Employer branding: what to do (and what not to do)
It seems like not another day goes by that we don’t hear about employer branding, but there’s a reason for all the noise. Strong brands stand out from the crowd; strong brands attract talented candidates, and strong brands have the potential to grow where other companies don’t.
Despite its importance, many companies still don’t know how to develop a brand that projects the right image of their business to a busy job market. Requiring significant investment and a good understanding of how to leverage everything from your marketing strategy to your social media platforms, there’s a lot to get right- or wrong.
Here are some guidelines for getting it right.
What to do
Your employer brand hinges on sharing the stories from your company. After all, that’s what potential candidates want to know about, and 75% of professionals research a company online before accepting or rejecting a job offer. Tell people about you, and about the people that work with you. Be relatable and personal: include Day in the Life stories from colleagues, as well as videos and interviews, or pictures from your most recent social outings. You want candidates to picture themselves working for your company, so give them all the information they need to get them excited about it.
Understand your brand
Whether you want it or not, you will already have an employer brand in place when you start working on it. In order to better understand how to improve it, you need to know where it currently stands, so talk to current employees, and ex-colleagues, and listen to them and the views they have on your brand. How approachable are you? Are you friendly? Do you come across as a good place work- and if not, why not? You’ll be better able to understand where you’re at, where to improve and how far you’ve already come.
Use social media
86% of HR professionals think that recruitment is becoming more like marketing. Indeed, if you want to get your brand out there then you need to use social media to make it happen. Whether it’s by getting employees to leave reviews on your Glassdoor platform, or by tweeting related news and updates on company life, you need to make sure that you project an image that’s friendly and approachable to others. Above all, make sure that you reply quickly and politely to all reviews or inquiries: nobody likes to feel that they’ve been ignored, and you’ll be seen all the better because of it.
When it comes to employee branding, honesty is always the best policy. Don’t try and be something, or somebody, that you’re not: even if people are taken in by it to start with, you will likely reap the repercussions later on when new hires start to leave because the image you’ve sold them of your company isn’t the same as the one they’re experiencing. Show what it’s really like to work for your company, and you’ll attract people who share the same values as you do and are much more likely to thrive in their role.
What not to do
Confuse employer brand with company brand
It’s common, but there’s a very important line to draw between the two. After all, what potential clients are looking for is very different to what your employees are looking for. Make sure you spend time promoting both images of your brand- perhaps separate Twitter or Facebook profiles for clients and for candidates might be a good idea, allowing you to post tailored content to an equally tailored audience.
Delegate to marketing
Employer branding should encompass the whole of your company. Otherwise, you’ll just be showing your audience a sliver of viewpoints from a very select number of your team. Be inclusive, and open up the floor to suggestions and requests from your employees, whether that’s on writing a blog or appearing in a video interview. Not only will it help them to feel included, but it will help you to cultivate new ideas and build an authentic company image from scratch, rather than having one created solely by your Marketing team.
Think it doesn’t matter
It does. Employer branding impacts every part of your candidate funnel, from attracting candidates to your jobs in the first place to the social messaging, ads, job description and careers website that you’ll be using to promote your message. Employer branding impacts the quality of people who apply to your roles, which in turn will impact the performance of your company. Needless to say, the effort you put into creating a great, memorable brand will really pay off at every level.
Build your brand with 4MAT
We’re passionate about building great careers websites which can build great employer brands. Find out more about to create one that really stands out by kick-start your branding journey with our blog on upgrading your Careers Website.
Case study - npower
As one of Britain's largest energy suppliers, npower needed a careers website that reflected their heritage and leveraged their employer brand to attract candidates.