Texas A&M Professor Anthony Klotz coined the phrase “The Great Resignation,” – referring to this ongoing economic trend in which employees have voluntarily resigned from their jobs amid factors like living costs, safety concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic and ultimately, job dissatisfaction, and the desire to work for companies with better policies around things like remote-working and PTO.
With the number of staff leaving at any given company and at any given time, employers must begin working on an “Employer Branding Strategy” to help recruit candidates for jobs and retain employees.
What is Employer Branding
When it comes to the term “branding,” we probably think about it from a marketing side. Logos and brand messaging tend to focus on building brand awareness, but we often neglect the value of employer branding. Without a strong employer brand, companies are missing out on top candidates, potentially losing money and affecting other business areas.
Employer branding is all about the company’s reputation as an employer and the value they bring to its employees – something that should have an equal focus to consumer-facing branding, where the focus is on how the company is perceived by customers. But marketing from a recruitment standpoint is all about what makes your company a good employer and how the company stands out to candidates who are looking for jobs.
So, let’s look at how to utilize employer branding to benefit your company’s recruitment teams and improve the talent pool of applicants.
Candidate/Employer Value Alignment
Candidates want to align with companies that share the same values. The best talent knows it’s nearly impossible to bring their best to an organization with conflicting values. Employees need shared values to be fully engaged. Even if you’re a well-established brand, you can still have problems finding the right people to join your team.
You need to communicate your values everywhere your candidates might see them. With online research being a massive part of a candidate’s job search, you need to ensure your website is current and updated with all the values you’ve defined. Specifically, ensure you update your “Career Page,” your “About Us” page, and any other web pages potential candidates will want to view. Be sure you have a social presence and that you’re not only providing prospect and customer value but also on recruitment marketing as well. Give your candidates an idea of what your company culture looks like.
And, of course, make sure your values are sprinkled throughout your job descriptions. This is especially critical if you’ve placed postings on job boards where candidates may not need to have a fundamental understanding of your brand to apply.
What Differentiates You from Other Employers?
When candidates apply for a job, it’s often asked, “what sets you apart from other candidates?”. Today, the same goes for the employer. “What makes this company a better place to work than X?”
Having key statements about why you are the best place to work will set you apart from other businesses. For example, if you’re a smaller organization, how can you compete for talent against larger organizations? Is it about having more room for growth? Is it about a tight-knit family type of company culture? Is it less bureaucratic than a larger company?
Figure out statements that differentiate your company and make yours more unique than other companies that talent could work for.
It’s More than a Salary
Maybe it’s an assumption that wage is always a factor and that workers leave their jobs to find a pay increase. But it turns out that pay is far from the only motivator. According to HR Reporter, people cite low morale, burnout and the desire to have more opportunities to grow and develop their skills as their top reasons for leaving.
But in addition, candidates are looking for a work-life balance and mentorship from great leaders, and they also want to feel valued and find more purpose in their work. The more an employer limits those things, the higher the employee’s intent to leave – and the more you’ll be struggling to find the right candidate.
No matter what industry you’re in – whether you’re working in a warehouse, a front-line worker, stuck at your desk or even in the back of a kitchen, the era of a worker providing services purely in exchange for monetary compensation is over. Instead, they want employers to recognize their value and give value to them on a human level. Sure, financial compensation is essential from a basic needs and survival point of view, but deeper relationships, a strong sense of community and purpose-driven work are integral to thriving.
The pandemic may have been the catalyst for this, but it’s crucial now for employers to give their staff a more flexible approach to working. For instance, if employees desire a work-life balance, the employer must provide flexibility to balance personal needs and autonomy to achieve business outcomes.
How to Develop an Employer Brand
So now that we know why employer branding is a necessary feature of any company – follow these 4 steps to start developing your employer brand.
- Discovery – Understand how the employer brand is perceived by various stakeholders, including board members, managers, and staff.
- Analyse and create – Build a clear picture of what the company stands for, offers, and requires as an employer. What’s your value proposition to employees and candidates?
- Implement and communicate – Implement your brand in all forms of communication, especially in your hiring process (job descriptions, briefings for recruiters, screening and interview processes)
- Measure and optimize – Ensure you’re constantly checking in to ensure that the employer brand messaging is included consistently and that the brand’s perception as an employer is being met.