If you keep up with market trends, you might already know employer branding is one of the hottest trends of 2022. Employer brands have always existed, but with the rise of social media, they are much more amplified.
Nowadays, job seekers aren’t just looking for a paycheck with some health benefits thrown in. Instead, they look for companies that share their values and beliefs. People want to work for organizations they strongly believe in regardless of pay.
Every company has an employer brand, whether you purposely manage it or not.
Having a strong and positive employer brand will give you an edge over your competition and stand out in today’s tough market.
What is an employer brand?
An employer brand refers to how prospective candidates and past and current employees perceive a company as an employer. While employer brands are conceptual, they are a company asset and require ongoing maintenance and cultivation.
8 strategies for improving your employer brand:
- Understand your current employer brand
- Create candidate personas
- Research competitors
- Invest in company culture
- Have a strong candidate experience
- Be authentic and transparent
- Utilize social media to build your brand
- Get feedback
Understand your current employer brand
Before improving your employer brand, you need to know what you’re working with.
Assess which tactics are currently working and which ones you need to ditch. Are there any major areas that need to be prioritized? You can do this by checking current and former employee reviews through sites like Glassdoor or Indeed. Another method is to track key performance metrics (KPI) such as retention rates, application rates, source of hire and employee satisfaction.
Create candidate personas
If you don’t know what you are looking for, how will you ever find it? For every job vacancy, try creating a candidate persona. During the recruitment phase, candidate personas will identify what makes a top candidate for your organization. These personas should include qualifications, skill set, geographics, demographics and psychographics. Once you know who you are trying to target, you can determine the best approaches for building your employer brand.
If you want to beat your competition, it would be wise to research to find their areas of strength and weakness. The best way to do this is to think like a job seeker. Check out their socials and see what kind of posts are getting high levels of engagement or op onto Glassdoor to take a look at their employee reviews.
Invest in company culture
If you have a poor or weak company culture, it will reflect in your employer branding. Already having a strong culture will make it easier to manage your employees’ wellbeing and, by extension, your employer brand.
Always strive to do better. You might think your company culture is just fine as it is, but there’s always room to improve. Try out some new strategies you never know what might just stick.
Have a strong candidate experience
Offering a positive candidate experience can do wonders for your employer brand. The candidate experience encompasses every facet of the hiring and job searching process, from researching companies all the way to onboarding and training. Even if you cut a candidate, if they had a good experience, they’ll have good things to say about you. Enhancing your candidate experience can be pretty easy and cost you nothing.
A good start is simply respecting all candidates, even those who don’t make the cut. Some candidates might not be ready for the position, but that doesn’t mean they won’t ever be ready. Who knows, that candidate might be just what you need in the future, so don’t go burning any bridges.
Don’t let your candidates feel like they are sending their applications into the void. Sending acknowledgment emails to ALL applicants is a quick and easy way to make a good impression.
Be authentic and transparent
Candidates can sniff out when a company is being disingenuous. They aren’t afraid to call you out either. To avoid a virtual charivari, your best bet is to embrace transparency. Be sure to emphasize your best qualities but in a way that is authentic to your company. If corporate social responsibility isn’t your strong suit, no biggie (though you should probably work on that), but don’t act like it is.
Don’t be afraid of employees sharing their work experiences. It should be encouraged. Employees sharing their positive experiences, whether online or offline, boosts your employer brand. People are skeptical about businesses, particularly huge corporations, but seeing organic employee testimonies can score you major brownie points.
Utilize social media to build your brand
Social media and the internet, in general, have become so mainstream that you’d be crazy not to use them. Social media is a powerful tool connecting you to candidates from the palm of your hand.
Wanting to increase your transparency? Social media has your back. Build your brand by live-tweeting company events or highlighting team members on Instagram. Utilizing online platforms can help job seekers further understand company culture and visualize what it might be like to work for you.
If you are putting in the work to overhaul your employer brand, you should at least know if your efforts have been worth it. As you put your plan into action, continuously track the results and adjust your plan as needed.
Some key metrics to focus on are:
Social engagement – Social media will most likely be a big part of your branding. Measure your engagement through follower counts, comments, likes, earned and paid impressions, shares, etc. If you notice increased engagement, you earned yourself a pat on the back!
Employee referrals – Your current employees know best. If they’re excited about the company and its mission, they’ll spread the word. As traditional as it may seem, word-of-mouth is highly effective at attracting applicants.
Quality of hire – Sometimes, employees quit. It’s just a fact of life. But if employees are leaving after a month or so, something’s up. Monitoring the duration of new hires’ employment can indicate if your employer brand aligns with your work culture and environment.
Cost-per-hire – A sign of a good branding strategy is a low-cost-per-hire. If people like what they see, time spent sourcing and moving candidates through the hiring process should decline and, as a result, cost less. On the flip-side, if your cost-per-hire is high, take that as a sign you still have some work ahead of you.
Improving your employer brand can be a gradual process. If you don’t see the results straight away, try not to get discouraged. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different methods, and remember it’s all about trial and error. Maintaining your employer brand is a never-ending process but comes with great benefits.
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