How to Develop a Successful Employer Brand
Nearly 60 percent of respondents in a recent survey state they will be investing more in their employer brand compared to last year. Employer branding enables organizations to communicate with current and potential employees about why they’re the place they want to work. It’s about convincing candidates what your organization has to offer is better than what they have now or than what the competition is offering, says John Fleischauer, Talent Attraction Manager at Halogen Software. “For top candidates, choosing which job opportunity to pursue is not just about the job itself. It’s about clearly articulating how they can contribute to the organization and what they get in return.”
Research shows that a tainted reputation can cost an organization at least 10 percent more per hire. For example, a company with 10,000 employees could be spending as much as $7.6 million in additional wages to make up for a poor reputation. So it’s critical for organizations to recognize that there’s a strong parallel between a strong employer brand and a successful recruiting and hiring strategy.
To attract, hire and retain top talent today, here are four key practices employers should consider:
Defining Your Brand and a Uniform Message
When defining your employer brand, you want to create a standout brand by switching your focus from what the market wants to what your ideal candidate needs. “Recruiting and marketing are two sides of the branding coin,” says Liz D’Aloia, founder of HR Virtuoso. “Employers are usually adept at branding toward consumers, but candidates are often an afterthought.”
However, while consumer and employer branding each solicit distinctive behaviors, both require a well-articulated, uniform message. “Branding begins with developing a logo and consistent message that you can promote across your communication,” says Simon Slade, CEO and Co-founder of SaleHoo. You must be able to summarize your company goal(s) and mission in a few words and support that in all your marketing efforts.
Including Social Media and Marketing
This is a great opportunity to promote your organization’s key selling points. Are you big on innovation? Workplace flexibility? Fostering leadership? Use your company website, blog, social media and career page to convey that message to potential candidates.
Marketing plays an important role in shaping the employer brand. Today, 47 percent of talent leaders say they share or contribute to employer branding with marketing. “Because social media has intertwined company reputation with the customer experience, consumer-facing communications are increasingly important in shaping the employer brand,” says Richard Mosley, VP of Strategy and Advisory at Universum. Many organizations now highlight the quality and dedication of their employees in their consumer marketing, which naturally affects how others view them as potential employers. The strength of the employer brand can have a significant impact on the quality, pride and engagement levels of those employees involved in delivering a positive brand experience.
The foundation of a strong employer brand begins at the top. If an organization wants to attract top talent, its executives must be involved with the overall branding strategy, says career and workplace expert Heather R. Huhman. Instead of making employer branding the sole responsibility of HR, it’s imperative to get the CEO’s and other executives’ buy-in to humanize the organization and attract the right candidates. In fact, a Universum study reveals that 60 percent of CEOs feel they own employer branding, and just 32 percent of CEOs feel the role is owned by HR. At the end of the day, it’s a collaborative effort. Executive leaders, marketing and human resources must work together to form a strong, cohesive message that resonates with both current and future employees alike.
Creating a Compelling Workplace Culture
Your best brand ambassadors are your current employees. Not only do they live and breathe the workplace culture on a daily basis, they’re the authentic voice that spreads the word about what it’s truly like to work for your organization—good or bad, says Doug Claffey, CEO of Workplace Dynamics. In addition to rewarding your top performers and offering attractive perks, employers must also foster a real sense of community and connection across all departments. The more you create a positive culture, the more your employees and candidates will see how great it is to work not only for you, but with you.
What successes have you achieved through your branding strategy? Please share your story; we’d love to hear from you!