What is Employer Brand?

Employer brand refers to a company’s reputation as a workplace. It is manifested in how past, current, and future employees perceive an organization’s work environment.

The employer brand of your company consists of the image and values it stands for and, consequently, dictates how people and potential new employees view it. Essentially, it mirrors your organization’s work environment.

ADVANTAGES OF EMPLOYER BRANDING

light bulb as symbol for employer branding

Whether a company actively cultivates it or not, there will always be an employer brand tied to it, either negative, positive, or neutral. According to a study by Glassdoor, 95% of Jobseekers consider a company’s reputation as an employer as a key factor in whether they would apply for a job there or not. So, investing time and resources into building a positive employer brand is never a bad idea. Here are some of the advantages:

  • First and foremost, strategically well-thought-out employer branding enables a high level of employer attractiveness.
  • Employer branding enables efficient recruiting. When the employer’s image and values are clearly defined, more specific job advertisements can be written. The most suitable employees usually apply for a clearly defined employer profile. A higher cultural fit means that employees are more likely to identify with the company, which leads to a lower fluctuation rate and employee retention.
  • Consequently, a positive employer brand also drastically reduces the time and resources spent on employer recruitment. According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, a company with a bad employer reputation must offer a minimum of a 10% pay increase.
  • Internal employer branding aims to bind already existing employees to your company in the long term. It increases loyalty and maximizes motivation as well as efficient work.

Shaping your Employer Brand

If you choose to get serious about building your employer brand, it can be challenging to pinpoint where to start. While you may have strategic plans to work on your reputation, there are other factors at play that cannot be controlled. Positive as well as negative evaluations can circulate on the internet and during private conversations. For example, candidates that did not get an answer to a job interview may speak negatively about your company. However, employees who are or were happy with the work-experience might mention it to friends and acquaintances. With these factors in mind, you can work on building your company’s image.

Gather information

Before working on the employer brand, you first need to establish what people think about the current atmosphere. The goal is to find out how current employees and possible new candidates perceive your company.

A good start is to rethink your website, social media posts and messages, past onboarding methods as well as job announcements. Inquire the reasons why someone might have accepted or rejected your job offer, why employees stay at your company for an extended amount of time, or why they may leave early on. This information will help you in establishing what the current impression of your company is like. Consider the following questions:

  • What do new employees think about the company?
  • How do long-time employees enjoy their job, their managers, etc.?
  • Which opinions do employees that left have about the company?
  • What do applicants think about the company and the recruiting process?

Through these inquire, you can gain a great deal of knowledge and establish the basis for improvement measures, which subsequently polish up your image as an employer.

Streamline the application process

Applicants do not want to spend hours on end on creating the application for a job offer. According to a study by SHRM, 60% of people quit in the middle of filling out lengthy and complex job applications. Some considerable time and resources will be put into the process of hiring someone new, so applicants should not be lost right at the beginning of the application process.

Not only does your company lose the high-quality talents it seeks, but it also damages the employer brand. Even though many companies believe the opposite, a high percentage of top talents have plenty of opportunities on the job market and do not waste their time on overly time-consuming application forms.

Make sure your values are reflected on your social media platforms as well. First off, a high number of participants search for jobs via social media in the first place. Additionally, interested applicants can get a more personal and interactional insight into the company and relevant conversations regarding it. If a brand is actively trying to reach prospective employees with their content, they should make sure that someone from the team is maintaining it, ensuring availability and engagement.

No matter how, why, and where your company distributes content, the employer brand should always be reflected in it. Especially when intended for the eyes of potential new employees, your company should focus on using consumer-friendly language. Top talent is searching for new jobs the way they would for a service, so the content on your page is influencing their opinion.

EMPLOYER BRANDING STRATEGY – AN ESSENTIAL?

Jobseekers have more options than ever when looking for a new employer, so standing out with a positive employer brand is essential to secure the top talents. The most important aspect is how the employer treats those associated with the company, especially the employees. Due to its great importance, many companies invest in developing an employer branding strategy. Possible measures could include:

  • When looking for new hires, it is recommended to create a non-intimidating and inclusive hiring process. People should feel like their background, gender or ethnicity do not diminish their chances of getting the job. In an application process, it should go far beyond an acceptance or rejection. Your company’s appearance to applicants is valuable and should be remembered positively – despite the rejection.
  • For already existing as well as potential new employees, it is important to value their time and effort. You should make sure that your company’s image portrayed during the hiring process also translate into everyday work.
  • In terms of company policy, you should establish rules everyone involved feels comfortable with. It is important for employees to feel safe, valued and fairly treated. They should also be assisted and encouraged in achieving a healthy work-life-balance. This can be achieved by offering benefits and compensations.
  • Help employees grow! The feeling of being stagnant and not advancing in their personal and professional career can dampen motivation and the sympathy towards your company. Install plans that helps and enables employees to foster their skills and grow within your company.

PROMOTE YOUR COMPANY’S IMAGE

When an employer branding strategy is in place, a company should evaluate which channels are most vital in promoting it.

A good place to start is the job page, where potential new employees often get the first impression of your company. Therefore, job descriptions should reflect the values and intentions that co-align with what your company stands for.

There is a plethora of platforms ranking companies as employers out there, and almost every jobseeker does a little google of the company he thinks about applying to first. You cannot control the reviews written about your company, but you can control how you reply to them, positive as well as negative. These responses are a great place to portray yourself as an employer who cares and values the opinions of current and past employees.

The career site shares stories from employees, showcases the culture, and tells the story of your company. They offer a glimpse into what the work environment looks like and serves as a business card for those unfamiliar with the company.

The site should be functional and clean so interested candidates do not get overwhelmed with information. Be sure to not fall back on corporate keywords and business jargon. Communication is key, so let the words you choose mirror the work experience potential candidates may encounter at your company and communicate in an approachable fashion.

WHO SHOULD BUILD THE EMPLOYER BRAND?

If and how a company chooses to express and build their employer brand is an individual decision. If there is a Human Resources Department, it could make sense for them to work on the matter, since they are the most obvious contact for issues concerning employees.

However, it is also vital that business owners and CEOs are concrete about the values they reinforce to establish a culture. The way management trains and treats employees plays a big part in whether your employer brand is perceived as positive or negative.

It also comes down to how the marketing department then communicates these values in social media, website and via events. Prospective new employees do not have insight into how your company works, so building an employer brand for outside watchers is just as important as for already existing employees. At the end of the day, every part of the company must represent the same consistent values and images.

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