The recruitment environment is currently highly competitive and in most industries, there are more job offers than quality candidates. It is therefore not surprising that the strategy of finding the ideal employee often resembles the strategy of finding customers. In both cases, the most important point is to build your brand. If you are trying to build an attractive employer brand, be sure not to miss this article. You’ll learn why employer brand is important and 5 ways how to improve it.
What is an employer’s brand?
The goal of employer branding is to attract and retain quality employees. It may sound simple, but it’s not just about a well-written ad and attractive benefits. It mainly depends on your reputation in the labour market – what former, current and potential employees and the general public think and say about you. So it depends on your employer brand.
Why would you want to build a successful employer brand?
Every candidate has access to an incredible amount of information about job vacancies and also about the companies that offer these jobs. They devote a lot of time into finding out which positions and which companies are the most attractive for them and checking what benefits the employer offers to employees. The candidate checks the company’s reputation before responding to the advertisement, and can reject a company with a bad reputation, even if they offer a higher financial reward.
A strong brand building strategy is therefore one of the decisive factors that will help you attract ideal candidates.
Employer branding is not HR marketing
Most companies already use human resources (HR) marketing. But only a few of them have long been dedicated to building a good reputation in the labour market. HR marketing is used in human resources – these are all tactics the company uses to communicate with employees. The company introduces itself to its candidates as an employer (advertisements, career sites, participation in trade fairs, recruitment campaigns and more). HR marketing helps, for example, when writing a job advertisement. Ideally, it should be a strategy based on building the employer’s brand.
But the employer’s brand requires a more comprehensive approach. It should be part of the strategic management of the company and focus on creating long-term relationships. It captures the company’s philosophy – why it exists, what it wants to achieve, what corporate culture it has, what it offers to employees. It offers its future, current and past employees the opportunity to identify with the company.
5 steps to help you build a great employer brand
1. Analyze the current state of corporate culture
For candidates to see your company as a great place to work, it actually has to be a great place to work. So the biggest piece of work is waiting for you on the inside. It’s not enough just to embellish the recruitment landing page and promise as many benefits as possible in the advertisement. In the Internet world, a potential employee quickly learns that all that glitters is not gold.
The best way to assess the current state of corporate culture is to talk directly to your employees. Try face-to-face meetings or anonymous questionnaires to find out what people like about their workplace and the company and what they would like to improve:
- Are they satisfied with their salary and company benefits?
- What is their relationship with management?
- Do they have a clear idea of their career path?
- What do they like most about work?
- What would they like to improve?
- Are they happy with their team?
All of these and other questions will help you identify the weaknesses you need to work on, as well as the strengths you can present as part of employer branding. Listening to your employees pays off.
Tip: The SWOT method, which examines the strengths and weaknesses of a company, can help you with the analysis.
2. Define which employees you want to attract
In order for employer brand building to be effective, it is important to define and understand the persona of your ideal candidate. Based on the characteristics of current employees, answer the following questions:
- What is important for them in their careers? Is it salary, job flexibility, corporate culture, work environment or something else?
- Where are they looking for vacancies?
- What employer information is relevant to them?
- Are they actively looking for a job or are you waiting for you to contact them?
The answers will help you personalize the recruitment content for the ideal candidates. For example, if your ideal candidate values working closely with colleagues, you can make a video or create a blog post that explains the value of working together in the workplace.
Tip: To fully understand your potential employees, create customer personas for them.
3. Create a content strategy
In the previous point, you ensured that the content you build resonates with your ideal candidates. To be as memorable as possible, use storytelling. Capture them on an emotional level. It will be a personal element that sets you apart from similar companies looking for the same candidates as you.
Write about the journey of your brand, company and individual employees. Thanks to this, everyone will see you as real human beings, not just as a lot of empty words without a face. Don’t be afraid to emphasize the company’s values, even if it seems like a cliché. The employee wants to work for a company that they agree with and that reflects their own values.
Tip: Writing compelling texts is a discipline in itself. Read more about on copywriting.
4. Don’t forget your current employees
Employees who feel good at work and feel properly rewarded will only promote your brand and company in a good light. For you, this means increased brand confidence and more attractiveness for job seekers. Employee initiative is the most effective in building a brand. Reward the efforts of your employees and they will become the most valuable ambassadors of your brand.
You can use the content created with employees on social networks, on recruitment sites or at job fairs. There are no limits. For content of this type, you can use, for example:
- “A day in the life”, which displays stories about the work of specific employees and their work environment.
- Stories like “Why I applied for the job” including why they decided to stay in the company.
- Reasons why employees like the job or organization the most and what they value.
Tip: Social networks are a great place to promote your brand. There are no limits to creativity. We have tips on how to increase your reach on social media.
5. Check if you are successful in your endeavor
Improving a brand is an ongoing and long-term process, but there are ways you can measure or control its success. Just follow the right metrics:
- Check your company’s ratings on review servers like Glassdoor. More and more candidates are checking these types of websites to find out as much as they can about you as an employer. Keep track of your ratings over time to see if there are any comments that could indicate a major issue within your corporate culture.
- Employee turnover is also an important indicator. On the one hand, it is variable and unpredictable, but on the other hand, it can be a key indicator of the quality of your employer brand.
- Pay attention to the channels employees come to you from. This will let you know where to focus your energy.
- Focus on long-term employee satisfaction. We have already mentioned how to ideally assess the state of corporate culture.
What will thwart your efforts?
Building a good brand is always a long-term process, especially when you are just getting started. And every mistake can prolong that journey. Don’t force anything. Don’t try to look good just for advertising, while the reality is totally different. Respect cannot be demanded and it is useless to try to do so when building a brand.
Respect your candidates. Candidates have no obligations to you, and if you don’t treat them with respect, nothing will prevent them from speaking negatively about you. What image of behavior towards employees do you create when you don’t even treat your candidates with respect?
How to destroy your brand easily and quickly? One example – Amazon. As a corporate brand, it is the most profitable retailer in the world, breaking all sorts of records. But their employer brand lags far behind. Complaints about a stressful environment and less than stellar treatment resulted in an article in the New York Times.
Let the ideal candidates know about you
It is no longer enough to just publish job offers and hope that the right candidates will read them. You have to prove that you are a great employer, and most importantly – be honest. Don’t try to make your company look like a great place to work. Actually make it a great place to work. If you need a helping hand in building your employer brand, do not hesitate to contact us. We will help you with writing texts, sending company emails, publishing advertisements or, for example, creating branded graphics.