January 24,2024 – “Best companies to work for in XYZ industry”. “Top companies in 2022”. Every job seeker’s research begins with entering a version of these statements into a search engine and this research is important. A company’s reputation is more important than it ever was. 86% of employees and job seekers research company reviews and ratings before applying for a job. So it really wouldn’t matter how much time you spend creating compelling offers and incentivising your employees, if you don’t have a strong employer brand, you will not attract or retain top talent.
What Is Employer Branding?
At its simplest, employer branding refers to a company’s reputation among the workforce – existing and potential. It is how you, as a company are perceived in the market by job seekers and existing employees. The better your employer brand, the more likely you are to attract the top candidates. A strong employer brand also helps you retain talent.
An employer brand is all about defining the essence of your company as a workplace – how it is different and what it stands for. Describing your employee value proposition and the promises you make to your employees goes a long way toward strengthening your brand.
Through your employer branding, you also need to communicate your company’s leadership, values, mission, vision, culture and brand story. It is a compelling brand story that people relate to. When asked about working at the company, your employees will not speak of the products or services you offer. They will discuss their experience as employees – the everyday things that go on, their experiences at the organisation and how much or how little they have grown since they joined you.
However, it has to go one step beyond storytelling. You have to put your money where your mouth is and make sure you follow through on your word. Simply telling your employees and the world that your company is a great place to work because you have a recreation area and free snacks will not cut it. You really must put time, effort and resources into creating a strong culture that your workforce is proud to speak of.
Employer Branding Vs Company Branding
An important distinction to make is the one between employer branding and company branding. While these two terms are often confused, they are quite different.
Employer branding is your reputation as an employer for job seekers whereas company branding is your reputation as a company in general and to your clients.
Even though employer branding and company branding are different, they can impact each other. A company with a strong employer brand is an attractive place to work and automatically becomes more attractive to clients and customers.
Why Is Employer Branding Important?
Your employer brand, positive or negative, can directly affect your bottom line, recruiting efforts, and much more. It is the hook that can bring the top talent to you with the least amount of effort. It has the power to make you “the dream company” and strengthen your workforce.
How you brand yourself as an employer impacts every single facet of your relationship with your employees. It directly affects employee engagement, retention and profitability.
Benefits Of Employer Branding
The importance of employer branding can be understood better when the benefits are tangible and evident:
More Job Applications
The effort that goes into gathering applications from viable candidates is massive. If you have a positive employer brand, you are already on the candidates’ radar. They want to join your company because having you on their resume adds value to them. Candidates will apply on their own and you can take your pick of the best ones.
Take Less Time To Hire
When you have a strong employer brand, your employer value proposition is already in play and the candidates you are looking to hire are aware of what you bring to the table. This significantly reduces your hiring time because the candidates are more likely to accept your offer.
Potential candidates are aware of your reputation which obviously means that your existing workforce is also aware. If your reputation in the job market is strong and that of a dream employer, your current employees will certainly think twice before considering a change.
Attract The Best
When a candidate is evaluating a job change, the first thing they look for is the company’s reputation. They scour the internet for information about the company and if your employer brand is strong, you will attract the best because they will want to join your company. The best will want to add your name to theirs.
Promoting a job ad on career websites can be an expensive ordeal but with a strong employer brand, you attract the top talent without pouring money into ads. With a positive employer identity, a job page on your company website should be enough to attract top candidates. On the other hand, if you have a negative employer brand, not only will you have to expend resources towards hiring but also make high paying offers to make your offer more attractive to the candidates.
Who Should Be Involved In Employer Branding?
The obvious answer is the HR team or the recruitment team of an organisation must be involved in employer branding. But there are others who can greatly add value to creating an influential employer brand.
Human Resources Team
The HR team obviously must be involved as they are closely connected to finding, approaching and hiring candidates as well as engaging and retaining existing employees. They are the face of your employer branding efforts.
A key member of the leadership must be a part of the employer branding efforts. The world of talent acquisition has changed over the years and because it has become more strategic, a company leader plays an important role in employer branding.
Employer branding requires help from the marketing team. They are central to creating the employer brand and communicating what the organisation as an employer stands for. The marketing team also helps with internal communication and developing culture messaging.
Brand Ambassadors (Existing Employees)
Every company has employees that love their job and are raving fans of their employers. These are your brand ambassadors. When employees share company-related content on their social media pages, it adds greatly to your credibility as an employer and strengthens your employer brand.
Employer branding is one of the most important functions and adds great value to you as an organisation. There are tangible and intangible benefits to investing time and effort into branding yourself as an employer. With this article, you know “the what”, “the why” and “the benefits of employer branding”. Part 2 of this article discusses “the how” and the “strategy for employer branding”.