As opposed to a company’s general brand reputation and value proposition to customers, employer branding is a company’s reputation in the job market as an employer and its value proposition to its employees. Attracting and retaining the best talent available depends on the reputation of a company.
Before getting their hands dirty defining long-term employer branding strategies, it is very important for companies to evaluate the current situation of their business. The best way to do so is to get insights from their employees. The company’s current employees are definitely the first ambassadors or even consumers. Since there is an increasingly competitive landscape for recruiting and retaining talented employees, companies have to make sure their first ambassadors have enough reasons to stay and enjoy working there.
They can survey their employees about what they think, what they like and what they don’t. Glassdoor is an interesting tool because companies can see what previous employees say about them. It is also very useful to capture the metrics related to employment and recruitment. For example, the cost per hire, the ratio of qualified applicants to the total applicants, or the retention rate.
Key questions to ask before developing an employer branding strategy
In order to evaluate the current situation of their business companies should ask themselves some very important questions, such as: What makes us unique? What are we offering to the candidates and why should they work for us? What is the perception possible candidates have about our company? What percentage of our employees would recommend our company as a great place to work?
Competition analysis is also crucial for the strategy. Sometimes there is no need to reinvent the wheel, it is just about seeing what your competitors are doing well and adapting the message. Another important point is to make a clear statement on why do people leave. If there is a huge turnover it is very important to ask this question and take necessary actions depending on the conclusions.
Finally, companies should evaluate whether their managers really understand the importance of having the right talent on board. Sometimes managers are so focused on their day to day operations, they forget what talent means and how to promote the talent in a right way.
How to develop an employer branding strategy
Employer branding should be one of the most important things in the strategic agenda of a company. There are different steps that define the employer branding strategy. The first and the most important is defining the ultimate goal. Having clear and measurable objectives is crucial. With an ultimate goal in mind, it is also important to do a reality check and see where the company is today and where does it want to be in the following years. Getting internal support from other departments, such as marketing and communications is also key. Once companies have this support it is also good to be realistic and take budgeting into consideration.
The next step is defining the employer value proposition. If a candidate joins a company under the impression that working there will involve certain things when in reality it does not, this candidate will leave soon, and companies should avoid that.
Finally, promoting the employer branding is very important too. Creating and setting up a strategy is one thing, but then there is a need to communicate it in the right way. Social media plays a crucial role here, and there are many other ways to promote employer branding, such as websites, events, and career fairs.
Relationship between the departments
In a successful employer branding strategy, the relationship between the marketing department and the HR is crucial. Marketing is about attracting and retaining customers. Employer branding is about attracting and retaining the best talent. The goal is very similar, and marketeers have the right knowledge and the tools to maximize the potential of the brand. The HR department’s goal is to recruit, hire and retain employees. Every department of a company must truly understand the importance of employer branding in order for the strategy to be successful.
The importance of social media
A few years ago, if you wanted to find out what it was like to work for a company, the only thing you could do was to ask someone who worked there before. Today, information is everywhere, and companies cannot expect that paying someone a decent salary means they will be happy and stay.
Candidates, especially millennials, want other things, such as flexibility, making an impact, work-life balance and a coach approach. This is called emotional salary. The way to communicate that is through social media.
Companies with successful employer branding strategies
Google is always ranked very high on the list of the best companies to work for worldwide. It is a workplace that is constantly innovating, it keeps the level of motivation and creativity high. Recent studies said that approximately 73% of Google employees find their jobs to be meaningful because they have a very clear common goal, which is in Google’s words: ‘To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.’ That gives employees a purpose and they feel they are making an impact.
Another good example is L’Oreal. They did a fantastic job communicating their employee value proposition through social media. They are actually one of the best examples of using social media in the correct way. First, they offer potential candidates a thrilling experience, and then they make sure to create an inspiring work environment that truly makes L’Oreal a school of excellence.
Due to today’s social transparency, companies can no longer afford to rely on recruitment advertising to build a positive employer brand image. With employee advocacy growing more important, employer reputations depend on the consistent values and the vitality of their company cultures.