Employer Branding: What, How and Everything in Between
There is a shift of preference in the sources of reviews for top talents. Employer branding has taken precedence over how candidates prioritize their dream companies. Candidates now prefer Glassdoor reviews and social media sites over Amazon reviews to get the gist of the company.
Employer branding is here to stay for a long time.
Imagine this, you are a highly talented and experienced professional and you know your worth. So, what would be your first step while searching for a new job? Most probably you would end up doing a google search on the best companies to work in 2020, or something like that.
Doesn’t it make sense? With talented millennials entering the workforce, a fat paycheck is not the only criteria you should consider as an employer. They want a great place to work in and the associated brand image should also be high.
In fact, 86% of job seekers would not prefer to work for a company with bad reviews, irrespective of the paycheck.
What is Employer Branding?
In a nutshell, it's about projecting and differentiating the image of your company as desirable to top job seekers.
In a more simplified version, it is the marketing. Not of your product or services, but your company to job seekers and also internal employees.
A positive brand image not only helps you hire top talents in the industry but also helps retain your current employees.
But employers usually make the mistake of correlating employer branding with branding itself, the branding associated with product or services.
Suppose a job seeker asks an employee of a company about the work culture? Will he pitch about the product and services of the brand?
Instead, he would go into the company culture, the work-life balance, company core values, etc. To ensure a strong employer brand, your story should be good.
But it goes far deeper than ordinary storytelling and superficialities. You need to lay in the groundwork. Telling prospect talents or general job seekers that your company is a great place to work because you provide free food isn’t going to drive the point home.
And Stats Don’t Lie, honey!
Employer branding is critical and it is perceived even if you don’t invest any kind of effort in it. And of course, stats have never lied, have they?
According to LinkedIn, good employer brand reduces attrition by 28%.
Candidates applying for a company with a good employer brand are 50% more qualified.
Talent acquisition for a good employer brand becomes 1-2 times faster.
59% of employers see employer branding as a key to their hr department strategy.
55% of employers quantify employer branding as a key area of investment.
75% of job seekers consider the employer brand before even applying for a job.
Some more stats for you here.
See, I told you, employer branding is critical and tackling it or rather improving it should be your top priority.
Employer Branding Strategy
A good employer branding strategy is crucial for your business. It helps you to cut down on hiring cost, reduce attrition and get hands on top talents. The way it works is simple- attract engage and retain.
The first step should be to create a unique yet effective employer branding strategy.
1. Company Culture
There has been countless examples in the corporate world where extraordinary marketing fails.
Take the example of Snuggie( supposedly a inferior and outrageous product), which was backed by ferious marketing. They ended up selling upwards of 20 million blankets in 2009. But this story doesn’t have a happy ending.
People eventually understood that they had a very inferior product soon their sales figures plummeted.
Great marketing can only take you so far. The quality of your products or services must live up to expections.
The point I am trying to make here is before feriously involved in employer branding, you should first develop a superior company culture and an engaged workforce. A strong employer brand is quite meaningless unless you have something substantial to back it up.
You should tick all the boxes when we talk about great company culture.
2. Corporate Brand Values And Mission
This is a good place to start and an effective one too. People are now more aware of regarding how their work is going to affect the general public.
It’s important now more than ever to invest in identifying and developing your company’s mission statement, values, and culture. People want to work in an organization whose brand commands respect and has a positive impact on its surrounding.
It also helps your company understand its business need.
Through this, you can connect the dots looking backwards by identifying the type of talent required. It makes onboarding process that much easier when you are able to identify the suitable talent.
Take the example of Tata Steel’s mission statement, “ We aspire to be the global steel industry benchmark for value creation and corporate citizenship”
A compelling statement like this tells a fascinating story to the job seekers and also employees. They are also selling the idea of the experience of working for a global company and continuous learning.
On top of mission statements, having an active blog post on your domain helps a lot. Your brand gets visibility and also helps to bring in potential clients and customers.
3. Brand Surveys
It is important to have an appropriate idea of how your brand is perceived among the job seekers and also your internal employees.
This is going to give you an approximate idea of the amount of effort you require to put in your employer branding campaign. On top of that, you will be aware of the particular cultures which are appreciated by the people.
The key here is to conduct surveys, both internally and externally.
These surveys can be done on social media sites or directly emailing candidates.
Also, you should be checking out websites like Glassdoor to monitor the reviews.
If the results of the survey or research are not satisfactory you can employ external help in the form of a firm that administers proper brand monitoring.
4. The Career Page
Think about the last time you wanted to change your job to your dream company. What was the first thing that you did?
Of course, you checked out their career section!
So, it is quite obvious that the career page of your website should be seamless and easy to navigate. On top of that your page or rather your webpage should be optimized for mobile users.
94% of the job seekers first check out the job listing on their phone.
50% of job seekers complete their application on mobile.
47% of top talents find it difficult to browse through the website on their mobile phone.
The best time to optimize your website for smartphone was 8 years ago. The next best time is now.
On top of having a great company culture, people want to work for a company which is tech savvy. It makes talent acquisition that much easier. Don’t hesitate to make this long term investment.
5. Employer Value Proposition/ Employee Value Proposition
An extension to the previous point, employer value proposition should be clearly mentioned on your website.
What is an employer value proposition you ask?
EVP( Employer Value Proposition) simply means the benefits and rewards that you shower on your employees.
It's just the answer to the question “ Why should you choose our organization?”
Most companies make the mistake of not displaying their employer value proposition enough in their conversation and follow-ups. Some companies don’t even mention their EVP on their website! This makes talent acquisition that much harder.
6. Clear JD
No, we are not talking about Jack Daniels here!
A clear job description is a must for efficient hiring. Unclear JD often leads to a frustrating onboarding process and increases employee turnover.
Just think about it, all the effort to bring a top talent onboard will go to waste if you end up losing the employee due to an unclear job description.
7. Providing Testimonials And Credibility
Everyone can write about their stellar employer value proposition, their benefits, and perks. But do those mean anything without testimonials and credibility of the statements?
Stories about the employees and their experiences regarding the company culture present your company in a really great light. This helps to portray the message that your company is a great place to work.
8. Application Interface
60% of job seekers quit in the middle of the application process due to the complexity of the form.
Companies think that filling an application form takes less than an hour. 60% of job seekers take more than 3 hours.
See what we are trying to tell here?
These are outrageous stats! Just think about the effort you are trying to get top talents on board, only to lose more than ⅔ of the applicants. That too in the preliminary stage!
The key here is making your application process as simple as possible.
Take Bain and Company for an example. Not only is their career page very attractive, but also their application process, for a very complex role such as consultant is very simple.
But let’s address the elephant in the room!
Won’t dedicated job seekers be motivated enough to go through a taxing application process? A tough application process will weed out the insincere ones.
Actually, that doesn’t reflect the main problem here. The creamy layer of talented applicants have a lot on their plate and checklists. They often have more than one option ready to explore.
The top talents won’t even bother to explore a tough application process.
9. Blog Posts
When Seth Godin said, “Content marketing was all the marketing that was left.”, he was right to a large extent.
Blog Posts acts as a medium of exchanging ideas and educating consumers regarding their area of expertise. It is also becoming an area very crucial for talent acquisition.
Candidates usually view a job as another big financial investment. They want to research it, know the titbits and everything in between.
Having blog posts on your area of expertise makes sure a company a good fit for that domain. It gives the job seekers a sense of pride being associated with the industry expert.
Everything said and done, there is a crucial bit that you should know. That is having a human touch in all the efforts you make.
Anything that comes off as mechanical and forced won’t be effective to your satisfaction.
Personalized follow up mails and onboarding process works wonders in attracting top talents. What are your views on the same?
A complete guide to employee engagement