What do companies that attract top talent have in common? A strong employer brand.
In today’s saturated job market, open positions are starting to receive the same scrutiny as any other purchasing decision. Just like shoppers, your candidates are turning to online reviews, social media, and your website to get the inside scoop on your company.
So, how do you drive top talent when you’re under the microscope? It’s up to your recruiting department to make sure candidates like what they see. That’s where employer branding will be your MVP.
When done right, employer branding lets you control the dialogue surrounding your company. It’s the strategy you need to attract top talent, lower hiring costs, and reduce employee turnover. Whether you’ve put effort into it or not, you already have an employer brand. Why not invest in your brand to represent your company in the best light?
What Is Employer Branding?
At its core, an employer brand showcases your organization’s reputation among the workforce. It represents your employees’ perception of you as an employer.
In other words, employer branding is how you market your organization to job seekers and employees. It’s what your employees have to say about your workplace. The better your employer brand, the more likely you are to attract qualified candidates. Not only that, but a great employer brand boosts employee retention.
Let’s say your marketing team is working on a social media strategy to sell products on Facebook. Sure, you might convince people to buy your products, but that same strategy won’t be enough to convince job seekers to apply. You need an employer branding strategy to communicate your organization’s values and company culture—not how great your products and services are.
Of course, branding goes deeper than great storytelling. You need to walk the walk and fulfill that promise to your employees. At the end of the day, telling your employees and prospective candidates that your company is a great place to work because you offer paid leave isn’t going to cut it.
Why Do You Need an Employer Branding Strategy?
“I already have an employer brand,” you’re thinking. “Why should I drain time, money, and resources on a new strategy?”
It’s simple: Employer branding impacts your bottom line. A strong employer brand influences whether top talent will decide to join your organization or accept a competitor’s offer instead. A positive brand can reduce turnover rates by 28 percent, and it can cut your costs-per-hire by half.
Still not sold on employer branding? According to Glassdoor, 75 percent of active job seekers are likely to apply to a job if the employer actively manages its brand. On top of that, 92 percent of people would consider changing jobs if offered a position with an organization with an excellent employer brand.
While 72 percent of recruiting leaders agree that employer branding has a significant impact on hiring, only 55 percent have implemented a proactive branding strategy. Employer branding has always been important, but in the war for talent, it’s no longer just a nice-to-have. Job seekers are becoming more selective—and your candidates are fielding offers from more employers than ever before.
Today, selling your company goes beyond providing the flexibility and benefits your employees want. If you’re not showcasing the new incentives, opportunities, and advantages of working for your company, you risk losing skilled talent to the competition.
How to Upgrade Your Employer Brand
With the Great Resignation in full swing, attracting and retaining top talent isn’t going to come easy. But there’s good news: There are clear steps you can take to strengthen your employer brand. Here’s how to get started.
1. Conduct an Employer Brand Audit
Working on your employer brand for the first time? Updating your strategy after a few years? There’s a good chance you’re not fully aware of your company’s reputation—or the impact that your reputation has on job seekers.
Auditing your employer brand can give you an in-depth view of your recruitment and marketing channels. This way, you’ll be able to figure out what message you’re sending and set realistic goals for your branding strategy.
Some factors that can affect your employer brand include:
- Social media presence
- Employer messaging
- Application process
- Follow-ups and communication with candidates
Before implementing your strategy, send out internal surveys, conduct research on social media, and check out websites like Glassdoor to read company reviews. Don’t forget to download our internal self-audit to reflect on your recruitment strategy and identify potential areas of improvement.
2. Create Your Employer Value Proposition
Your employer brand starts with your company’s mission statement, culture, and values. To determine your employer brand, start by identifying your business needs. Then, work backward to figure out what type of trade talent you need to fulfill those objectives.
Next, it’s time to do some research.
Think of the values, benefits, and opportunities your organization offers. What’s different about your company that could motivate candidates to apply? What sets you apart from the competition?
Not sure where to start? Your main goal is to evoke passion in potential candidates by highlighting your company’s impact. Your value proposition embodies your company’s values, shows candidates what to expect, and inspires job seekers to choose your company over the competition.
Remember: An employer value proposition is a promise. Don’t say anything that isn’t true or that your employees wouldn’t agree with. Once you’ve created a powerful value proposition, it’s time to start showcasing your value on your website, social media accounts, and job listings.
3. Leverage Your Current Employees
When job seekers want to learn more about your workplace culture, they look for social proof from current employees. No matter how great your content strategy is, job seekers want to hear from and see real employees at your company. Why not give them what they’re looking for?
Leveraging current employees can be a game-changer for your branding strategy. Set aside some time to conduct employee interviews to share on your company website. You can also share employee stories and employee-generated content across social media, offering employees incentives to share their background and experience with your company.
Marketing your workplace culture shouldn’t end with your social media accounts. Consider asking employees to share pictures or videos of fun giveaways or company outings. This can be an impactful way to bring your company together and show off workplace culture to more job seekers.
4. Invest in the Onboarding Process
Most companies view employer branding as a strategy to attract qualified candidates. And it is. But employer branding isn’t all about the candidate experience—it’s also about your employees. Too often, companies fail to consider their employer brand at the most critical stage of the employee experience: onboarding.
Onboarding is the first experience your new hires go through, and a negative onboarding experience can shape their experience to come. How do you welcome new employees to the team? Candidates want to know that they’ll fit in—and your onboarding process should make them feel like part of the company from day one.
Studies show that people who have poor onboarding experiences are twice as likely to seek a different opportunity. A staggering 20 percent of new hires leave within 45 days of starting the job—and one in five hires is unlikely to recommend the employer to a friend or family member after onboarding.
It’s your job to keep things running smoothly—and that means investing more time, money, and resources into onboarding. Nearly 70 percent of employees are more likely to stay with a company after a great onboarding experience.
So, where do you start?
Chances are, you’re not spending enough on training. Proper training during the onboarding process boosts productivity and retention, while improper training leads to disengaged employees. If you’re not actually training your contractors, manufacturing employees, or maintenance workers for their positions, you’ll lose them to someone who will.
5. Use Engaging Content to Tell Your Company Story
When you’re implementing a new marketing strategy to sell products or services, you don’t just send your message on a single channel. Instead, you use videos, pictures, blogs, emails, and other forms of messaging to meet your target audience on the platforms they’re already using.
Unlike traditional marketing, employer branding isn’t about advertising. It’s about building relationships with prospective candidates. The right content marketing strategy can help build credibility and brand awareness—but 70 percent of companies aren’t using content marketing for employer branding or talent acquisition. That means content can be your secret weapon to gain a competitive edge.
To showcase your employer brand, use attention-grabbing, curiosity-provoking content to tell your company story and captivate potential candidates. Not sure where to start? Try sharing employee-created content on your Facebook page or publishing employee interviews on your job page.
Rethink Your Employer Brand
Job seekers aren’t the only ones who have to “sell themselves” in today’s job market. With talent in the driver’s seat, you need to make your case for job seekers—not the other way around.
No matter what your employer branding strategy looks like, we’re here to help. Set up a discovery call with our team to assess your current strategy and strengthen your employer brand to drive qualified talent.