If you asked people to consider the term “branding”, they’d probably all think more about marketing rather than recruitment and retention of staff.
Things like company logo, brand messaging, and how a company might be perceived by consumers are all valuable tools that a company should develop and devote time to. However, while these things tend to be the main focus of branding, companies are neglecting or simply not even considering the value of employer branding.
The way companies recruit candidates for jobs, and how long they can retain those employees for, has changed. In a large part, these changes have happened due to technology advancement, the reliance on social media, and online career review sites that make it easier for job applicants to find information about employers.
Yet, without a strong employer brand, your company is missing out on top candidates, potentially losing money, and it’s affecting other areas of your business too.
Employer branding is simply a company’s reputation as an employer and the value it brings, or what it offers to its employees. Positive employer branding helps to attract and retain quality employees, who are crucial to the success and growth of the business.
Most often, companies focus solely on the consumer-facing brand, that is how your company is perceived by customers and prospects. Yet, an equal focus must be on the employer brand because it’s the business identity of your company. It’s what makes your company unique or stand out to candidates who are looking for jobs. Yet, it also helps your recruiting team attract and improve the talent pool of applicants as well.
By not working on your employer branding, your company can quickly sabotage the hiring efforts and make it more difficult to hire the best talent. It’s not just an HR issue either – employer branding is an ‘across the board’ mission for everyone in the company. Specifically, though, there are key roles to play for:
This one is a given as they are closely connected to finding candidates, hiring, employee engagement, and retention. Generally, the HR and recruiting groups will have more of the daily interaction and be the “face” of the initiative.
As busy as the CEO might be, they are also imperative to ensuring company culture and employer brand is successful. Talent acquisition has shifted over the years and because it can be more strategic, a company leader should be involved in the conversation.
Keith Beekmeyer, from Newpoint Capital Ltd says: ‘All CEO’s need to be aware nowadays of the importance of employer branding. Our potential recruits, and indeed our existing staff, have access to information at their fingertips via the internet and social media that previous generations simply did not have available to them. We can use that, as CEOs, to our advantage by creating an employer brand that excites and motivates both our current and future staff within our business.’
Employer branding needs some help from the marketing team. They will be valuable in delivering assets HR and recruiting may need, as well as helping to spread the internal culture message.
Brand advocates: These are employees who are identified as people who share company content and already speak positively about your company. You shouldn’t jump into this right away if you are just getting started with employer branding. However, this can also be a great way to amplify your recruiting messages and work culture to attract more people.
The best way to truly understand why having an employer branding strategy matters for your company is to see some real-world stats. Luckily, there are quite a few on the Internet, with a few of the important ones are highlighted below.
- When making a decision on where to apply for a job, 84% of job seekers say the reputation of a company as an employer is important (Source)
- 9 out of 10 candidates would apply for a job when it’s from an employer brand that’s actively maintained (Source)
- 50% of candidates say they wouldn’t work for a company with a bad reputation – even for a pay increase (Source)
From those few stats above, you can start to formulate why an employer branding strategy is valuable for companies to focus on. But for recruiting and talent acquisition, a positive employer brand can give you:
- An increased job pool of qualified candidates, giving your company a lot of options of who to effectively hire for a given position. When you have a company with a solid reputation, genuinely have an interest in employees’ lives, and keep a unique work culture, you’ll have no problem attracting the best people. Instead of spending a lot of time promoting and reaching out to people to apply, you instead can sit back and let the applications pour.
- More money via savings on recruitment. Creating a positive employer brand can save your company money. Instead of having to spend money promoting your open job positions on various sites, employees will be attracted by your brand. Some of those job sites can get pretty pricey and still do not always attract the best people. When you have a company identity that is positive, a simple job page on your site or share to social will have you inundated with talent.
- Improvement on how your company is perceived on social media: 25% of all job seekers use social media as their primary tool for job searching and research (source), and that number is still growing. Additionally, people trust friends, colleagues, and family over other forms of information online. Creating a positive employer brand online encourages people to say positive things about you, and your company becomes one of those with a positive online reputation who never struggle to find staff.
So don’t neglect your brand as an employer. Remember, if you’re not controlling what’s been said about you on social media and the internet, then you’re in danger of others controlling it for you.