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Values & Culture

How to Get Started with Employer Branding: A Step-by-Step Guide Introduction

By 02/02/2024March 5th, 2024No Comments

Welcome to the exciting world of Employer Branding! This is where the challenge of finding the best talent meets smart ways to attract and keep them. Far from being just another industry buzzword, Employer Branding is a strong, long-term approach that is becoming more and more popular. It’s more than just a passing fad; it’s your covert tool for drawing elite talent to your company.

If you’re leading the charge in your company, like a CEO or CFO, and you want to make a big impact, especially on those financials, Employer Branding will be your best friend. It helps cut down on hiring costs, keeps staff turnover low, makes you more attractive to business partners, and can even make salary less of a big deal!

But starting out or getting your head around it can feel a bit overwhelming, right? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! This is your step-by-step guide to kickstart your Employer Branding journey.

Step 1: Getting Execs On Board

Why should you even care about Employer Branding? Don’t think of it as only some fancy term. It has the power to transform your workplace into a sought-after destination. But first things first, chat with your top bosses to get their thumbs-up. They’re key players in this game.

So, how can you win your bosses over? To get their buy-in, make sure you present them with a clear objective and a compelling vision. Here’s how:

  • Clear Objectives, Clear Vision: Picture the Employer Branding endgame. What’s the vision that makes your workplace stand out? Whether it’s boosting team morale or becoming the go-to employer in your industry, clarity is key.
  • Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Take a good look in the Employer Branding mirror. Where do you stand now? Are you a well-known entity, or is your brand a bit fuzzy
  • Explore the Possibilities: Employer Branding isn’t a one-size-fits-all. Explore options that align with your company’s unique personality.
  • Show Me the Money:  Employer Branding isn’t just a feel-good exercise; it’s an investment. Crunch those numbers and what resources you need and what returns you can expect.

Step 2: Culture Checkup

Launching an all-hands survey is not just about data collection; it’s about understanding the true spirit of the organisation. However, simplicity is key here. We’re aiming for a broad spectrum of responses, so let’s not make it rocket science. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Smart Questions, Real Answers: Keep the survey casual and inclusive. What do your people enjoy about working here? What challenges do they face?
  • Uncover What Drives Them: We’re digging deep here. What really lights a fire under your team? Is it the camaraderie, the ground-breaking projects, or maybe that sweet work-life balance?
  • Your Toolkit for Open-Ended Questions: Here’s a list of conversation starters to spark some honest chat:

“What aspects of your job get you up in the morning?”

“What are the tough spots in your role here?”

“Tell us what’s great about your department.”

“What are the challenges in your department?”

“What parts of your workday boost your energy?”

“And what parts tend to drain it?”

When you’re working on your employer branding, it’s essential for you to balance the exciting job aspects with the real-life aspects of the work. Take these examples:

Your Positive Spin: You advertise for an “Innovative Head of Design, strategic and ideas oriented.” This approach draws in creative, forward-thinking applicants.

But Here’s Your Reality: Your business mainly focuses on optimising five core services. New team members expecting innovation might find themselves in a role more about optimisation than creating new ideas.

The Impact on You: Attracting talent with a promise of innovation can lead to dissatisfaction if the reality is different. It’s important for you to show both the potential and the actual nature of the role to ensure job satisfaction and retain the right fit. By striking this balance in your employer branding, you set accurate expectations and attract professionals who truly fit what your company needs and offers.

Your Positive Spin: You promote a desire to deliver quality products to the market.

But Here’s Your Reality: In practice, you operate with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) approach. Your strategy is to launch products quickly, see what works, and then optimise the profitable ones.

The Impact on You: If you focus only on this positive aspect, you might attract perfectionists. But when they join and start working under the MVP model, they might struggle with the pace or feel frustrated by the initial quality of the products. This leads to the big question: How long will they remain satisfied in such an environment?

Step 3: Deep Diving With Teams

Next, you’ll explore all that interesting data you found in the surveys. Form groups of about 10 people, grouping everyone by how long they’ve been with the company. Think of them as informal chats where you can really get to the heart of things.

Use the opportunity to delve a little deeper into the following questions:

  • What Makes Your Day? Let’s talk about what you love here. The little things, the big wins – all of it.
  • Super Skills: What are you absolutely smashing at work?
  • Dream Projects: Is there something you’re itching to get more involved in?
  • Fixer-Uppers: Any challenges you’re currently tackling? Let’s hear about your problem-solving adventures.
  • Innovation Station: Got any cool, innovative stuff you’re driving or part of?
  • Roadblocks: What’s stopping you from being your absolute best here?
  • Value-Add: How are you making a difference, and do you feel that’s being noticed?

These aren’t just questions – they’re conversation starters. It’s all about understanding more about you and making sure you’re all heading in the same direction.

Step 4: Exit Surveys Reimagined

You’re probably doing exit surveys, right? But think about it, asking, “Why are you leaving?” is kind of surface-level. And let’s be real, by the time they’re handing in their notice, the reasons are pretty clear – maybe a better job offer, higher salary, or improved working conditions.

The real goldmine, though, is understanding what made them start job hunting in the first place:

  • What was that initial nudge?
  • Did they feel undervalued, or were they just curious to see what’s out there?
  • Or perhaps, they got headhunted and decided to give that first interview a shot.

These triggers are what we’re really after – they tell us the true story of why people are moving on from our company.

Step 5: Checking Out The Competition

Now, it’s time to turn your attention to what’s happening outside your doors. You want to understand how you stack up against others when it comes to hiring:

  • Research Competitors: Look into how similar industries and key employers recruit. Examine their online presence and recruitment tactics.
  • Think Back on Tough Hires: Think back to those roles that were hard for you to fill or times when your top choices chose other companies. Focus on those positions that took a long time to fill or where you didn’t get your first-choice candidates.
  • Step into the Candidate’s Shoes: Put yourself in the position of your ideal hire. For instance, a top-notch developer might be more attracted to big tech companies, not just ones like yours.
  • What’s Your Competition Up To? Now, get into the details of how these appealing companies are hiring. Pay close attention to their entire application process.
  • The Good and the Not-So-Good: Keep an eye out for what these companies are doing really well and areas where they might be falling short.

By doing this, you’re not just observing – you’re gaining valuable insights to enhance your own hiring strategy.

Step 6: The Retention Conversation

Retention is the unsung hero of Employer Branding. Here, you’ll have heart-to-heart interviews with the ones who stuck around:

  • Choose Who to Chat With: Pick team members known for their honest feedback. Think of these sessions as casual coffee chats to understand their thoughts and feelings.
  • Discuss the Positives: Ask them what they enjoy about working with your team and why it resonates with them.
  • Address Challenges: Every job has its hurdles. Find out what obstacles they face in their work and specifically in your workplace.
  • Discover Their Motivators: Understand what keeps them motivated and committed to the job. Ask about the special aspects that make them stay.
  • Evaluate Perks: Identify which perks they value the most and why they matter.
  • Spot Missing Elements: Find out if there’s anything they feel is lacking and why it would be important.

By having these laid-back yet meaningful chats, you’re not just gathering info – you’re building stronger connections with your team and really tuning into what makes your workplace tick.

Step 7: Mix It All Together

This step is all about connecting the dots – making sure what you’ve learned from your team shapes how you move forward together with the leadership.

  • Mixing It All Together: Time to put all the pieces of the puzzle together – the numbers, the stories, everything and get ready to share them with the higher-ups.
  • Show-and-Tell with Leaders: You’ll be taking all this information to your senior leaders. It’s your chance to show them what your team thinks and feels, and then hear their perspective.
  • Vision and Values Check-In: Here, you’re going to ask the big questions: Does your insights gel with where the company’s headed? If there’s a gap, what’s got to change?
  • Extra Time with Leaders, Maybe? If things aren’t quite clicking with our vision or values, we might need some extra workshop time with the senior team. It’s all about getting everyone on the same wavelength.
  • Perks Pow-Wow: Here’s the fun part. Let’s talk about perks! What should you keep? What new goodies should you bring in? Especially those perks that can turn any work frowns upside down. This is big for shaping what you stand for as an employer.

Step 8: Customising For Teams

Now, you’ve got a solid grasp on your overall employer branding and Employee Value Proposition (EVP). But remember, each department in your company is unique.

  • Chat with Department Heads: Your next move is to sit down with each department’s senior leader. You’re going to craft an EVP that not only fits with the big picture but is also perfect for their specific area.
  • Tailor-Made Approach: Think of it as customising a suit – it should fit each department just right.
Tip Top Tip: There's this neat table in the book "Give and Get Employer Branding" by Charlotte Marshall and Bryan Adams. It's called the Give and Get Model, and it could really help you out here.

Embarking on your employer branding journey is a big task. From understanding your team’s culture with staff surveys, to figuring out what makes your company stand out. There’s a lot to think about – team workshops, exit interviews, looking at how you hire, and really getting into the nitty-gritty with one-on-one chats.

It sounds like a lot! But you don’t have to tackle it all on your own. That’s where we, at MadeYou, step in. We’re here to guide you through every step of the process, from the research right down to shaping your Employer Value Proposition (EVP) and refining your overall Employer Branding strategy.

With these strategies tailored to your company, you’ll watch your employer brand grow, turning your company into a hotspot for great talent. You’ll build a place where everyone loves to work and is in tune with what your company’s all about.

Ready to take the leap but looking for a bit of help? That’s what we’re here for. Fill in the form below to get in touch with us. Let’s team up and turn your company into a talent magnet!

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