With the challenge in finding talent, how do you stand out to candidates? With a strong employer brand – a company’s identity and reputation as an employer. Organizations with strong employer brands reap multiple benefits. A strong employer brand engages and retains current employees and attracts new talent.
The HR Research Institute conducted a study, The State of Employer Branding and Recruitment Advertising 2021, of HR professionals to take an in-depth look at how building a compelling employer brand can help attract and retain the best possible talent during economic recovery.
80% of organizations have an intentionally cultivated employer brand. However, only about half (54%) say their employer brand is well known. And some companies (17%) indicate they don’t even have an employer brand, although they are developing or considering one.
When looking at organizations that report a strong employer brand built through recruitment and advertising strategies, they are:
- Three times more likely to say they’ve intentionally cultivated a brand that is well known
- Three times more likely to say their employer brand engages and retains current employees
- Nearly three times more likely to say their brand reflects the organization’s values and mission
- Considerably more likely to use employee KPIs and Net Promoter Scores to measure and evaluate their employer brand
“Focusing efforts on ensuring a strong brand is critical for employers as we emerge from the cloud of COVID-19 pandemic challenges,” stated Debbie McGrath, Chief Instigator and CEO of HR.com. “Lack of intentional branding and recruitment strategies may not only lead to a loss of good candidates but also to a loss of business!”
Steps to building a strong employer brand include:
1. Analyze your company culture. A strong employer brand starts from within. In other words — if you want candidates to perceive your company as a great place to work, it must actually be a great place to work.
2. Develop a content strategy to promote your employer brand. It’s one thing to have a great work culture, but does your career page reflect that? Do your recruitment ads and content reflect that?
a. Develop candidate personas - Candidate personas are profiles of potential candidates that include a set of preferred characteristics like work history, skills, goals, employment preferences, and much more. They can help you personalize recruiting content for your ideal candidates.
b. Use storytelling – Engage candidates on an emotional level. Talk about the journey of your brand and of specific employees.
c. Emphasize your company values – Job seekers want to work for a company that reflects their personal values. Clearly define the core values of your company and promote them throughout your content.
3. Establish an employee advocacy program. Offer incentives to employees who recommend new hires, share content, and promote branded information.
4. Leverage social media. Use social media for more than just recruitment ad posting. Engage with candidates and share valuable content. Consider creating a separate profile for your recruiting efforts to distinguish your employer branding from your traditional marketing efforts.
5. Test and measure your employer brand. Companies often think they have a strong employer brand — but really, they have no idea. Measuring it is all about tracking the right metrics which include:
a. Reviews and ratings
b. Retention rate
c. Source of hire
d. Employee engagement
Today’s modern candidates spend time researching employers to identify who they want to work for. Make yourself stand out with a strong employer brand.