During the past several years, employer branding has become increasingly important within the employment marketplace, especially for those organizations looking to hire to fill critical positions.
This was especially the case during the recent candidate-driven market. However, since job candidates are no longer driving the market, has employer branding become less important?
In a word, no.
In fact, if anything, recruiting and hiring top talent has become even more difficult due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty surrounding it. What hasn’t changed is the fact that people want to find more than just a job. They want to find a career that connects with their own values and goals, while making a difference larger than themselves. This definitely rings true with the top talent within the Millennial Generation, which now represents more of the workforce than any other generation.
Building an employer brand the right way has been the key to recruiting and hiring success for a great many organizations. In fact, some of them have created employer brands so strong that landing a job with them has become something of a status symbol for job candidates. And what’s the key for these employers?
The message that they’re sending out about themselves.
Employer brand building in five easy steps
Every company would love to have the best and brightest fighting each other for the chance to work at their organization. With that in mind, below are five keys for building and creating an employer brand strategy the right way:
#1—Comprehensive recruiting approach
Basically, you want to sell yourself. What do you want to sell? You want to sell the opportunity, of course, but also the organization itself. If you’re conducting video interviews because of the pandemic, that becomes more difficult, since the candidates won’t necessarily be on site. That’s why it’s even more important that the glimpse of your company that they’re getting aligns with what you intend for them to take away. To be sure that your brand is attracting the talent you’re looking for, be sure to offer up a realistic picture of what your company is all about. Below are some tips for doing just that:
- Have a dedicated careers page for job openings.
- Your careers page should have pictures and videos of your employees at work.
- Be sure to use real pictures of employees, not stock photos.
- Record videos of employees talking about why they love working for your company, what a typical day is like, and specifics about their particular position.
- Be sure the job description for the position answers “what’s in it for me” (WIIFM) for job candidates and is conversational, interesting, and unique.
Your organization’s employer brand should really shine when you’re trying to recruit job candidates for your most important positions.
#2—Clarity regarding your message
Candidates must not be confused about your brand or the message that you’re sending about it. Consequently, you should be able to summarize what your company does and what your goals are quickly and concisely. Questions to ask include the following:
What is your mission?
What are your values?
What is the vision for your company?
Your two main avenues for communicating your message social media and content (blog posts, gated content, newsletter articles, etc.). It’s critical that your messaging and your branding are consistent at all times. Your branding message should be so consistent that everywhere your clients or potential employees look, they’re receiving the same message.
When you create a wonderful workplace culture, then your workforce becomes your biggest fans . . . and your biggest salespeople in terms of how they brand the organization. They are the people who will be telling other people about why they should want to work there. You can create such a workplace by:
Fostering a sense of community
Providing consistent and strong communication
Offer fun perks
The bottom line: make your employees feel as though they’re part of the “big picture.” And of course, you must make sure that the “big picture” is a meaningful one.
#4—Focusing on the candidate experience
In addition to “employer branding,” the “candidate experience” has become more important during the last several years. This refers to what job candidates experience while they are in your organization’s recruiting and interviewing process. That’s why you should strive to make that process as seamless and as easy as possible. Here are four tips for doing just that:
Regularly communicate with candidates so that they feel engaged.
Set expectations with candidates, including what you expect from them and what they can expect from you.
When the interview process is completed, solicit candidate feedback.
Send out rejection letters that are warm, personalized, and unique. However, they still need to match your brand’s “voice.”
Remember: what candidates experience during the hiring process is what they’re going to think of their organization. And what they’re going to tell other people about your organization.
#5—Making retention a priority with stellar onboarding
The retention process begins the moment that a job candidate accepts your offer of employment. Any employer that has been “ghosted” by a candidate after accepting an offer can tell you that. Incidentally, that’s the same time that the onboarding process should begin.
A key component to retention and engagement is creating an environment where employees feel challenged and valued. This includes encouraging them to grow out of their positions by stretching outside of their comfort zones and recognizing them for the good work that they do. Ultimately, employees must understand how they contribute to the overall success of their organization and feel as though they are appreciated for their efforts.
To recap, your organization must have a strong, clear, and consistent message concerning the following things:
- Who you are
- What you value
- What you stand for
- What you’re striving to do, both within the employment marketplace and within the world at large
It doesn’t matter if we’re in a good economy or a bad one or whether or not it’s a candidate-driven market. Building and creating a strong employer brand strategy should be a top priority for your organization and that strategy should be evident through every step of the recruiting and hiring process.
To learn how The Applicant Manager can help you attract the right talent and help build your employer brand, contact us today!
And also consider getting a free demo of The Applicant Manager (or TAM). By replacing manual spreadsheets, paper resumes, and inefficient technology, TAM can streamline your organization’s recruiting and hiring process!