Every business has a reputation, encompassing perceptions about its products, services, leaders, team members, and history. However, a company’s reputation goes beyond these aspects to evoke a specific perception in the minds of its customers and clients, which can be emotional, instinctive, or intellectual. This reputation is known as the brand, which is a powerful force that goes beyond what the company sells or offers.
Your premium brand had better be delivering something special, or it’s not going to get the business.”
- Warren Buffett
Apart from the primary brand, a company has a second brand, which is its employer brand. This brand lives and breathes in the minds and hearts of its former, current, and prospective employees. In the present job market, having a positive employer brand is crucial, as it helps in hiring and retaining the best employees.
To create a strong employer brand, a company needs to tell a good story about its culture, treatment of employees, and opportunities for growth. However, it is equally important to live out this story to ensure that employees are satisfied and serve as advocates for the company. Companies can make simple yet effective changes to improve their employer branding strategies, which can give them a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining top talent.
The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.”
What Exactly is an Employer Brand?
An employer brand is the market’s perception of a company as an employer, which is shaped by its employee value proposition. Similar to a corporate brand, an employer brand offers a unique value proposition to desired job seekers, showcasing the company’s cultural differentiators and positioning it as a top place to work. The essence of an employer brand is defined by the company’s unique attributes and values, which should be aligned with the people it aims to attract.
Employer branding is crucial in attracting and retaining the best talent, as it communicates that the organization is a good employer and a great place to work. An effective employer brand will create a buzz around the company, which will attract motivated job seekers and create a team of satisfied employees. This positive experience will then be broadcasted to other open talent, clients, customers, and stakeholders, further expanding the reach of the employer brand.
Who Does Employer Branding?
The responsibility for employer branding can vary across organizations. In smaller companies, the CEO or talent/HR leads may control the messaging, while larger businesses may involve their HR, communications, or marketing departments. However, regardless of who owns the task of employer branding, the experiences of your employees ultimately shape your company’s reputation.
Your employer brand is no longer limited to what your company website says. Your current, former, and prospective employees can impact your reputation through social media posts, job reviews, testimonials, network conversations, and referrals. While positive employee experiences can work to your advantage, a negative experience can work against you, even if your brand messaging suggests otherwise.
It’s important to remember that your employees are the ones doing most of the branding work for you, regardless of who is responsible for developing and growing the employer brand. Therefore, creating a healthy work environment and culture should be a top priority for organizations. If you already have a positive company culture, then you can focus on amplifying it to further strengthen your employer brand.
“If you really want to dominate the competition and make big bucks, you’ve got to be the best. Do that, be that, and no one will be able to touch you. With one exception. Someone with less passion and talent and poorer content can totally beat you if they’re willing to work longer and harder than you are. Hustle is it.”
- Gary Vaynerchuk
What are the Ways of Doing Sound Branding for the Company?
Employer branding is a 6-step process and takes time to master and get effective results. Some ways of doing it are:
#1 Gain Familiarity with the Company:
The first step in developing a strong employer brand is to become familiar with your company. This means taking the time to understand your organization’s core business, vision, mission, values, and culture. It’s also important to have a clear understanding of your company’s objectives and what kind of talent is needed to achieve those objectives.
By gaining this knowledge, you’ll be better equipped to develop an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) that accurately reflects your company’s unique attributes.
#2: Perform an Audit Process:
It’s important to gain a comprehensive understanding of how your company is perceived by the market and its employees to improve your employer branding efforts. While you may already have a good understanding of your product or service in the marketplace, you need to take the time to research your company’s reputation both internally and externally.
This can be done through surveys of current and prospective employees, internet and social media searches, or by enlisting the help of a reputation monitoring firm. By conducting this research, you’ll be able to identify areas where your company is excelling and areas that require improvement, particularly in the talent acquisition process, which will help you to enhance your employer brand.
#3 Define an EVP (Employer Value Proposition):
This is the stage where you can craft a compelling and resonant EVP that effectively conveys your corporate brand’s values while highlighting what sets your company apart as an employer. The goal is to create a message that not only aligns with your customer brand but also speaks directly to potential and current employees, motivating them to engage with and stay loyal to your organization.
#4 Employ Recruitment Marketing:
If you want to create a powerful EVP or employer brand messaging, you may want to tap into the creative abilities of the writers in your marketing or communications team. Alternatively, you can choose to hire an outside agency for this type of branding work.
To create a brand that resonates with your target audience, you can leverage marketing strategies such as identifying your target audience and their desires before beginning any branding initiatives. By doing this, you can create an employer brand that directly speaks to your ideal audience.
#5 Engage the Current Employees:
Your current employees are an invaluable resource when it comes to building a trusted employer brand. They are the ones who shape your company culture, live your values, and achieve your objectives, making their participation in your employer brand essential. To increase employee engagement with your brand, there are several strategies you can employ:
Craft a clear and compelling message that reflects your company’s values and the experience of working for your organization. Use this language in HR or recruiting meetings, as well as on career pages, recruiting sites, social media accounts, and other channels where your employer brand can be promoted.
“Being authentic, and being perceived as such by your audience, relies on your ability to ensure that every decision you make when it comes to your business is rooted in being true to yourself.”
- Gary Vaynerchuk
Encourage your employees to update their online profiles and showcase their expertise and personalities. By doing so, they can become subject-matter experts or mentors, participate in panels, and promote your company’s positive attributes.
Turn your employees into a social recruiting force by asking them to post honest and favorable reviews of your company on job listing sites, share company news and updates, and spread the word about job opportunities to their personal networks.
Ensure a smooth onboarding process for new hires, providing them with the tools, introductions, and orientations they need to hit the ground running.
Offer skills training and advancement opportunities to encourage personal growth and professional development, and promote from within to save on recruiting costs and inspire employee commitment.
#6 Write Chic Job Descriptions
Crafting job descriptions is a crucial opportunity to showcase your employer brand and attract top talent. When writing job posts, it’s important to infuse your company’s personality and values into the language you use. Rather than using generic phrases like “excellent communication skills,” try to use language that embodies your company culture and resonates with your target candidates.
For example, you could say, “We’re looking for someone who isn’t afraid to pick up the phone and make things happen. If you love making connections and building relationships, we want to hear from you!” Additionally, use relevant keywords in your job descriptions to improve your search engine rankings and attract the right candidates.
What are the Ways to Improve Employer Branding?
Enhancing your employer brand is essential for attracting top-quality candidates to your organization, and it requires a collaborative effort from your CEO, leadership team, marketing department, and recruiters. Regardless of the size of your company or your budget, you can employ various strategies to develop a marketer’s mindset and create deep, meaningful relationships with your staff, thereby elevating your employer brand.
- Emphasize meaningful work
Rather than focusing solely on compensation, your employer value proposition should highlight how a role offers personal fulfillment or contributes to a greater good. This approach is particularly effective in attracting younger candidates. By crafting a unique, compelling EVP that aligns with what motivates people to join your team, you can attract the right candidates who share your values.
- Establish a company blog
Creating content can be a powerful tool in a recruiter’s arsenal. A company blog can help job seekers learn more about your organization on a personal level. You can use the platform to share company news, provide culture updates, and showcase articles authored by employees or executives. Use a conversational tone to convey your organization’s unique people policies, processes, and programs, all of which reflect your commitment to employee satisfaction.
- Incorporate rich media
Using visually engaging media such as high-quality videos, photos, and slideshows can help tell your organization’s story, celebrate diversity among your employees, and showcase your workspaces. A video welcome message from your CEO or hiring manager, or an interview with a staff member about their experiences working for your organization can help break the ice and create a human connection.
- Foster diversity and inclusivity in your hiring practices
Your hiring practices can send a powerful message about your brand. Hiring unique thinkers from diverse backgrounds demonstrates your commitment to equal opportunity, while also expanding your brand’s reach to new customer and employer groups. This is a sound business move that can help you build a powerful employer brand.
It’s evident that the way you portray your company as an employer has a significant influence on how you are perceived and the decisions that potential candidates make. Being purposeful about your communication and online image is key to building a successful employer branding and recruitment marketing approach, which plays a crucial role in driving your business’s growth and success over the long term.
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