The first part of this article discussed employer branding in great detail. It includes information about what employer branding is, why is it important and how it can benefit a company. In this second part, details of employer branding strategy and the process of employer branding are shared.
Strategies For Employer Branding
It has already been established that companies need to brand themselves and build a positive reputation in the job market to attract top talent. For that, you need to use multiple strategies.
- Content For Candidate Personas
When you’re marketing your product or services, you create different consumer personas to attract the right customers. Similarly, when you’re working towards building your employer brand, you must create candidate personas so you can create content that is relevant to the talent you wish to attract.
Once you have your candidate personas in place, you can create different content collaterals that can be published on different social media channels. The different types of content that you can create are:
- Blog posts about company events, the company’s culture and hiring process, benefits of working there, etc. You can even include articles that your employees write. This adds a lot of credibility to your employer brand image.
- Social media posts like graphic images, infographics, videos, etc. can be shared on the company’s social profiles. Informational posts are a must but you can also share images and videos showing off the culture of the company.
- Sharing testimonials and growth stories of your employees is a great way to strengthen your employer brand because it shows prospective candidates how your organisation is a great place to work and enables employee development.
This content can be shared on the career page of your website. It can also be mixed in with the marketing content where it can be found easily by potential candidates. This content will also serve as educational material that attracts the best candidates into your hiring funnel.
- Become Proactive On Career Sites
A lot of companies don’t take social media websites seriously or think they’re above using the power of social media platform. Some websites allow employees and ex-employees to share their experiences with a company and negative experiences or lack of engagement on a company’s part can be a major red flag to potential candidates.
Addressing negative comments has to be a part of every company’s employer branding strategy. Address them; do not justify or defend your position or try to cover things up. Show how you’re working towards improving things. That is enough to show that you, as an employer care.
Of course, there will be some negative comments that you cannot control. What you can control is the narrative around the negative comments. By responding to the negative posts about your organisation, you are not hiding away, you are taking charge and that says a lot about the values of your company.
- Cultivating A Strong Workforce
When you offer growth and development opportunities to your employees, you automatically become a more attractive company to work at. These opportunities can be in the form of training and coaching sessions, skill development, advancement in the company or something else they value. It is important to make these things available to your employees but it is even more important to make sure they know that these resources are available to them.
A lot of people make job decisions based on the level of growth they can achieve within an organisation. For example, there was an inspiring story of a lady who started out at SBI as a cleaner and through hard work and dedication, made use of the opportunities within the organisation to grow to the level of an Assistant General Manager (AGM). What she achieved was mainly because of her hard work but the opportunity to grow that was offered by the organisation enabled her to achieve great heights in her career.
If your company doesn’t have ample growth opportunities or training potential, it becomes a little less enticing to potential candidates. Offering growth opportunities to employees is a way to show them that you value them and their career growth.
- Be Active On Social Platforms
Whether it’s candidates or clients, social media is an integral part of everyone’s life. You can be sure that any candidate you come in contact with, will go through your social media profiles. 79% of job seekers say they are likely to use social media in their job search and this number goes up to 86% for younger job seekers. Remaining active on websites like LinkedIn and Facebook and sharing information will help you connect with potential candidates.
There are a number of things you can share on your social media:
- Information about your company and the work culture
- Thoughts from the company leaders
- Posts about your mission and vision
- Testimonials from your clients
- Employee experience
Each of these different types of posts will add to your credibility not just as an organisation but also as an employer.
Using these different strategies, you can craft your own employer branding process that will simplify things for you.
Employer Branding Process
Building a strong, positive employer brand is not something that will happen overnight. It is a journey that requires continuous effort and action. There are many moving pieces and each member of your team needs to understand the part they play. There are two fundamental areas of employer branding – one that you and your team can control and the other that you cannot. For the things you can control, here is a basic process that you can follow:
- Audit Your Exisiting Employer Brand
The first and obvious step has to be a complete audit of your existing employer brand. Even if you haven’t put any effort into branding yourself, your brand already exists. You need to be aware of your existing reputation in the job market. Send out internal surveys, check out websites that encourage employee and ex-employee reviews and conduct thorough social media searches.
A great way to understand your current reputation is to look at all the information that is available about your company as if you’re a potential employee. Looking at things from a different perspective will allow you to be more objective and open to fixing things that need it.
The goal of this audit is to discover the things that your employees love about your company and highlight them as well as find areas that need improvement and work on them.
- Build The Career Page Of Your Website
Your website is one of the first touchpoints for any potential candidate. If they’re planning to join you, they will scour every page of the website. This is why it is important that your website reflects what the organisation is all about. After finding a job opening, 64% of candidates said they research a company online and 37% said they will move on to another job opening if they can’t find information on the company. You must include:
- Employer Value Proposition
You can use the information from your brand audit to create your employer value proposition. Your EVP must clarify what the individual can expect from the organisation and vice versa.
Your EVP may never be publicly shared in its entirety but it will guide your communication, internal and external.
- Job Descriptions
Job descriptions seem like a simple and straightforward thing but you can let your brand image shine through them. It is a major point of contact with potential candidates so make sure your desired employer brand is reflected.
- Online Reviews
When you’re shopping online, you check the reviews of the product you’re planning to buy. Similarly, candidates check the reviews about a company that they’re going to approach or a company that has approached them. You cannot control anonymous reviews but you can respond to them which will impact the social perception of the comment. 69% of job seekers are likely to apply to a job if the employer actively manages its brand which is why it is important that you actively manage your employer brand.
- Social Media
Connect your website to the social media channels you are active on so any potential candidate looking for information can find it easily in one place. Regular activity on your social media profiles shows the effort you are putting into your employer branding.
You can also leverage your existing employees to build your credibility. When an employee shares company content on their personal profiles, it shows their loyalty to the company which sends the message that employees at your organisation are taken care of.
- Share Relevant And Valuable Content
Every marketer worth their salt knows that “Content is King”. Companies use content to brand themselves as well as build a relationship with the customer. It is central to any marketing strategy and process. However, it is not just limited to marketing. Content is a key ingredient to building your employer brand.
Content like whitepapers, articles, ebooks, surveys, videos, etc. can be used as free information sources that get potential candidates interested in your company. These content collaterals are a great touch point for candidates and educate them about your company which drives their decision to apply for a job with you.
Potential candidates trust the word of an existing employee over the corporate messaging that you put out. This is why Employee Generated Content (EGC) needs to be an integral part of your employer branding process. Some of the angles that you can use for your EGC are:
- A day in the life of XYZ employee
- Here’s why I applied at XYZ company
- Here’s how working for XYZ is different
- Personal growth story of employees
- Employee recreation activities
- Employee Engagement And Advocacy
How well your employees are taken care of is a big part of your employer brand. Stories of growth and development make the rounds of social media and strengthen your brand which is why you must invest in your employees. Your employees help shape the company culture, embody the organisation’s values, help achieve goals and manifest the company’s mission. Some of the ways to engage with your employees are:
- Strong Onboarding
The first thing a newly hired employee experiences is the onboarding process and a first negative impression can have lasting consequences. Instilling a positive brand and employer image starts at the beginning, with the onboarding process.
- Offer Learning and Growth Opportunities
Every employee in your organisation is looking for growth opportunities and nothing saves hiring costs like developing the talent that is already a part of your company. Your organisation also becomes more attractive to potential candidates because they see that you look after your employees and promote their development.
- Show Off Employee Growth
Now, if you’re helping your employees grow in their careers, it’s only fair that it is visible to potential candidates as well. You can share employee interviews where they share their experience with your organisation and how they have grown in their careers.
- Accolades And Acknowledgement
As human beings, everyone craves acknowledgement and credit for a job well done. You strengthen your employer brand every time you acknowledge an employee for an achievement. The message that goes out into the job market is that you champion your employees and value their progress.
Your employer brand is what you are perceived as in the job market. The number and quality of candidates you attract for an open position in your organisation largely depends on the employer brand you project. So, make sure it’s a strong, positive one that aids in your recruitment efforts.