We all know about the importance of strong branding across our websites and social media for the sake of attracting our ideal client or customer, but when was the last time you considered your Employer Branding?
This is the message you put out into the world about your business identity in terms of being an amazing employer and providing a great place to work. It’s how you attract and retain the best talent, so it should be as much of a priority as your general branding and marketing strategy.
What is Your Employer Brand?
Your Employer Brand is essentially what your employees and candidates think about you as an employer. It’s their perception of how you treat your staff and the kind of environment you provide. It boils down to how they feel your employees are valued. In the current ‘war for talent’ (a rising issue since the pandemic and the evolution of remote work), your Employer Brand couldn’t be more important.
Forbes discussed the war for talent in their July 22 article, stating
Competition for talent is fierce in a post-pandemic world. In addition to the “Great Resignation,” we’re now dealing with market meltdowns and slowed growth forecasts. Business leaders are realizing that success in the new normal means building the best teams most effectively.
In summary, many professionals are considering leaving their jobs in search of roles that offer better work-life balance and that are more aligned with their values. They are comparison-shopping and researching multiple opportunities before choosing their next roles.
Why is Employer Branding SO Important?
Strong, truthful Employer Branding can give you a hugely competitive advantage in the current marketplace. If your logo immediately conjures up thoughts of a great workplace, excellent benefits and genuine support for employees, you’re bound to attract great talent – and keep them. Great examples are Google and Apple. You see their logos and you immediately think good things- both as a customer and as a potential employee.
If you or your leadership team are still on the fence about whether to make your Employer Brand a priority, ask the following questions:
- Do you want to be better than your competitors?
- Do you want to hire the best talent?
- Do you want to save on recruitment costs?
- Do you want to save on recruitment time?
- Do you want to retain your best talent?
We’re assuming your answers were a resounding YES. Employer Branding is the best way to achieve in all these areas. These questions can be used to engage senior leaders, linking everything back to business costs, revenue and profit.
You’ll save on recruitment costs as you’ll be attracting the right people- filtering out the masses before they even apply. According to Glassdoor 84% of job seekers say that the reputation of a company as an employer is an important decision factor BEFORE applying.
You’ll also save on constant churn as you’re more likely to hold on to your talent. They will have joined in full knowledge of how you treat your staff, they will be surrounded by like-minded, talented people who have also been drawn to your branding, and they’ll be part of a successful company who value their employees. On-point Branding and treating staff well can also impact ongoing salary costs, as money becomes less important when people are happy.
Indirect impacts can also include your sales and customer retention figures. Customers assume a correlation between your employer branding and how they’ll be treated, and so are more likely to choose your brand. They’ll then be treated really well as they will be handled by happy staff.
Who Should Be Responsible for Employer Branding?
The decisions around a company’s employer branding are usually left to HR and we understand why. They’re responsible for recruitment so should have a grasp of who they want to attract. They also have a good, over-arching view of the company and the teams within it.
However, Employer Branding is fundamentally a marketing strategy. The Marketing team have to be involved to make sure their knowledge and experience is put to work. We believe a joint effort is needed.
Senior leaders are also more likely to take the necessity of Employer Branding seriously if it’s presented as a joint initiative between Marketing and HR; leveraging both skill sets and ensuring that any marketing metrics are utilised and linked back to business metrics.
If it can’t be handled by both departments, it should at least be the responsibility of someone who has experience in both camps and who works closely with both departments to put a strategy in place.
Engaging Your C-Team & Business Leaders
Discussions around Employer Branding need to be approached in the same way as any other new venture. If you wanted to push your services in to a new market, your C-Level team would expect some context and data. They’d want to hear about ROI, proof of concept and the overall aims you have in mind. It’s exactly the same for an Employer Branding upgrade.
As we discussed earlier, focussing on Employer Branding can have a huge business impact- so show it. Find some appropriate examples in other companies and make sure they display the impact on the metrics you need to form a convincing case.
Asking the following questions could help you build a strong business case for an Employer Branding makeover:
- What are you hoping to achieve?
- Where are we now?
- What are the options available?
- What is the scope of the employer branding strategy?
- What is the cost-v-benefit analysis?
- What resources are needed?
- Why should they care?
With these stats in mind you can build a business case for Employer Branding; concentrating on the key results in terms of costs, revenue and profit.
Employer Differentiation and Branding Strategy
In this ‘war for talent’ marketplace, you have to stand out. Your Employer Branding should shout about:
- What makes you different from others
- What keeps you on par with others (never assume this is a given)
- What others do that you disagree with and don’t replicate
Celebrate all the above through your marketing, events and online presence.
Avoiding Internal vs External Spin
This is so important: your outward branding has got to match your internal culture. Think about key points such as mental health, culture diversity, gender inclusion, providing horizontal and vertical opportunities- all the way down to beer Fridays! If your external Employer Branding doesn’t match the employees’ reality, the impact is huge and belief in your branding will not last long.
If externally we say ‘we take mental health issues seriously’, but when a team member is having issues, their team leader and their HR rep don’t quite know what to do…It’s seen as spin. When we say we are culturally diverse and united by a common business language but in reality, different groups are speaking different languages…spin.
When we say gender inclusion is important to us, but only 10% of the senior leadership team are female…spin. When we say we are inclusive, but we have BEER Fridays aimed at those who drink beer… we’re saying we’re not aware of cultural issues with alcohol or different drink preferences.
Spin leads to a loss of talent who, quite rightly, feel tricked.
We love a supporting statistic, so here are a couple of gooduns:
When it comes to your strategy for an Employer Branding overhaul, start with the basics:
- Set your goals
- Determine who you’re targeting with external job posts
- Determine your Employee Value Proposition (what makes it amazing to work for you)
- Define your marketing channels (where and how you are promoting your employer branding)
- Check your measurements – do your tracking tactics work or do they need tweaking
- Determine the impact on the core financial business metric
The goal here is to think like marketeers. Position your strategy correctly and then push it to the business leaders.
Once you have the green light, it’s vital that your Employer Branding be a common thread throughout; from your social content to your website, your careers page to the events you put on. Book in some seminars and workshops that reflect your branding and make sure your employees are recommending you whenever the question arises.
When it comes to interviewing, make sure the application and interview process match your Employer Branding. Is your open, flexible, non-hierarchical culture a huge part of your brand? Then you might want to stay away from traditional ‘tiny room’ one-to-one interviews. Show them around for example, keep it relaxed and open.
MadeYou has “quirky” as a value, and our job descriptions and interviews are definitely quirky! This is the nature of true Employer Branding – when we interview at different companies it should feel very different, but do we experience this in reality? It’s another opportunity for you to stand out.
Got you thinking about your Employer Branding, didn’t we?
We would love to help you and answer your questions. Fill in the form below and our awesome quirky team will be in touch.