Employer Branding and Why It’s Important
With so much jargon floating around these days, you might be left wondering what exactly employer branding means beneath those two simple buzzwords.
Today, we’ll put it into plain English for you and show you why branding techniques are so vital in today’s increasingly competitive economy.
Employer Brand and Employer Branding: A Basic Definition
Your employer brand is, in the simplest sense, your reputation as an employer.
Your employer brand is not synonymous with your consumer brand, although it is related.
If employees were talking about what it’s like to work at your company, what would they say? Is it a stimulating environment? Are they respected? Does their opinion count?
When candidates are researching your company and deciding whether to work with you, what would they think about your company? Today, merely offering a substantial salary and benefits package is not enough. Not if you want to attract the best workers, anyway.
So, just as any prospective candidates present themselves in their best light hoping to land the job, so you should manage your reputation as an employer to attract them to your company.
By adopting a tactical approach, you can shape the way in which employees and candidates view your company as an employer. The way in which you tell your company story in order to influence the way in which you are perceived as an employer is employer branding.
You can think of your employer brand as your core identity whereas employer branding is the process used to get that message out to your target market, specifically the talent you’re trying to attract.
Why does this really matter, though?
Why is Employer Branding Important?
In today’s global market, workers have almost infinite choice. The days of needing to stick with one career for life are history. Life is fluid with people often prepared to travel to the other side of the world for the right job. Every industry and sector is remarkably competitive.
All of this combines to create the need to do something to make sure your company has a distinct identity and looks like somewhere a prospective candidate would actually want to work. If that employer brand seems weak or non-existent, there are plenty of companies out there with precise messaging to step in and attract the talent you want and need.
Think about it. You wouldn’t even think about not advertising your product or service and leave consumers to make up their own minds about what you sell. You get the story you want out there even though it takes time, money, and effort. Your employer brand deserves the same attention lavished on your products if you wish the best of the best working with you.
How do you go about doing this?
Employer Branding Strategy
First, you need to double down on internal and external expectations:
- Internal: What is the overarching strategic objective of your company?
- External: What do the talent you hope to attract expect from a career with your company?
By focusing on these elements, you can establish your employer value proposition (EVP). In plain English, this is what you offer as an employer that prospective employees view in a positive light.
Employer Branding Process
Despite its complexities, we can strip the overall strategy of employer branding down into three key areas:
- Data-Driven Research
- Track Performance
You need to start, as we stated, by clearly establishing your company value as laid out in your EVP. This needs to be supported right up through to C-suite.
The best way to achieve this is with a data-driven approach heavy on the research and cold, hard facts. You can’t take any effective steps to implement employer branding without these foundations laid.
Putting things into practice is where the active marketing phase kicks in. Having established your message and values, you need to get it out there and position your company appropriately.
Just as surely as your recruitment arm wants to source and choose the strongest talent, your marketing goal is to make that easier by ensuring the best candidates want to work for you in the first place.
Regardless of the marketing channels you use or the message you disseminate, it’s vital to set key performance indicators (KPIs) to track performance and enable constant improvements to be made.
We mention improvements because effective employer branding is ongoing. You don’t stop the process just as you wouldn’t stop advertising your product or service. An effective employer branding can impact your bottom line over time just as surely as your direct sales.
Employer Branding: Key Takeaways
With a strong and positive employer brand, you can achieve the following direct benefits. After all, it’s business. If employee branding didn’t offer something for you, there would be no point in wasting resources on any kind of branding techniques.
So, here are five key ways you’ll gain from rolling out a successful employer branding strategy:
- Attraction: You’ll find your recruitment process becomes exponentially easier every step of the way with an attractive employer brand in place and implemented. You’ll find it easier to attract applicants, and you’ll also get a better quality of applicants creating a win-win.
- Retention: Once you’ve got the best talent on board, the unique working culture that drew them in will help ensure they stay longer.
- Organic Knock-On Effect: Once you’ve established a workplace culture that places employees first, it’s only natural they’ll want to talk about what a great place it is to be. This starts doing part of your employer branding for you, organically, naturally, and completely free of charge.
- Financial Gain: You can slash recruitment costs by attracting more and better talent. You’ll also need to recruit less often since staff will be more likely to stay with you. Both of these areas will have a direct and positive effect on your bottom line.
- Differentiation: Stand out in a glutted market by making sure your employer branding is on-point and backed up by a workplace that embodies the values you have in place. Hollow words are no use. You need action to back them up.