These days, there’s more to defining a company than just listing what it sells, or what it can do for its customers. Organisations are represented by the reputation that they’ve built for themselves in the marketplace.
In a similar way that a commercial brand can affect the way a consumer feels about you, so too can your employer brand impact a candidate’s decision on whether to work with your company. That’s why leaders across every sector are now investing more time and money into effective branding exercises.
Creating the right brand can help you to stand out from your competitors when you’re trying to attract the right talent in your industry – something that’s particularly important in today’s world of skill shortages. Research even suggests that implementing effective branding efforts can be enough to attract three times as many applicants per vacancy while cutting your cost-per-hire in half!
So, how can you get started on building the perfect brand?
Step 1: Know Your Employer Value Proposition
When you were writing your business plan, you probably came up with a “USP”, or unique selling proposition for your company. That distinguishing feature is the thing that you use to attract customers to your organisation. An “EVP”, or “employer value proposition”, is all about attracting the right professionals to your company.
To determine your EVP, look at what you offer your team that no-one else in your industry does. Maybe you have a particularly welcoming culture that makes all your employees feel like part of a big happy family. Perhaps you offer remote-working packages that would appeal to a millennial audience.
Find what makes you unique to the specific types of talent you want to attract, then keep those features in mind when you start working with your new recruitment agency.
Step 2: Show Off Your Company Culture
Today’s industry experts aren’t only looking for a good salary – they want to feel happy and engaged in the business they’re working for. That’s why so many brands are investing in building a stronger company culture.
If you want to make sure that your next job listing is as enticing as possible, you’ll need to find a way of demonstrating your culture before you attempt to start filling open positions. You can do this by investing in content marketing strategies that show people behind the scenes of your team with blogs and video posts.
On the other hand, you can consider publishing case studies that tell would-be applicants what working for you is really like. The easier it is to get a feel for what your organisation is all about, the more likely you are to attract great recruits.
Step 3: Refine the Hiring Experience
While a specialist recruitment agency can make it easier for you to track down the perfect candidates for your team, it’s up to you to convince the talent you speak to that they should be itching for a chance to join your staff.
Personalise the questions you ask potential hires according to the roles they’ve applied for, and make sure that they know how you’ll be keeping in touch with them when the interview is over.
Once you’ve brought someone new into your company make sure that you nurture the relationship you’ve begun to build by offering plenty of clear communication and recognition. Remember, regular feedback can improve morale within your company while motivating your employees to continuously give their best work.
Step 4: Develop an Advocacy Program
If you’re hoping to use your online presence to share information about your employer brand with possible future recruits, then the best thing you can do is design an advocacy program. This primarily involves asking your existing staff to share their thoughts, opinions, and experiences related to working for you with their social networks.
Advocacy is a powerful way of building your brand because the words of your team are far more believable than the messages your business creates to attract new talent.
Make it as easy as possible for people to join your advocacy programme, and offer rewards for the professionals who get involved.
Step 5: Monitor Your Reputation
Employer brands are organic things. They grow and develop over time, and require plenty of frequent attention to ensure that they don’t veer off in the wrong direction. The best companies know how to manage the perceptions they build around their business as it grows, carefully monitoring their reputation on everything from social media to satisfaction surveys.
If you can keep a close eye on how your people feel about your organisation, you can reduce the risk that you’ll end up generating bad feelings around your brand without your knowledge.
Failing to monitor your efforts may mean that you miss out on some of the best talent on the market the next time you need to fill a gap in your team.