09 Aug 2021
Nowadays, searching for prospective employers is as easy as researching online for the latest restaurants. With this reality, it is essential for employers to proactively brand themselves to attract the best talent for their organization. By properly crafting an employer branding strategy, you can influence employees' and job seekers' perceptions.
Employer branding is among the strategies used by HR in an organization to make its brand attractive to potential job candidates. Just like organizations develop communication initiatives and marketing to attract and retain high-quality clients and stakeholders, employer branding uses its strategies and tools to win top talent and maintain it.
Definition of employer branding
Employer branding involves other people's perceptions of your company, its work environment, and the company culture. In short, it is the process of influencing and managing the organization's reputation. Employer branding is the organization's ability to identify its difference from other companies and promote it to candidates who make a suitable fit.
Employer branding and human resource marketing have become among the main topics for debate as many professionals contest them as they can’t tell them apart; they are often used interchangeably. Although there are similarities, there are significant differences between the two. When HR specialists understand their differences, they can build effective strategies at work. Using the two together, you can create a successful campaign, attract the best talent, improve recruitment skills, and achieve significant results.
One of the main differences is that HR Marketing is operational whileemployer brandingis strategic. With HR marketing, you want to reach and impress candidates with a specific message: the employer brand. HR marketing can spark an interest in job applications from qualifiedfuture employees, but you must have effectiveemployer brandingfor them to apply and stick around.
HR marketing is concerned with the initiatives you implement that add up to an effective employer branding strategy. You should, therefore, focus on analyzing target groups and defining your EVP (Employer Value Proposition). Determine the candidates you want to reach, where to contact them and the message to present.
1. Employer branding surrounds the definition, while recruitment is a promotion of the employer brand.
Employer branding entails influencing your company’s reputation, while recruitment concerns promoting your organization’s employer brand.
Employer branding revolves around defining your job seekers’ persona, employer brand, and Employee Value Proposition. On the other hand, recruitment entails promoting your Employer brand by curating engaging and interesting recruiting content to attract job seekers and posting it on channels like job boards, company blog and career sites, job fairs, social media, and talent networking events.
2. Recruitment strategies can evolve, but employer branding remains the same
Retaining targeted audiences of job seekers through new and exciting methods is essential. Industrial and cultural trends force recruitment to evolve constantly. As a response, the current recruiters develop innovative strategies and communication channels, like social media, to attract candidates.
On the flip side, employer branding is an ongoing commitment and long-term promise to potential and existing employees; it, therefore, retains its consistency.
3. Recruitment comes after employer branding.
Employer branding is the basis of recruitment; it’s built around it using additional tactics and methods. Before you promote your employer brand, you must articulate its precise definition clearly. Otherwise, you run the risk of creating an inconsistent message during your recruitment venture.
When you think of the term "branding", the things that come to mind are probably brand messaging and logos. While these are essential, employer branding strategy is also vital due to the following benefits.
1. Reduced expenses
Solid employer brands ultimately attract more applicants to open positions. When you invest in your reputation and turn your employees into brand ambassadors, you reduce time and money wastage that would otherwise come from constantly advertising vacant positions.
2. Encourages diversity
A clear employer branding strategy enables you to attract job applicants with diverse talents. This way, you can strengthen your organization’s inclusion and diversity initiatives. Channels like social media give you a great platform to showcase your social and corporate responsibility, building diverse workplaces.
3. Fast growth
When your organization is reputable, top talent in the market is likely to be interested in identifying with you. Employees are assets to your company; when you attract the best talent, you stand a chance at a faster growth rate than your counterparts with weaker talent brands.
4. Express your brand value
The best talent in the industry ultimately owns the market, meaning they have a variety of options. Most skilled professionals always pick the organization whose values they share and one with a solid reputation. The modern job seeker goes for more than the tangibles, such as wages; they also care about your mission, work environment, vision, and values. You, therefore, must clearly express your brand's value through employer branding to ensure that you're attracting the best of applicants.
5. Boost employee engagement
When you commit to an employee-centric corporate brand, engaging employees as part of your institution's culture becomes essential. Employee engagement leads to increased profits due to high productivity and ultimately low turnover. Low employee turnover creates a solid foundation for your company to attract potential candidates and stakeholders.
6. Attract the right fit of employees and retain current ones
Employees are genuinely proud of being identified with your organization when you have a solid corporate brand. Today, almost all job seekers chase after companies that have an excellent working culture; take care of how you showcase it. Before sending an application, potential candidates first look at your profile. Use social platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to project an attractive employee culture.
Today, most job seekers, whether passive or active, are going on social media platforms, such as LinkedIn and Facebook, searching for career opportunities. If you're not on social media, you risk missing out on highly qualified talent, as this is the first place most of the search. Create a social media marketing story on different platforms showcasing your employer brand. Social media is crucial in employer branding because of reasons such as:
Employer branding targets are of two kinds; inward-focused and outward-focused. Inward-focused involves everything that happens in the organization, while outward-focused is everything that happens outside the organization. Both affect your employer branding strategy; hence they should be treated equally for optimal results. To gain a broader understanding, look into the following:
Employer branding internal targets revolve around retaining employees after the recruitment process. Besides that, you must also establish means to keep employees motivated to increase their productivity and effectiveness. You should, therefore, look into your organization's strengths and weaknesses, capitalize on strengths and aim at working on the weaknesses.
When defining your employer branding strategy, let your questions revolve around internal targets, such as the corporate culture and working environment.
External employer branding targets are all initiatives outside the organization that contribute to your reputation. Recruitment is among the exterior sides of employer branding; design external initiatives with new job applicants as the target.
Establishing your employer branding strategy is no walk in the park. There are no quick ways to create winning employer branding strategies; you must constantly manage them. You need to plan, build, implement, and manage your talent acquisition strategy for success. Take a look at other employer branding examples and the following five steps to establish a successful employer branding strategy.
Your Employer Value Proposition represents your organization's mission, vision, culture, and core values. It makes you stand out from the competition, hence enabling you to attract the best talent in the market. Employer branding begins within the organization; it's crucial to remain realistic when defining your EVP. Most companies tend to express their Employer Value Proposition attractively while the reality doesn't match it. Consequently, they experience high turnovers and reduced employee tenure.
Communication is essential once you define your value proposition; keep all channels open and create a suitable plan. Communication allows you to understand future talent expectations and challenges. When you know your target group, research and understand their contact points for easy and effective communication. Some of the contact points include:
Now that you've defined your employer value proposition and created a communication plan, start thinking about the kind of content you want to publish and how to market it. Some of the other things you should consider are:
Employer branding provides a foundation for the recruitment process. If you're able to impress candidates, you can merge the employer branding initiatives with recruitment initiatives to reap the rewards.
When you recruit employees, employer branding doesn’t end there; it is a long-term process that requires effective management for employee retention. Every working day experience should be a confirmation of the positive impression you gave during the application process.
Engage your employees to improve their working conditions; seek to understand their challenges, and make a point of making the necessary changes. Similarly, listen to their suggestions and enable them to have an excellent work-life balance; it doesn’t always have to revolve around monetary perks.
When your employees are happy, they become productive, ultimately driving your employer branding to success. Some of the initiatives that contribute to an attractive employer brand include:
Ultimately, you must turn theoretical employer branding practices into practical initiatives in the following ways:
1. Employer value proposition
Begin your brand initiative by defining your values and constructing an employer brand identity. Discuss your approach with your current employees, analyze information, and brainstorm on a slogan development. Finally, come up with a positioning statement and communicate it to employees for revision.
2. Career website
A website is the first point of interaction with applicants; make it user-friendly by making information easily accessible on computers and smartphones. From your EVP, enhance your open corporate culture on the career website through impactful content. Site jobs prominently and be personal so that interested job seekers can identify them fast and apply.
3. Turn employees into multipliers
Employees can greatly influence applicants’ decisions because of how they portray your employer brand. Through their networks, employees can reach some of the best talents. When you turn them into brand multipliers, the cost of your employer branding strategy significantly reduces.
Let your employees become your ambassadors by creating their profiles on digital platforms. Additionally, bring them forward in content creation by building employee stories around them and encourage recommendations by giving bonuses.
Every organization depends on qualified employees for its success. However, attracting top talent isn't as easy as putting out a job advert; you must invest in employer branding, implement, communicate, and manage it to attract and retain employees. Employer branding helps you grow fast, reduces expenses, and enables you to convey your brand value. Follow the appropriate steps to establish your brand strategy, find your target focus, and select the best means of communication, like social media platforms and career websites.
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