Regardless of the products you make or the services you offer, you know the value of a good promotion. But before you market what you've got, you need to highlight who your are --- and that's why a good employer branding strategy is critical.
Your employer brand is your identity; it's what you use to attract (and retain) the top talent that's right for your organization. After all, no matter how great your products or services might be, you still need good people to keep the machine running.
If you've been putting off designing an employer branding strategy, you're already behind the eight-ball. According to "Employer Branding Now", a research report complied by Universum, 62 percent of global talent leaders say building an employer branding strategy is their biggest priority for 2016.
Having a strong employer brand is vital, but don't do it, just to do it. A bad employer brand can be worse --- than not having one at all. Based on data culled by LinkedIn, companies that don't invest in an employer branding strategy could be spending more on new hires (up to an additional $4,723 per employee), and nearly half of US professionals would flat out refuse employment with a company that had a negative employer brand, regardless of how much money they were offered.
So what can you do to ensure your employer branding strategy is doing what it's supposed to do? One way is by taking advantage of social media.
Research from eMarketer shows that in 2016, US adults spend 1 hour, 39 minutes each day consuming digital video, and that number is expected to grow to 1 hour, 46 minutes in 2018. Today's tech-savvy job seekers don't want to read about your company --- they want to see it in action.
A great example of a company using video to enhance their employer branding strategy is GE's "What's The Matter With Owen" campaign. These videos were utilized to show potential recruits that GE is much more than an "old manufacturing company," and that, in fact, they are very forward-thinking and high-tech. The videos certainly seemed to do the trick; according to Business Insider, in the months following the release of the commercials, traffic to GE's career site grew by 66 percent!
Granted, that was a multi-million dollar campaign, but you don't have to spend millions to get similar results. Check out how OpenTable, Gorilla, and Zillow use YouTube as a part of their employer branding strategies.
Get creative and have fun with the videos, but always keep your employer branding strategy in mind. Brand the videos with your company logo and be sure to include links and phone numbers so people can connect with you. Here are some ideas for creating engaging videos that will enhance your employer brand:
- A day in the life of an employee, complete with ringing employee testimonials
- A look at your interview process --- how it works and what interviewees can expect
- How your company is making a difference, and how recruits can be a part of that
- An overview of the cool projects your employees are working on
- Highlight your culture --- happy, engaged employees who actually enjoy their jobs
- Showcase the unique perks of working at your company
Much like YouTube, Instagram can be a great way to use visuals to enhance your employer branding strategy. You don't have to spend the time (and creative efforts) to shoot a whole video; you can quickly and easily share dynamic and engaging photos, slideshows, and short videos (a minute or less) to highlight employee experiences and give people an inside look at your company.
You can, of course, caption Instagram posts with your employer brand messaging (just make sure it sounds like a real employee wrote it --- no corporate speak), and it's a good idea to take advantage of #hashtags that tie into who you are and what you're all about, but the photo (or video) should tell the story. With Instagram's unique filters and editing tools, you can create vibrant imagery that visualizes your employer branding strategy in ways no "basic" photo can.
For examples of companies who do a great job of incorporating Instagram into their employer branding strategies, check out this article from AfterCollege, which shows how LinkedIn, VMware, Ernst & Young, Starbucks, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car are connecting with recent college graduates and new recruits.
Also keep in mind, you can't include clickable links in an Instagram post; you can only put one --- and only one --- on your profile page. Certainly use that link to point people to the careers page of your website, but again, make sure your posts and videos beckon people to want to learn more about your company.
We've already mentioned it a couple times, and it is the go-to for professionals on social media, so naturally LinkedIn is an essential part of your employer branding strategy, specifically LinkedIn Careers Pages
A LinkedIn Careers Page isn't free, but the investment is definitely worth it, as it provides a one-stop shop for all your videos, photos, Slideshare decks, employee testimonials, and more. And having one will greatly expand your reach on LinkedIn, so you'll be seen by even more great candidates.
You can certainly use the free LinkedIn Company Page to boost your employer branding strategy, but taking advantage of a Careers Page allows you to bring your story --- and your brand --- to life. Take American Express's LinkedIn Career Page for example, it leads off with powerful, yet succinct, video featuring employees discussing how the business continues to grow and evolve, and leads into digestible chunks of information, including employee reviews, company updates, and another video that highlights the company's rich diversity.
For more help with your employer branding strategy, be sure to download LinkedIn's Employer Brand Playbook, which gives tips on using the social media platform to build a highly social talent brand.
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