The employer-employee dynamic has evolved and progressed over the year and has come a long way. Once upon a time, the employer used to be an intimidating power who could make or break your career with strict profile evaluation and background checks. But today, employers can be easily researched by potential candidates using the power of the internet. This does not mean that the value of the employer has diminished, this just means that the candidates can now level the previously existing status quo. The employers however need to take measures to attract the best of the best for their company and to do that, they need to build their brand! An employer brand strategy could get you the best quality of candidate pool for your organization which would go a long way in creating the overall company brand as genuine and uncompromising. So let’s get started!
What is employer branding?
Branding stands as the mark of market value, customer service, and products or services that a corporate organization offers. We have many a time used the phrase, “It may be costly but at least it is ‘branded’.” This is the reliability and trust of a consumer on a product from a well-known brand about its longevity and usefulness.
So, much like corporate branding, employer branding is something along the same lines. When building your brand as an employer, you essentially influence the minds of job seekers, potential candidates, existing employees, higher management, and stakeholders of the company about your ingenuity as an employer. In simpler terms, it is what the above-mentioned group of people think about you as a professional. It is your personality and the image you have created as an employer that people talk about with their friends and family in your absence.
Now employer brand cannot be controlled or owned because it is not something you have with you despite it being your brand! You can influence the way that the brand progresses but can’t own it because it exists in the thoughts and perceptions of everybody you interact with as an employer. These people have an opinion about you which you may or may not agree with but it is their own.
What is the importance of employer branding?
As mentioned above, employer branding is extremely important to your image as a professional employer and in the long run, reflects on the brand of the company you work for. The concept of employer branding has been around for quite a few decades but it didn’t become quite prevalent until the first online jobs were launched into the market. Almost abruptly, a huge number of candidates had access to millions of job opportunities from across different countries. This reduced the pressure on the employees to stick to one job for financial stability. With the advent of the world wide web and the revolutionary internet, employees, job seekers, and potential candidates could research their employers and form a perception of the kind of person you are with the work you have done! But the story doesn’t end with the image of the employer. This image goes on to attract and keep the good quality candidates within the company, attracts and keeps hence improving the quality of work.
- A huge number of candidates look at your reputation as well as the company’s brand image while considering career opportunities and growth in your organization.
- Several job seekers look up your culture and values while looking for a job, mostly to see how you handle diversity as an employer.
- A large number of candidates have no problem turning down a job offer from a branded company with bad employer branding. This way, the company is losing on potential quality candidates.
- Statistics show that companies with poor employer brands must increase their wages to attract job seekers and candidates, which could be financially devastating for the company in a long run.
- Studies also show that a company with good employer branding is more likely to retain talented employees without a pay raise than companies with a bad employer brand.
- Additional survey sources show that a majority of the young adult population would forgo a well-paying job position in exchange to work with a company that has good employer branding, mainly for gaining experience and professional growth.
- Less than 50% of a workforce of a company with weak employer branding would recommend the company to friends and family, which could be damaging, as employee referrals are one of the greatest sources of job applications.
All in all, your employer brand could make or break the employer-employee relationship that defines the quality of work at every organization.
What is the process of building an employer brand?
- Familiarize yourself with the company. Understand its USP (unique selling point), its values and ideals that it stands for, and how to integrate yourself as an employer in its fabric. An employer must keep in mind that their brand must be a reflection of the company’s brand for the coherent growth of the organization as a whole.
- Research your employer brand and analyze where it is lacking. You may be well-versed with your company’s current standing in the market or how well your products and services are doing. To round it all up, conduct surveys and audits with your existing employees to understand their perception of the brand and fill the gaps wherever necessary.
- Engage your current employees and make them feel comfortable. As an employer, you must be a figure that they can trust and confide in, rather than a person of intimidating and unapproachable power. Celebrate their successes with them and lift them in a downfall. Encourage them to update their professional skills and update their profile. Incentivize the tasks that you give to them to motivate them to put their best foot forward!
- Ask your employees to write honest reviews on social media pages or job listing sites about the company and share any open positions or vacancies among their circle. This will improve the authenticity of the organization in the eyes of the common public. If your employees are happy, there is bound to be an inflow of applications of candidates who are genuinely looking forward to working with you and your company.
- While onboarding an employee, make sure that they are comfortable with the induction process and the team that they are allotted. Studies show that the first 90 days of any new job is critical to retain the employee for a long-term run in the company. You could arm the recruit with instructions and tools that would help them start and settle in their new role smoothly.
- As senior personnel in the organization, your employees would look up to you for guidance. In such cases, you could offer them seminars and training sessions to help hone their skills. You could also offer professional certifications as a company package which would propel their profiles to a great extent and help them explore several avenues professionally. This would also renew the interest of your employee coming to work every day!
- Finally, while listing out job vacancies, make the job description interesting and catchy. This would pique the interest of potential candidates and would look up the company brand eagerly.
How to improve an existing employer brand?
- Market your brand value and the work culture and ethic instead of the money you would pay to potential candidates. While many of the applicants would be money-driven, good quality and potential candidates would mostly be the ones looking for work experience and professional growth as opposed to the compensation package they would be offered by a company.
- Use social media to market your brand strategy and start a company blog. These platforms are ideal to voice your views and opinions and make the managerial panel more approachable and relatable. These platforms can also highlight policies and ideals which are unique to your company and can conduct programs to show to the public that you as an employer are insistent on employee well-being.
- Show off your workspace using high-quality videos and pictures. You could record a video from the CEO or the director to welcome new employees, or conduct staff interviews to show the public a normal workday at the company. Allocate a separate budget for this program while planning your finances.
- Last but not the least, keep your workforce diverse. Include every ethnicity, color, and, gender without any bias. Encourage ideas from each one of your employees equally. This not only promotes a healthy work environment but at the same time, shows that your company can push boundaries and build on them productively.
Employee branding is a slow process, but if done correctly, the results are staggering. It isn’t easy, and rushing the process would get you nowhere. Once each of these steps and strategies is employed meticulously, the employer brand grows into something more organic and self-evolving! Good luck!