It’s a known fact that companies attracting top talent have a great employer brand. The absence of a strong employer brand will lead enterprises to miss out on top candidates, potentially loose revenue, and also can have a negative impact on other areas of the business. On the other side, the benefits of a positive employer brand include attracting new employees, who are crucial to the success and growth of the business.
Employer branding is about creating an impactful and positive reputation as an employer, among job seekers, employees, and other critical stakeholders including partners. And any activity influencing the reputation of a company will impact employer brand, positively or negatively.
Mostly, enterprises focus on the customer perception of the brand and not on the employer brand that is determined based on the candidate and employee experience offered by the company. There should be more focus on enhancing the brand because, at the end of the day, the employer brand emerges as the business identity of an organization.
It is this basic factor that makes the company a good employer and stands out to candidates who are looking for job opportunities with the brand. Lesser the focus on improving employer brand, higher are the chances of sabotaging the hiring efforts and making it more difficult to hire the best talent.
Why focus on Employer Branding?
While we are discussing the importance of employer branding, let us look at a few statistics to understand the real influence of the employer brand.
Some of the statistics from Linkedin research indicates that:
- Even before applying for a job, around 75% of job seekers consider an employer’s brand to make the decision to apply
- Around 52% of candidates rely on the information from a company’s website and social media to learn about the employer
- 28% reduction in the turnover and 50% reduction in cost per hire are the results of a strong employer brand for an organization
- The biggest obstacle candidates experience when searching for a job is not knowing what it’s like to work at an organization.
The above statistics are a brief overview of how the employer brand directly influences the company’s ability to attract great talent and the cost involved in that. How a company invests in improving the employer brand, has a significant role to play in the overall growth and success of the company. In short, the answer to why one should focus on improving employer branding is to:
- Attract new and quality talent to the brand
- Retain the current employees
- Reduce the cost of hire
- Improve employee engagement
- Build a better business identity
- For consumer brands, a solid employer brand is sure to attract new customers which thereby brings an increase in the company revenue.
How to Enhance Employer Brand? [Strategies Inside]
As the employer brand is an unquestionable strategic lever in competing for the best talent, let us discuss a few points on strategically enhancing the employer brand.
1. Curate a great candidate experience
Potential employees having an equal say in the Employer Brand, especially in social media on the basis of their recruitment experience. So it becomes imperative to curate a delightful candidate journey, focused on making all the candidates feel respected, valued and treated equally and fairly.
Also, ensure that the job posts on career sites, social media and company career pages are attractive and appealing, helping connect with the target candidate pools. The onboarding experience is a great way to start a cultural immersion and so must be designed with utmost care.
2. Going digital with the right tools
The technology or tools being used on the career site, the speed of selection processes, effective communication, or anything that enterprises do or invest to make recruiting simple and easy for candidates will eventually affect the company’s employer brand. This calls for finding the right tools that enhance the hiring process.
As candidate experience has a direct influence on employer brand, recruiting teams can leverage the latest tools in candidate experience like CRMs, AI-based chatbots, candidate nurture engines, etc. For example, investing in innovative CRM tools like Hyreo could bridge the gap between candidates and recruiting teams throughout the hiring process, creating a positive candidate experience and thereby enhancing the overall employer brand.
3. Consistency in social media and other platforms
With easy access to information digitally, most candidates tend to rely on the company reviews shared on various social media and review platforms. In such digital platforms, the current and former employees of the organizations turn out to be very candid about their experiences.
Any negative comment can result in a red flag to potential employees and even customers. As part of the employer branding strategy, each organization should spend time in addressing the negative comments. Instead of being defensive or covering up, showing how the company is working to improve on those factors, shows how much the company cares for its people.
4. Sharing the company’s work culture
Companies can adapt some of the below activities in their marketing campaigns, so as to create a better employer brand and also attract new talent to the brand:
- Frequent blogs on company events, work culture, company hiring process, benefits, etc.
- Social media posts with photos and videos of the events, work culture, employee highlights, etc.
- Video testimonials from employees sharing their positive experience in the company and making them part of the branding exercise
- Talk about the value company gives for candidate experience and employee experience
Making these types of content easily available for potential candidates, and even prospect customers will add value to the overall employer brand.
5. Ensure career growth and training for employees
Creating new opportunities for the employees to learn and grow, creates a positive impact on the overall employer brand. This acts as a deciding factor for candidates when choosing to work with a company. Why would a potential candidate with great skills choose to work for a company if there is no indication of growth opportunities or training potential? When an organization is willing to invest in training programs and skill development activities, it attracts new employees to the brand.
6. Employer Brand survey
Do a thorough research of the Brand reputation on social media and other channels – listen carefully and objectively to what former and current employees and other stakeholders have to say about the organizational culture, leadership and work, especially the recruitment process. Create an actionable list of things that have been working well and others that need to be improved to improve the Brand image
7. Define & articulate EVP
The EVP represents the benefits and rewards offered to the employees in return for the value they bring to the organization. Compensation, stability, flexibility & respect for their contributions, skills and commitment constitutes a meaningful EVP.
A powerful branding tool, it is important to have a well-defined and compelling EVP based on the company vision, values & culture, continuously refined based on employee feedback. Advertising and active promotion of the unique and enriching work experience for all the company stakeholders is key to engaging customers, current and prospective candidates alike.
8. Align policies to values
While creating a compelling EVP for the employees, it is important to walk the talk. Hence the need to review and redo policies to be in alignment with the core vision & values of the company. It brings authenticity to the Brand story and is key to evolving a strong Employer Brand.
9. Effective employee feedback process
Employees have the potential to be the best promoters or the worst detractors depending on the quality of their work experience. So, while working on creating a rewarding and consistent work experience, it is equally important to provide them a platform to voice their opinions signed or anonymously.
It is just as important to review and act upon the feedback received objectively. To that, look for patterns and concerning elements and get to the bottom of these recurring issues. Present the findings and observations with an action plan to the employees to acknowledge them and showcase the company’s commitment to resolving them judiciously.
10. Create strong Brand Ambassadors
Employees are the most powerful branding tools, helping spread the good word faster and more credibly than any branding post, video or article. Turn the employees into the best brand ambassadors, updating their social media profiles, posting favorable reviews on various impactful social media channels, showing their pride in the company brand.
Enable employees to company news & updates, job posts on personal networks, expanding the brand reach with authenticity. Use employee referrals and great onboarding experiences to create a positive brand image.
11. Create a robust DE&I program
Commit to creating a diverse and inclusive workforce to create a strong Employer Brand with better business outcomes. Hire for diversity, cognitive and otherwise, helping improve the company work culture with more innovation and better solutions. Use the company’s and employees’ personal social media handles to promote the reputation of being a fair and inclusive employer.
How to implement employer branding strategy?
Lets talk about the framework to implement the strategy you will develop.
To set the action going on the Employer Brand Strategy, it is important to commence and sustain the momentum and ensure consistent achievement of goals all through. A simple yet effective approach to implementing the Employer Brand Strategy is enumerated below:
#1 Set Employer Branding Goals
Devise a clear set of goals around key objectives to be achieved with the enhanced Employer Brand. The categories of goals could be about the Candidates i.e. number, diversity or quality of applicants, or Recruitment cost, related to reducing the cost of hiring and improving the time to hire talent or about the Business impact.
Also read – SMART Recruitment Goals
#2 Create a Candidate Persona
Translate the ideal employee character traits on the basis of the Employer Brand Strategy into a candidate persona to hire against. Here, it is important to look for a great personality, attitude and skills, in that order. These hires would be able to contribute meaningfully to the objectives of the Employer Brand Strategy.
#3 Define the EVP
Define a compelling and attractive EVP closely aligned to the company vision, values & culture. Refine and promote the EVP based on employee feedback received on what they love and what they aren’t too enamored with.
#4 Define channels of branding
Define the social media or other promotion channels that align with the Employer Branding objectives, vision and values, based on presence and engagement of the target audience.
#5 Measure & Improvise
Measure the results of the Employer Brand Strategy against the goals and targets set on a periodic basis. Based on the results, evaluate progress and make changes or improvise strategy to forge strongly on the Employer Brand goals set.
To conclude, Employer branding is the key to a company’s ability to attract and retain exceptional talent which leads to overall growth and success. Get it right and a positive employer brand will not only attract the best talent to the team, but it will also give the current employees something to feel personally connected to the company.
Creating a positive employer brand is a team effort and best achieved by a top-down approach right from the board room. An enhanced employer brand could be the single biggest weapon in your favor and keep you stand apart from your competitors.