The Importance of Employer Branding

The Importance of Employer Branding

The Importance of Employer Branding
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Today, searching for prospective employers is as easy as reading new restaurant reviews online. With this reality in mind, it is essential that employers proactively brand themselves to attract the best talent for their organization.

When you understand what your business truly offers job seekers, you can make this value proposition clear. This makes it easier to acquire the most talented candidates for your organization.

There are plenty of employer branding strategies that business leaders can apply, but to make employer branding truly work, employees should be involved in the mission too. By carefully planning and developing a strong employer brand, you can positively influence perceptions of your business. This in turn can result in attracting top talent.

What Is Employer Branding?

Employer branding is one of the strategies that HR teams use to make their organization’s brand attractive to potential job candidates. Think of it as marketing, except instead of trying to attract customers, employer branding focuses on winning over top talent and strengthening the feeling of belonging among the existing workforce.

Some organizations work with employer branding and marketing specialists to define their employee value proposition and hone in on the ideal employer brand. But while it can be helpful to get a fresh perspective of your organization from an external partner, you can also develop a positive employer brand internally. Sure, it takes time and careful consideration, but if you get it right, you will find it easier to recruit and hold on to talented employees.

Definition of Employer Branding

Employer branding is a part of HR marketing that revolves around people’s perception of a company, its work environment, and its company culture. A strong employer brand will position your company as a good place to be, highlighting exactly what sets you apart from other organizations.

Your employer brand is closely tied to your corporate brand. Associations and perceptions that arise from one will also affect the other. For example, if your brand portrays your company as innovative, job applicants will have the impression that you can offer them a modern workplace too. Well, after all from your font logo design to modern content, everything is up-to-date and fancy.

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Your corporate brand is what identifies your company on the market. It includes your brand name, logo, design, slogan, advertising, products, and other touchpoints.

Even if you're on a budget, many platforms offer services to design logos for free, making it easy to create a powerful corporate image without breaking the bank.

Why Does Employer Branding Matter?

Every company has an employer brand, whether they have actively set out to develop one or not. Everything an organization does in the public sphere can influence how people feel about it – for better or worse. By working on your employer brand, you gain more control over your company’s reputation. This can give you the edge in recruitment and help you find employees who are a good cultural fit.

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80% of talent managers believe that their employer brand has a significant impact on the ability to hire great talent.
Source: LinkedIn (2017), Global Recruiting Trends

The importance of employer branding doesn’t stop at recruitment. The way you market yourself as an employer can also affect employee satisfaction and retention. Any expert from marketing consultancy services will tell you this truth.Effective employer branding also needs to consider the existing workforce. When it succeeds, it can make employees proud to work for your company, resulting in more employee advocates and referrals.

For example, if your brand portrays your company as innovative, job applicants will have the impression that you can offer them a modern workplace too. Well, after all from your modern logo to modern content, everything is up-to-date and fancy.

When it comes to establishing a strong employer brand, having a visually appealing and modern online presence is crucial. This is where custom web design comes into play. By investing in a well-designed website that reflects your company's values and showcases your innovative approach, you can attract top talent who are drawn to a forward-thinking work environment.

A visually appealing and user-friendly website also enhances employee satisfaction, as it conveys a sense of professionalism and credibility, creating a positive work atmosphere that encourages employee advocacy and referrals. However, you should ensure it has custom logo designs, includes all your branding colors, and conveys the right brand message.

Is There a Difference Between Employer Branding and Recruitment Marketing?

Recruitment marketing and employer branding are closely connected. The main difference between the two is that recruitment marketing is operational while employer branding is strategic. In short, employer branding is an essential part of recruitment marketing.

Recruitment marketing includes all the activities and initiatives a company carries out to attract and nurture job seekers in the pre-applicant stage. Examples of recruitment marketing include employee referral programs, careers pages, job ads, and taking part in career fairs.

Employer branding is the concept that unifies all of these recruitment marketing efforts. It adds consistency, both in terms of message and design, and helps your company stay at the top of job seekers’ minds.

Another key difference is that recruitment marketing focuses on getting promising candidates to apply for the job. Employer branding, on the other hand, is not just about attracting applicants but also retaining existing and future employees.

How To Build Your Employer Branding Strategy

When building an employer branding strategy, it’s important to include input from other teams and stakeholders in your organization. The message and content of your employer brand need to be consistent, applicable to all departments, and long-lasting. Of course, in some situations, it makes sense to adapt messaging slightly for different locations, and you may need to refresh your employer brand now and then.

The main thing is to understand that an employer brand, just like a corporate brand, is not a short-term campaign to be rolled out for a matter of weeks. It’s a long-term strategy. Allowing sufficient time for a brand to establish itself and gain recognition among the intended audience is essential.

Here are some tips to help you start planning out your employer branding strategy.

1. Set Out Your Goals and Objectives

To start with, you need to define some objectives for your employer branding strategy. What do you want to achieve and how will you measure success? This step is often overlooked by companies. According to the 2017 CareerArc Employer Branding Study, even though 96% of companies believe that employer brand and reputation can have an impact on revenue, only 44% are monitoring that impact.

When you’re planning your objectives, make sure your HR team and recruiters work with other departments to identify your current and future talent needs. For example, if your tech team is looking for more skilled programmers, or if you’re planning to open a new office in the future, you’ll want to keep that in mind when developing your employer brand.

Developing candidate personas is a good way to help your employer branding strategy succeed. Think about what your ideal candidates are looking for, list their qualifications and expectations, and consider how they will fit into your company culture.

2. Assess Your Current Employer Brand

Once you’ve got a clear idea of what you want to achieve with your employer branding, it’s time to assess your current employer brand. Even if you haven’t consciously defined an employer brand yet, it’s still helpful to review internal and external perceptions of your company as an employer.

One way that you can do this is by using employee surveys to better understand how your current employees feel about your company. Do they identify with your company’s brand and mission, and would they recommend you as an employer? On the flip side, conducting exit interviews can yield insights into how you can improve your employee experience and employer brand.

Another way to gauge your company’s reputation is to search for what people are saying on social media platforms and check reviews on websites like Glassdoor.

3. Define Your Employee Value Proposition

The next step is to create your employee value proposition (EVP). This is the promise that you give to potential employees and forms the core of your employer brand strategy. It’s the answer to the question: “Why should I work for your company?”.

Your EVP could include things like benefits, perks, and compensation. It can also detail intangible benefits such as meaningful work, career development opportunities, and a healthy company culture. The main thing is to keep it honest – make sure your value proposition is a promise that you can keep.

Write your employee value proposition down as a statement to prospective candidates. For example, Nike’s EVP is “Move the World”, which aims to appeal to people looking for a meaningful job. Salesforce, which consistently ranks as one of the world's best places to work, promises candidates that they “can improve the state of the world” and “build a rewarding career and a better future for all”.

4. Work With Your Employees

Your employees are the most authentic sources of feedback on your employer brand. It’s one thing for a company website to tell potential employees that they have a great work culture. But it’s much more believable when you can share real quotes from your current employees in the form of testimonials.

If you know that your employees are happy, encourage them to review you on Glassdoor or share your content on LinkedIn and Facebook. Ask them if they would be happy to provide a statement for your career page and offer an incentive if they successfully refer talented candidates to your company. Employee advocacy is a powerful way to promote your employer brand.

5. Review and Improve Your Recruitment Channels

A recruitment channel is any platform you use to spread the word about jobs at your company. You probably already use several channels for this purpose, be it career sites like LinkedIn, your company website, social media, and career fairs.

Take the time to review how you’re currently using these channels and see where your new employer brand could fit in. While using multiple channels broadens your reach, make sure you have the human resources to maintain these channels regularly, as outdated content can give candidates the wrong impression.

6. Ensure a Smooth Candidate Experience and Onboarding Journey

Your employer branding efforts don’t finish once a candidate has applied. Make sure that your candidate experience is professional and efficient. This includes responding to applicants within a reasonable time frame, keeping them informed throughout the process, and fairly assessing their abilities in interviews.

Likewise, the onboarding process often results in a lasting impression of your company. To make sure you can hold on to talented new employees, set up a smooth onboarding process that makes them feel they have made the right decision in signing up for your company.

flair can help you with both of these stages. Our Recruiting app built on Salesforce allows you to set up a consistent candidate experience with configurable funnel stages, automated responses, and useful evaluation templates. What’s more, our Employee Hub can help guide your new hires through the onboarding process.

7. Monitor Success and Adjust as Needed

As mentioned earlier, even though the vast majority of companies are convinced of the benefits of employer branding, less than half are actively monitoring the results. Once you have your new employer brand, check in after a few months to compare your recruiting KPIs and track progress.

You can collaborate with your marketing team, who will build digital marketing strategies to promote your employer brand and drive traffic to your job ads. Ask team leaders and department heads whether your efforts have improved the quality of your candidates. If you’re still not finding the right people, you may need to review your employee value proposition and employer brand.

These strategies can be implemented in every industry sector. For example in restaurants, the recruiters should ask interview questions for restaurants. The questions in the job interview should therefore always include subject-specific questions in addition to general questions about the candidate.

8. Integrate Diversity and Inclusion in Your Recruitment Process

Diversity and inclusion are vital elements of any recruitment marketing and employer branding strategy. If your brand doesn’t give job seekers the impression that you are an inclusive, equal-opportunities employer, you may be limiting your appeal as a great place to work. This will cause you to miss out on talented employees.

Having a solid diversity, equity, and inclusion plan in place can expand your talent pool and improve your employee experience. This improves employee retention, culture building, as well as recruiting.

Common Employer Branding Targets

There are two types of employer branding goals: internal and external. External goals relate to your company’s reputation among job seekers, students, and other stakeholders.

The external goals of an employer branding strategy typically include increasing traffic on your career page, reducing time to hire, lowering recruitment costs, and increasing your offer acceptance rate.

Internal goals concern your current employees’ feelings about your company culture. Common goals include improving employee retention, increasing the number of job referrals, and boosting your eNPS score.

What Are the Benefits of an Employer Branding Strategy?

By now, you probably have a good idea of what an employer branding strategy involves. In this section, we’re going to summarize some of the top benefits that companies with a strong employer brand can achieve.

1. Reduced Hiring Costs

Finding, interviewing, hiring, and training employees is essential for every business – but it’s also expensive. According to Glassdoor, the average cost of hiring an employee in the United States is $4,000. These costs soon mount up, so you’ll want to be sure you’re hiring the right employees.

Employer branding not only helps your talent acquisition efforts, but it can also improve employee retention, so you don’t find yourself searching for replacements too often.

2. Faster Growth

If you’re struggling to fill key positions, your business can hit an obstacle to further growth. That’s where employer branding comes in. Ideally, your employer brand will increase the number of people who apply to work at your company and increase the offer acceptance rate of those who make it through the interviews. This will give your organization the ability to strengthen key areas, unblocking the road to growth.

3. Improve Company Reputation

A company’s reputation is a valuable but fragile thing. It can take years of smooth operations to build a solid reputation among customers and potential employees, but just one bad story to tarnish it.

A positive employer brand can be a good way to manage your reputation. By encouraging happy employees to share testimonials or leave a good review on websites like Glassdoor, you can strengthen your reputation as a great place to work.

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86% of job seekers say they are likely to read company reviews when deciding where to apply for a job.
Source: 2019 Glassdoor/Harris Poll

4. Boost Employee Engagement

A strong employer brand benefits your existing workforce too. When your employees identify with your brand, it creates a stronger sense of belonging that boosts employee engagement. It’s therefore no surprise that many examples of employer branding focus on meaningful work.

5. Attract The Right Employees and Retain Current Ones

Effective employer branding should convey your company’s values and give applicants a good idea of what it would be like to work with you. If you stay true to the promises you make, you’re likely to attract the right people and in turn, they are more likely to stay with your company in the long term.

What Is the Importance of Social Media in Employer Branding?

Today, many job seekers use social media to look for career opportunities and better understand the companies they are applying to. For this reason, social media is a very effective medium for communicating and promoting your employer brand.

The practice of using platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to identify and recruit talent is called social media recruiting. Sharing your brand on social media has several benefits, such as:

  • Giving potential candidates a great first impression of your company
  • Allowing you to reach a larger audience
  • Enabling two-way communication, where companies interact with people who may be interested in a job
  • Building trust in your brand by sharing authentic stories and employee experiences

Ideas To Improve Your Employer Branding

When developing or refining your employer brand, it’s a good idea to take a look at what other companies in your industry are offering candidates. While you should aim to be true to yourself as a company, you’ll quickly notice that there are some common elements in employer branding.

Some of the initiatives and themes that can improve your employer brand include:

  • Development and training opportunities
  • A healthy work-life balance
  • Meaningful work
  • Team-building events
  • Flexible working policies
  • Flat hierarchies, transparent communication, and autonomy
  • A diverse team

There are several ways to convey these benefits.

1. Share Employee Stories

It is logical for prospective employees to seek information about who they may be collaborating with in the future. By sharing employee stories, you can authentically show your company’s personality through real-life employee experiences. This makes it easier for candidates to identify with your company and imagine what it would be like to work there. Testimonials and employee stories are perfectly suited to share on your website and social media.

2. Take Part in Career Fairs

Career fairs are a great way to give your brand more positive exposure. Many of the attendees are looking for new jobs. Meeting these people face-to-face is a great opportunity to showcase your company and also see in real life how people react to your employer brand.

3. Create a Great Career Page

Your career page should be the center of your recruitment efforts. Make sure it conveys your employee value proposition and lists all the perks and benefits that you offer. Taking the time to write a detailed job description can improve the candidate-role fit.

Start Improving Your Employer Brand Today

A lot of work goes into employer branding – but it certainly pays off. Our mission at flair is to offer companies an HR platform that enables them to design, adapt, and optimize their employee experience. And our software can help you with your employer branding strategy too. For instance, we make it easy for you to build an engaging, branded career page in minutes.

We also offer a variety of recruitment tools that improve the candidate experience and help companies assess cultural fit. For example, you can create candidate evaluation templates that allow you to assess each and every candidate fairly and consistently.

flair candidate evaluation templates make the recruitment process quicker, easier, and more consistent.

To explore how the flair HR solution can assist you in accomplishing your HR and employer branding objectives, schedule a demo with us today.

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