The Importance Of  Employer Branding

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by viperk's , last updated on

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Is your company culture attractive to prospective candidates?

Recruiting talent with employee culture is a great way to build --- and keep --- a strong and thriving workforce. It's not just about salary and a title anymore. Today's candidates have a lot of options, and when it's time to check out a future employer, they're looking for information that goes way beyond what's usually in a job description.

"Today's job seeker is a consumer of a company's employment brand," says J.T. O'Donnell, founder and CEO of CAREEREALISM. "They want to research and study the employer before they apply so they can make sure they aren't wasting their time."

According to Why and How People Change Jobs, a report from LinkedIn that gleaned information from 7 million LinkedIn members and over 10,000 survey takers, job seekers No. 1 obstacle is "not knowing what it's really like to work at the company."

Not only that, they're growing accustomed to companies competing for them, so if you want to grab the best candidates, you'll need to ensure potential applicants know what your company is about and what you have to offer.

That is where a strong employer band comes in --- it's what identifies you as an employer, showcasing who you are as a company, how you're different from the competition, and how employees are treated, rewarded, and compensated.

Progressive, forward-thinking companies are already on board and have established strong employer brands. GE, UPS, and Sam Adams have utilized commercials to show that they don't only make good products, they're good employers as well.

Other companies, such as Pilot Flying J, Zillow, and MaidPro, are utilizing robust, interactive career pages, employer branding videos, and employee testimonials to accomplish the same goals.

Think your competitors aren't focusing on employer branding? Think again. In their other report, Global Recruiting Trends 2016, LinkedIn surveyed 4,000 talent leaders around the world, and found that 59% of those respondents will be investing more in their employer brand this year, as compared to 2015.

Want to hone your company's employment brand and stay ahead of the competition in today's talent wars? Here's what you need to know.

Understand the Concept

Employer branding refers to the perception your company gives off. Basically, your brand is what stakeholders --- as well as current and future employees --- think of you as an employer. Your brand plays a key role not only in attracting applicants, but also in minimizing your employee turnover rate.

An effective employer brand will paint a solid picture of what it's like to work for you. Make it clear why a potential employee would want to apply for a job with your company. Show them what you're doing to make a good culture a priority.

Attract the Right People

As an employer, you face the challenge of finding the right candidate for the job, as well as the company in general. In tough recruiting markets, employers often find themselves competing with other business to get the most qualified employees. A strong brand, one that represents you as a great employer, significantly increases the number of quality applicants.

Your brand also helps you attract the specific type of applicant you're looking for. For example, if you're on the hunt for employees with more experience and a proven track record of success, you'll likely have older applicants. Highlighting company provided medical benefits, profit-sharing and sick-leave will reel in the more experienced candidates.

Younger generations tend to put more importance on creative freedom and flexibility. If you're seeking fresh, energetic employees, you'll want to focus more on perks such as concierge services, flexible schedules, and unique employee discount programs. Younger generations also appreciate newer recruiting methods such as video interviewing and posting job openings on social media.

Retain Your People

You hire the most qualified applicant, after weeks of interviewing. You spend thousands of dollars and invest hours of time training your new employee. Everything is great, until you receive her letter of resignation barely a year she joined your team.

Employers must focus on keeping the best candidates long after the recruiting process. Offer perks that make people stay. When you develop a strong brand of values, expectations and characteristics throughout your organization, employee engagement and morale increases and employees become more productive. Happy employees take pride in the success of their company and typically work harder for their employer.

Live the Brand

During the recruiting process, consider interactions between future and current employees. According to Recruiter.com, the voice of your brand should come from employees --- encourage them to share their positive, proud feelings about the company, and have them tell stories about the company, whether those stories are about company projects, team activities, or personal achievements.

Your external brand should tell the same story your employees tell when asked what it's like to work for your organization. When implementing your brand, it's important to take the time to ensure all employees, future and present, have a clear idea of the brand your company represents.

Paint a Complete Picture

Job seekers in today's market have the luxury of being somewhat choosy about where they end up. Don't be shy. Let prospective candidates know what you have to offer. Simply explaining the open position and requirements pertaining to the job won't give you the competitive edge you'll need to attract the most qualified individuals. What do you offer that another employer might not? What benefits come with the position? What will life be like working for your company? Your brand should outline all the reasons why your company is the best.

Get Your Brand Out There

Word-of-mouth and positive online buzz, especially through social media, are key to an employer's brand. Everyone knows that people use LinkedIn to search for jobs and connect with professionals in their prospective fields. But many also use it to research and vet company leadership. Be sure to take advantage of other social sites, as well. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can be great places to showcase your company culture with pictures and videos of employee events, celebrations and outings. Want to see how? Check out this article from AfterCollege that highlights five companies who are excelling at employer branding on Instagram.

Encourage loyal employees to engage with social networks and promote your company's brand. Also be sure to respond to any negative feedback you may receive on social media and turn a negative into a positive. Either way, controlling the message on social media is a great way to pass along your company's brand and attract the right kind of attention.

At viperks, maximizing employee happiness is at the heart of everything we do. Our employee discount and appreciation program optimizes employee engagement, putting smiles on your staff members' faces and boosting your company's bottom line.

Want to learn more about how you can help your employees be happier and more productive? We're here to talk.

Topics: employer brand

blog author

Scott Moss

Scott is a business development professional with over 20 years of veteran experience dealing with large, complex sales of intangible services with extended sales cycles. He has domain expertise in rewards/recognition programs for Fortune 1000 organizations along with intimate knowledge of ecommerce best practices, consumer & B2B marketing, and behavioral economics. Scott is a 1991 graduate of Syracuse University.