Once upon a time, ‘employer branding’ was not much more than a buzzword. But companies today understand that to stay competitive and get the best talent on the market, coming up with a compelling employer brand is key. The reason for this is the rapidly changing workforce. The rise of the gig economy; putting talent ahead of length of employment; and the focus on quickly wracking up diverse career experiences are trends that are fuelling the growth of a global job market.
As a result, it’s harder to attract and retain today’s top talent. This is were employer branding comes in to play. Close to 72% of recruiting leaders around the world agree that employer brand has a significant impact on hiring and business success. What makes employer branding especially important is that it makes it possible for a company to clearly answer the key question: Why should a candidate choose your company over another?
Identity Crisis? Why You Need to Get Clear on Your Company Values
To do employer branding right is simple, but not easy. It starts with distinguishing your business from competitors. By defining and communicating your company’s values to potential employees, your company’s unique identity will become apparent.
But company values are much more than feel good slogans. “Work hard. Play hard.” is a popular corporate catchphrase. But is it a value? No. Values are the core principles and beliefs that make companies run smoothly. A set of specific values are a competitive advantage and an important recruiting and retention tool. It’s so easy to research companies today. And job seekers are taking full advantage of the Internet by doing their homework on the identities of companies. Potential employers that don’t hold values that job seekers think are important will simply be passed over.
Win the Talent War: How to Brand With the Best of Them
Truth is, a company’s capabilities, processes, and technologies are easy to duplicate. Today, it’s a company’s people and culture that are the winning edge in the ongoing recruitment and retainment wars. Below, are some proven ways that forward-thinking companies have improved their approach to employer branding.
- Not Just An HR Thing: Effective employer branding strategy starts when a candidate is interviewed and continues right on through hiring, long-term engagement, and retention. Such consistency is based on collaboration across the entire company. A prospective employee must be convinced that employer branding is not just an HR tool, or marketing gimmick. Instead, a company must show that it’s serious about branding, by integrating it into all departments and making it a top priority for all decision makers.
- What’s In a Name? An interesting branding strategy is to give companies human names to make them seem more approachable. This is a newer trend that’s set to grow quickly, with the rise of artificial intelligence. Names work best when they’re connected to a great story. Tesla is a famous example. The company’s named after the inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, and physicist Nikola Tesla. As such, the connection between the name and the company is authentic.
- Don’t Be Shy! Showcase Your Company: This employer branding idea shines a spotlight on employees and the work they do. Having a ‘meet our people’ page on your company website is an effective way to bring out your people’s individual personalities. You can also use visual content to show potential employees what it’s like to work for your company. If done right, showcasing your company will get suitable candidates excited about a new job. Also, giving a sneak peak into your company will discourage those people with very different values from engaging.
- Let Feedback Reign: Potential employees are likely to react skeptically to any message about a company that comes directly from that company. We work in what some people call a ‘referral economy’, where job seekers want unbiased sources to help them make a decision about their next career move. Employer branding becomes much more effective when companies embrace platforms like Glassdoor. Employers that give prospective employees a true insider view by encouraging current employees to anonymously post reviews and salaries on such job sites will strengthen the company brand.
Take the Time, Reap the Rewards of Branding
Yes, employer branding initiatives take time to develop and put into practice. But the practical benefits of a strong employer brand make it not only worth pursuing but crucial to a company’s success.
For one thing, a company that communicates a compelling set of values can actually save money. How? By attracting and keeping people who are willing to earn a bit less in order to work in a place where they feel connected to people who share the same values. Another way that a company can benefit from a solid gold reputation is that it can cut recruitment advertising costs.
But there’s something even bigger than the bottom line that employer branding can improve. Companies that show their human side tend to attract and keep people who have the perfect combination of skills, experience, and values to not only fill a vacancy, but to be happy while doing it.
And a happy, engaged person is a more productive employee.