When a job seeker begins their search, their queries might look like this: "The best organizations to work for in 2022" or "Top X companies in X industry."
This makes perfect sense! People, especially high achievers, want to work in a company that has a good culture, offers a friendly environment, and provides fair benefits.
So, what exactly does the employer brand mean? And how much does a company’s reputation as a place to work make a difference when it comes to hiring?
If these questions keep you up all night, you have come to the right place. We're going to explore what employer branding means, discuss the importance of positive brand reputation, and speak about how you can execute your employer branding strategy, today!
What is Employer Branding?
Every brand has a reputation. It could include thoughts about your services, products, history of the organization, and many more. That reputation is known as a company brand.
Yet, there is a second brand related to how you are viewed as an employer. This is called employer reputation.
At its most basic, an employer brand is your reputation among the workforce as well as your team's perception of you as an employer. The interesting thing about employer branding is that it exists whether or not you actively manage it!
Because your reputation as an employer exists in the minds of candidates and employees, and it is shaped by their thoughts and impressions. A candidate who did not get a response after the interview, for instance, might consider you as an inattentive and irresponsible employer.
That same candidate might go and share their negative experience with their friends, who’d also re-share the word! This results in damaging your employer branding without you even knowing it.
To be short, candidates and employees have an opinion about you, and if you aren’t working to influence it positively, you’re at their mercy.
But at this point, you might be wondering: does this matter to me and my company?
I say it matters, and it matters a lot!
Why? Let’s explore the impacts and importance of employer branding!
Why does Employer Branding Matter for Companies?
Most companies spend tremendous resources and time creating a compelling brand story about their products and services. However, not many of them think about how to build a powerful employer brand to ensure you attract and retain top talent. In fact, 39% of US businesses have no employer branding strategy.
You might be thinking that if so many organizations are doing just fine without managing employer branding strategy, why can’t you do the same?
The fact is that those companies are not doing just fine. Bad employer branding results in high turnover rates and increased costs for hiring new employees, especially top talented people.
Let’s discuss numbers for a moment: according to a Linkedin study, strong employer branding reduces turnover rates by almost 30%. And, the ones that have a bad reputation, according to Harvard Business Review, have to spend more financial and human resources to hire.
The problems don’t stop here!
If you are not managing your employer branding, 75% of active job seekers are not likely to apply for a job in your company. Furthermore, 69% of job seekers would reject an offer from a company with a bad employer reputation, even if they were unemployed. Even the fear of unemployment isn’t enough to overcome a negative employer brand.
Those problems caused by negative employer branding will result in the ineffectiveness of your company— so why not put the effort in to ensure it's a brand you can be proud of?
What can You do to Improve your Employer Branding?
Now you know that an efficient employer branding strategy can help you attract better talent, cut down on hiring costs, and reduce employee turnover. It’s time to discuss how you can create and manage the employer reputation of your company.
It’s okay if you are unable to hire dedicated experts to create an employer brand strategy because of the available financial resources. Yet, there is no reason why you can’t build a complete strategy on your own.
Let’s break things down to the most important tasks to make the process easier.
Do an Audit of Your Employer Branding
You can’t influence your employer branding if you don’t know what people think of you, so the employer reputation audit is the first step: conduct research both internally and externally with applicant surveys, internet, and social media searches.
You can start with your current employees! Give them a survey with questions like: How do you describe the company to a friend? Will you recommend working in the company to other people? Why did you choose to accept the offer from the company?
These and other similar questions will help you understand what works or does not work in your company. Remember that you want to get honest responses, so make the survey confidential, and why not anonymous!
Create/Know your Company’s Unique Value Proposition
To create a powerful employer brand, you must start by focusing on your company's mission statement, values, vision, and culture. It could be helpful to identify what your business needs are, and then work backward to understand what type of talent you need to acquire to fulfill those objectives.
Create an Employee Value Proposition
Once you know the list of benefits your company can offer, you can create a value proposition for employees. The value proposition is a promise to all your future and current employees. This would include the description of the working environment and additional benefits your company will be offering.
Your current team is the best advocate and ambassador of your company. Team members are in the best position to give those on the outside an accurate idea of what it is like to work for your company. Involve them in developing your ‘story’, and encourage them to share it – and their activity and achievements – through their personal and professional social media channels.
A strong employer branding and positive reputation will help you hire new employees, create a strong company culture, and even reduce marketing costs.
Start with small steps and make your way to the desirable and compelling employer brand strategy. Remember, that creating and managing this brand is a dynamic, evolving process.
If it's about you, it's about us