It’s probably not news to you that hiring has gotten more complicated in recent years. Longer time-to-hire, higher costs, more variables in the pipeline, reaching the best candidates: all have made the recruitment and talent acquisition process into a bit of a hiring crunch. Add to that a buyer’s market for job seekers and it means your organization needs every advantage it can get. Employer branding is not only the first thing to do to improve your hiring, it’s also one of the most important things you can do for your organization’s long-term recruiting health.
It’s important to separate your employer brand from your organization’s outward-facing brand marketing. The latter is important in cultivating customers and partners, but the former is what you need to make sure you’re putting the right talent in place. Consider your employer brand as a separate type of marketing. To that end, you should be able to answer these questions, if you want a secure sense of employer brand:
- What makes you an appealing place to work?
- What is the public perception of your organization as an employer?
- What is your employee value proposition (EVP)?
- Approximately how many of your current employees would recommend you as a place to work?
- How much visibility do you have into your current employees, and the potential employee pool?
If you’re looking to develop a strategy to shore up your employer brand, thinking critically and openly about those questions (and improving the responses, as necessary) is the place to start. After that, there are steps you can take to make sure you’re developing your employer brand in a way that improves your hiring.
Clarify your mission
Your company website or career platform may be the first experience someone has of your company. You want to make sure you’re presenting a cohesive mission statement and voice in any public-facing platform that potential employees will see. Make your company’s goals, values, and culture clear, and be sure to play up the factors that make your company unique, or at least better.
Know your employees
If you don’t really know how your employees think of you as an employer, it’s time to do some research. These are people who were already selected to be part of your team, and they bring the most relevant perspectives on what you’re like as an employer. Surveys and requests for feedback (particularly anonymous ones) can provide you with the constructive information you need to make sure you’re the high-quality workplace you want to be. You may learn some uncomfortable or surprising truths from this kind of research, but this whole thing is about being better—not being comfortable.
Understand what the public hears and says about you
Sites like Glassdoor give former employees to give anonymous feedback about their experience, for the reference of those who might be thinking about applying at a certain company. Online reviews can be a mixed bag at best—people with axes to grind can often outweigh genuine perspectives. However, it’s important to know what people are saying about you, positive or not. This can help you figure out which positives to emphasize as part of your employer brand, and also which negative perceptions you’ll be fighting
Use metrics and marketing tools to assess your employer brand
These are the same methods you’d use to track your customer marketing, brand awareness, employee engagement, and other data points that inform your marketing decisions. The information you get as you get deeper into the employer branding process will help improve your strategies moving forward.
Investing in your employer branding strategy is one of the best things you can do to future-proof your recruitment and hiring. By refining your employer brand and ensuring that you’re appealing to the candidates you want to attract, you’ll be less affected by the ups and downs of the talent acquisition trends of the day.
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