We can all agree there is clearly a war for talent. Skill shortages are what keeps most leaders awake at night and it’s getting harder and harder to attract the type of talent most organizations need. More than ever before, employers are competing for top talent using their employer brand to differentiate themselves.
What is an employer brand?
Simply put, it’s the impression that your current and past employees have of working at your company.
Jeff Bezoz, CEO at Amazon, explained that a brand is what people say about you when leave the room. By the same token, your employer brand is what current and past employees say about you when they’re not at work. It’s how they talk about working at your company to their families, friends, neighbours, etc.
Like it or not, you already have an employer brand
The reality is that, even if you haven’t focused on building an employer brand strategy, you already have an employer brand.
By choosing not to build an employer brand strategy however, you have no control over what people are saying about your company. You’ve given the control to others who may write about their experiences as employees or candidates (positive or negative) on places like Glassdoor.
How a strong employer brand strategy benefits recruitment
Your employer brand is the pull strategy for talent acquisition. Companies who have powerful employer brands have a 50% decrease in cost per hire. If there’s one big challenge in talent acquisition, it’s our budget… or lack thereof.
A strong employer brand also cuts time per hire by up to 50%. Who doesn’t want to shorten their recruitment process?
Your employer brand is a huge part of your inbound recruiting strategy.
An Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is the foundation of an employer branding strategy that works
First things first, lets talk about how an EVP comes into play. Your EVP is the key driver of talent attraction as well as retention. There’s been a lot of talk (and confusion) around the difference between an EVP and employer brand.
They go hand in hand and are not interchangeable.
Your company’s Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is the ‘what’
What your employees value most about working at your company.
Your employer brand is the ‘how’
How you market your EVP to attract talent.
An effective employer branding strategy has five characteristics in common
1. Built on a well-developed and clear EVP
You can’t begin to build an employer brand strategy without a well developed EVP to market. Consider creating an EVP as the ‘step one’ in this process and building it takes a lot of research within your organization.
You have to know who you are as a company and what employees value most about working there. This phase is far more than reviewing employer engagement surveys to come up with the answer. You have to review and analyze your data, talk to employees and test your messaging.
Ensure that you have a deep understanding of who you are as an organization and be honest about what it’s like to work there. Don’t market your company as being a fun place to work if it isn’t. There is value in being a serious company, own it! Candidates will still be interested whether or not your company is fun.
If you misrepresent who you are, you’ll end up with higher turnover because people came into the company expecting one thing and got another. People talk and with platforms like Glassdoor, where past and current employees review your company, you can’t hide anything.
3. Employee Input
A truly authentic employer brand is built with employees. Who else can articulate what it’s like to work at your company than the very people who work there? It’s not something that HR can do on their own.
4. Employee Advocacy
It’s important to train employees on being advocates for your employer brand because, everyone should be considered an employer brand ambassador. This is especially true for leaders who hire new talent regularly since they interact with candidates the most.
One of the pitfalls of building an employer brand strategy is the belief that if a CEO shares content, it’s more likely to be credible. The opposite is true. Employee generated content is far more engaging and has proven to get more traffic.Candidates trust what employees say about working at a company three times more than what a company says about itself.
5. Consistent Messaging
A truly effective employer branding strategy includes messaging that’s consistent throughout all forms of external and internal communication. The same message about the company’s employer brand is shared on the career site, during interviews, on social media platforms, at career fairs and conferences.
Your employer brand has to be unique, compelling and engaging to make a real (and positive) impact on your talent acquisition strategy.