Wouldn’t life be easier if you were a talent magnet? Imagine not worrying about attracting qualified candidates to your roles! This is what a solid employer brand aims to deliver. Your employer brand sets the perception of your organisation and what it’s like to work with you.
Here are a few reasons why it’s important, and how you can start amplifying your brand to lure more of the right people.
Why a Strong Employer Brand Rocks
Life is short. People just want to know what they’re signing up for before committing themselves to you. A solid employer brand provides an honest insight into the organisational culture, realistic job previews and career progression.
As a result?
You’ll attract more qualified candidates
Better qualified as in, a better values- and role-fit because candidates are informed, they know what to expect, and they know they want to work with you.
You can expect higher acceptance rates
Candidates are more likely to accept job offers when they feel informed about their new employer and role and have had a satisfying application experience.
Consider that, as most job ads are generic, and candidate emails are automated and lacking meaningful detail, candidates don’t learn the important bits about your role, team and workplace culture until the interview stage. And, how many great candidates have you screened out because they weren’t adequately informed to position themselves better?). When a ‘suitable candidate’ finally learns who you really are and realises you or the opportunity aren’t aligned with their values and needs, they tend to decline or renege. Educate them early.
You can expect better employee engagement (and retention!)
Do expectations live up to reality? Does your brand over-promise and underdeliver? Sixty-seven per cent of employers believe retention rates would be higher if candidates had a picture of what to expect about working at the company before taking the job (Source: Harris Interactive Survey for Glassdoor, 2014).
Where To Start?
A strong employer brand relies on a strong employer values proposition (EVP). Before you do anything, at least know what makes you special and why people want to work with you. Your EVP then helps define your brand tone of voice (the way you’ll write and talk) and the key messages that will consistently communicate your why.
Here are five areas to focus on to help amplify your employer brand:
1. Your career site
Career websites source the highest percentage of hires (29%), so you want to make sure yours is working for you! A career site should look good, sound good, work good, and give potential candidates all the information they need to make an informed decision about applying.
- How are visitors using your site?
- Is it a pleasant user experience (consistent on desktop and mobile)?
- Is it on-brand?
- Is there quality content – photos of real employees, video interviews and career stories, helpful blog articles and application advice?
- Does it invite visitors to connect with you, via social media, email newsletters, or your online talent community?
Your career site could be their first encounter with you. Welcome them in like a helpful shopkeeper and guide them through.
2. Your job ads
It’s tempting to rehash old job ads because it might save time early on – but how much extra time is added on when your generic job ads fail to connect with your ideal candidates and instead attract a spray of ill-suited applications?
- Know your candidates. Appeal to their motivators, values and needs as it applies to your EVP.
- Tighten up the language. Remove the jargon. Show personality – you’re human.
- Share useful information about the role, culture, and career opportunities. What are realistic expectations and how will the applicant benefit from this opportunity? Include career site and social profile links to provide further insights.
- Improve the visual appeal. Make use of white space, headings and video, if possible.
- Make the conversation flow and refrain from overusing bullet points that list Every. Single. Task. associated with the role. Try to craft an emotionally appealing story-like structure instead.
3. Your employees as brand advocates
We live in a world of online reviews and peer recommendations. Family, friends, Facebook strangers, Glassdoor. Your employees are your mouthpiece and brand advocates, so why not make the most of their experiences and invite them to share with your talent community?
- Identify brand ambassadors to share ownership of social channels (graduates are great for this)?
- One week each month, profile different roles within a discipline/career trajectory, e.g. ‘a day in the life of X’?
- Introduce / promote your employee referral program? Often cited as generating the highest ROI on all sourcing methods, employee referrals encourage employees to share positive experiences with their network.
Note: this is intended to be a genuine share and not a manufactured and scripted one. Empower your employees to keep things real, guided by your EVP and key messages.
4. Your recruitment process
Treat your candidates like customers. Positive candidate experience sets the tone for a positive employee experience, whether candidates are successful or not.
- What sort of experience can candidates expect during recruitment?
- Are you highly communicative, inviting candidates on a content rich journey with the use of video, email check-ins, tips and feedback, and automation to ensure a smooth and enjoyable process? Or, are you cold and disengaged?
- Would you treat your customers this same way?
The experience you provide during recruitment helps influence the way candidates will feel about working with you and applying again in future.
5. Your social media
Often underused (perhaps feared), social media is the platform to connect with potential future candidates and employees, personally. Purely a relationship-focused strategy, you can use your socials to show off your employer personality, celebrate your employees, and meaningfully communicate your values, mission and responsibilities.
This is where a pitch-perfect brand voice can shine and help you build a personable and recognisable brand online.
Keen to be an employer of choice?
A strong, authentic employer brand is like a beacon for well-aligned candidates. Not only can it help you attract better quality talent, improve acceptance rates, and boost brand and employee engagement – it can help reduce costs associated with extra training and lower productivity that result from dissatisfied or misplaced new hires.
Informed candidates are highly engaged, well-researched, have the right expectations and apply for jobs thoughtfully.
Have you nailed your employer brand? What’s holding you back?