In today’s competitive market, successfully attracting and retaining top talent relies on more than just a job ad. From social sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter to online reviews engraved in the archives of RateMyEmployer and Glassdoor, candidates are actively looking beyond the bullet points in a job description to build a better picture of their prospective employers.
The rapid rise of the digital era has not only broadened the channels used for candidate engagement, it has shaped the way we perceive companies. Now more than ever, businesses are using their brand to compete with industry rivals – not just to win customers, but to secure new employees.
According to research from LinkedIn, 83% of global recruiting leaders agree employer branding is an organization’s gateway to talent. Furthermore, a recent study from Careerarc claims that 75% of job seekers now consider an employer’s brand before even applying for the role.
Nevertheless, when it comes to brand management, most recruiters are all theory and no action. Rather than considering how their reputation impacts society’s perception of them, the majority of recruiters only start to assess their employer brand when preparing to hold interviews.
This doesn’t stem from a lack of knowledge on the subject – in fact, most HR professionals are more than familiar with the concept of employer brand and candidate experience. In most cases, recruiters simply don’t know where to begin. Research from Personnel Today indicated that only 12% of HR professionals would rate their most recent candidate experience a score of 9/10 or 10/10, whereas a whopping 58% would score it 6 or less.
To seasoned marketers, the answer may be obvious. Employer branding may be specifically concerned with attracting employees rather than customers, but ultimately, the aim is the same: creating a positive perception of your company to secure interest and loyalty from outsiders. Consequently, HR would be wise to take a leaf from the book of the marketing department, if only to learn that a brand must be born from the inside.
This is where effective brand-building and reputation management begins: the internal culture that exists within a company and the unique values it operates on. In order to promote a positive employer brand, recruiters should determine their Employer Value Proposition (EVP). An EVP should clearly outline the benefits that your company offers to candidates and employees: it requires a thorough understanding of your corporate culture and an awareness of what motivates your staff to stay.
Often, the best way to determine these seemingly intangible attributes is to seek and analyse internal feedback. By using existing data from resources such as new hire surveys or exit interviews, recruiters can begin to paint a picture of the experiences shared by current or ex-staff members to determine the key strengths the company holds as an employer. From here, you can begin to promote these unique benefits and position your company as an employer of choice.
If your employer brand accurately reflects your organisational culture, new hires will fast become engaged and passionate employees. From here, they will become a part of the employer brand, sharing their positive experiences to their wider network.
Director • San Francisco