Organisations often view employer branding as a long term effort and investment. The purpose is to install perception in our targeted talents that our company is their employer of choice. This is similar to product branding, and has different objectives to the regular hiring process, which aims to hire someone to fill a vacancy in a certain period of time.
However, the importance of branding should not be underestimated since organisations with strong employer branding will be more capable in hiring the most suitable people, supporting employee retention, promoting employee loyalty and creating a greater business image overall.
There are many ways to create strong employer branding and below are some of the most important points:
1. Set up a clear Employee Value Proposition (EVP)
There are some fundamental questions for employer. Can the company identify the value proposition it offers to existing employees and potential staff? Does the company effectively apply their EVPs? For instance, does the company promote their work/life balance principal, when in reality most of staff work 50-60 hours per week? Alternatively, does the company have a ‘continuous learning’ credo, while most staff feel lack of training, coaching or even their manager's attention?
Generally every organisation will have something to ‘sell’ to their staff or potential talents. Super competitive companies that require long hours from its employees might offer ‘fast track career’ to the industry’s top talents, expressed through bombastic jargon such as ‘working with the best’ or calling on talent to join the ‘dream team company’.
On the other hand, companies with lower pay scales might sell their work/life balance offer and the chance to join an ‘office-politics free organisation’. This will capture a particular talent pool.
Companies also can offer a different EVP for each employment layer. We can be an ‘excellent learning organisation’ for fresh graduate while also offering a ‘prudent management process and team spirit’ for management level.
2. Create a communication strategy towards talent
Employer branding is similar to marketing activity. We need to segmentise our talent, set the target and install our positioning for each area.
When it comes to employer branding, most corporate recruiters put most of their energy in the fresh graduate area and give less attention to middle managers and top executive who actually need to understand about our company and EVPs as well. Managers and directors, in general, need even more information in order to make a decision about joining and staying with a particular company.
Organisations should invest their resources in branding activities at all levels of employees. They need to set their communication strategy and choose an effective communication channel. Currently, social media channel plays a big role but in reality, off-line activities can be more effective. With some thought, employers can engage with their potential managers/leaders in very creative ways. Moreover, not only recruiters, but also line managers and company leaders should also engage and stay in touch with potential talents and internal staff.
3. Pay attention to your employees rather than the outside talent
Your present staff are the ones who perceive your EVP. They experienced the working climate, they measure whether the mentioned EVP and company credos are reflected in working reality, or whether they are simply lip service. Our staff are the people who could share the real situation with potential staff. In other words, our staff are our ‘employer branding’ ambassador.
For that reason, management or HR should put great attention on internal staff and communicate the EVP to them, ensuring it is correctly implemented. If there is a gap between the described EVP and reality, management needs to convince the staff that company is working on improvement and closing the gap.
Sharing the story of successful, loyal and happy staff or management members will clearly bring more attraction to potential talents outside. Today, the most important message to put out there is about ‘personal experience’ – potential staff want to learn from the existing employees of the company they apply to, and they love to see some real stories.
4. Utilise Present Technologies
Technology is enabling more mass communication and a higher level of engagement towards talent. It might start with auto-reply email for incoming CV but it can also mean much more complex technology use.
Popular social media platform such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can help create a two-way communication between employers and their talent – everyone can reach out each other instantly. Glassdoor can offer comprehensive employer branding and also direct hire activities.
Employers might also look to utilise the latest mass communication applications such as mailchimp or hootsuite to deliver important messages to large numbers of people and engage with their targeted talents, touching thousands of people by just clicking one button. More and more applications in the future will enable multiple ways communication among employers, internal staff and potential talents.
In the future, Artificial Intelligence, and automated processes might enable companies to reach even more talents with less human intervention.
5. Ensure all recruitment processes are well done
Every recruitment step taken by a candidate demonstrates the reality of a company and contributes to the company’s image. Companies should ask if they reply to every applicants’ email or CV? Do they give sufficient feedback to candidates who have completed interviews within their company? Do they negotiate with their talent properly, ethically and professionally? Sending ridiculous salary offers might damage an employer’s branding, indeed each step of the recruitment process can give a positive or negative perception about the company. Companies should create proper recruitment business processes and treat all candidates properly if they want to ensure great employer branding at all times. It is too important to put at risk.
Many more things to improve employer branding, do you have other thoughts and ideas? If so, do get in touch with us though firstname.lastname@example.org