:
- How highly you value your employees
- Your commitment to customer support
- Your drive to become the best in your field
Your EVP, besides playing a critical role in projecting your brand to potential employees, is equally important to retain your existing employees. Hence, it is important to maintain transparency while communicating the elements of your EVP and to consistently reinforce the messages built into it through your actions.
With a plethora of channels available to market your brand, how will you go about selecting the right ones to attract potential employees? By defining the appropriate platforms, you are better placed to connect with the talent that you wish to attract. How to do it:
Here is a quick run-through of marketing channels to consider:
- Social networks (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter)
- Employment sites (LinkedIn)
- Job boards
- Website careers page
- Paid advertisements
- Blogs and podcasts
- Industry-specific forums
Select channels that align with your employer branding objectives. Talk to current employees to learn how they first came to know about your brand. This will help you determine where your target audience is. Importantly, the content you create should be of high quality and convey a sense of authenticity. Content that appears insincere and fabricated can leave in its wake a lack of trust and other negative impressions.
Video-based content scores dramatically over others as a medium to convey your company’s values. For instance, video testimonials from current employees can create a strong impact on even passive candidates. This is especially relevant for large corporations that are typically perceived as faceless and lacking human warmth.
Finally, it is essential to periodically evaluate how your strategies are working on the ground. Employer branding goals are rarely achieved from the get go. Strategies may need to be tweaked and substituted and hence, the results must be analysed regularly over a period of time.
How to do it:
Check if your efforts have succeeded against KPIs such as time-to-hire, cost-per-hire, number of applications received for job openings, and improved brand reputation. Adapt your strategies accordingly.
Creating the framework for a robust employer brand and implementing strategies to make it work is not a task to be relegated to a specialist group. Rather it should be an organisation-wide effort that percolates from the board room downwards. The strategies you choose should find acceptance with all stakeholders from recruitment professionals and internal HR to management and all employees.
When you have developed a strong employer brand, you have created a powerful asset, one that consistently draws high-quality talent, promotes high retention rates, and enables a company to differentiate itself significantly from its competitors.
Please note that Careernet does not practice charging a placement fee from any job seeker across profiles. Word of caution to the fraudulent news and information, if anyone demands any kind of charges from you, in the name of Careernet Consulting.