Today, company branding is so much more than just a website and a logo! It’s the reputation your company builds with its culture, goals leaders, employees, products, and creative ads. It’s not something people see anymore - it’s what people feel. And it can either win their trust or repulse them, that’s why crafting a strong brand is critical for any company that cares about its future.
Think - what people are the most important for any business? Obviously, new clients or partners that bring revenue and growth. But what about people who work in a company, contributing to its products or services on a daily basis?
In today’s highly competitive job market without smart, talented and motivated staff you will never push your business forward.
But how to attract these key people to the company? This is when the other side of a company's branding comes into play - an impression that company creates for job seekers called ‘employer brand’.
In 2020 without a consistent employer branding strategy you will be forced to spend more effort on engaging top talent - and significantly more time and money.
Just look at the numbers:
- 9 out of 10 job seekers consider a company’s reputation when applying for a job
- Positive employer brand saves up to 50% of cost-per-hire
- It also increases the number of qualified candidates by 50%
- To compensate for a bad reputation, companies have to pay on average 10% extra to attract applicants.
This is why raising and cultivating a strong employer brand is the number #1 priority of any HR/recruitment manager today.
How does an employer brand work?
Today you’ll rarely find a person who doesn’t look up a company before applying for a job. It won’t take much time to browse social media, company website and, finally, Glassdoor or other similar services to investigate if this company is right for you. And it’s very easy to get disappointed when you see something unpleasant, like a bad reference from a former employee.
The employer brand rests on the foundation of word of mouth, spread by the company's former and current employees. Employees are the main ambassadors of your brand - this is something you should always keep in mind.
Unfortunately, a good company image in socials isn’t something you can control 100% of the time.
The good news is, employer branding could be easily improved if you follow simple guidelines. So do the first step - set yourself a goal to work on your employer brand - and be sure we will give you a roadmap.
Employer branding – where should I start?
To create a robust employer brand, you need to know what to focus on.
Audit your employer branding
First, you should check the current condition of your employer branding. You may not be fully aware of your company's reputation, so you will have to investigate what your former and current employees think about it and what’s already leaked into the web. Use internal and external surveys, search in social media, read reviews on sites like Glassdoor. You can do the research yourself or hire a reputation monitoring agency, but remember that whatever you find out - it’s not witch-hunting and searching for “bad employees who talk behind your back”. Your goal is to find what your company is doing wrong - and fix it, ensuring a strong employer brand.
Create an Employer Value Proposition
Audit will reveal if your employees are satisfied with their jobs and work conditions, and will help you create a better experience for them, called Employer Value Proposition (EVP).
EVP is targeted on both current and potential employees, creating a better working environment for the first and a competitive job offer for the second. Well-crafted EVP engages top talents, reduces hiring costs, helps retain your best employees and keeps your workforce motivated.
Employer Value Proposition (EVP) may include: company values and culture, office location(s) and accessibility, benefits and compensation, promotion and career growth, team members and management, diversity, employee recognition and feedback, flexible work schedule, job security, opportunities for travel, perks like office childcare, paid lunches and so on.
So think about what's special about working in your company and what your current employees love about your organization. Perhaps you will need to add some perks from the list above, and that’s fine - improving employee working conditions is practically an endless process. Try new EVP on your current employees, make sure it becomes a part of your company, then move further, offering EVP to the prospects.
Use your current employees to attract new ones
And we’re not talking just about a referral program. Creating a great place to work for your team will become the first piece in the positive employer brand puzzle. When your employees are happy, encourage them to share positive reviews about your company. It can be done in socials and on your website’s Career Portal. You can conduct short interviews “what you like about working in our company” and publish them on your Career Blog. Video interviews and work-life videos from your office could be a valuable part of your YouTube channel. Be creative, collect and promote every positive testimonial you get, demonstrate the diversity and inclusivity of your workforce - and pitch your company as a great place to work.
Feel the power of recruitment marketing `
We already mentioned Career portal and career pages in a previous paragraph, but in case you’re not familiar with these concepts - Career portal / site is a part of recruitment marketing tools that every company must include in its hiring strategy nowadays.
Recruitment marketing activities include (but are not limited to):
- Creating a career area on your existing site, where you can publish your company job openings, but also showcase your company values and culture.
- Starting a company blog to tell your employer brand’s story with the help of high-quality photos, videos and slideshows.
- Building inviting, simple-to-use, mobile-friendly career pages for the best candidate experience.
- Promoting job openings to social media and multiple job boards.
Just check any world-leading company’s website (we suggest to take a look at Netflix, Starbucks and Shopify) to see how recruitment marketing works. But even if your company is far from Fortune 500, it still could use recruitment marketing techniques to create a positive employer branding.
Work on your onboarding process
Hiring top talent is not the final point of your employer brand’s journey. The first 90 days of work are critical for new employees, and your company has to develop a smooth and consistent onboarding process to keep a positive impression of your company. Don’t make your new team members seek a different opportunity - supply them with everything they need to get their jobs done: tools, instructions and senior leadership.
Offer development opportunities and skills training
A huge part of employee retention is keeping them entertained. According to research made in 2018, the #1 reason people decided to leave their company was because they were bored. They needed to grow, to achieve new skills, they needed new challenges. By giving your workers an opportunity to learn and develop as professionals, you’re supporting their interest and commitment. Offer them plenty of courses, training, webinars, certifications to choose from - and once they develop new skills, you will get more valuable team members. Success!
Working on your employer brand is a rewarding practice. Recent researches tell us that employees value corporate culture over high salaries. They demand a workplace with a clear mission and reputation of a company that cares about its people and makes positive changes to the world. And becoming that dream workplace starts with your employer brand.