Those companies have gone a long way to make sure that they stand out and get our attention one way or another. So with endless reports of the competition for top talent and the challenges of recruitment, why have some employers been slow to acknowledge the power of brand-building to attract the right talent. Let’s face it we all know the perks offered by the big guns like Airbnb and Google. But not every company can offer high salaries, open holidays and flexible hours. Getting the basics of your employer brand right can go a long way to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Employer brand + corporate brand
An employer brand should clearly communicate the culture of your company, its mission, goals and values, giving people a strong reason to want to work for and stay with the company. Living your truth is key as there is nothing worse than not walking your talk. Incongruencies in how you present your company to the outside world vs what employees actually feel leads to problems.
Is your culture claiming to be creative, happy, autonomous and empowering individuals to be their best when in reality it is seeped in inconsistencies, is formal and rigid and barely spends money on training or coaching? These jarring factors will impact on the employees you currently have who will either become great ambassadors or be vocally critical of your company. Getting this balance right means you can directly affect the perceptions of those that want to join you.
To get this right co-create with your employees vs just dictating what you want your employer brand to look and feel like. Successful employer brands accentuate the real and positive attributes of the company but are equally realistic and relatable.
What is your 'employee engagement flow'?
Employer branding requires a strategic approach and attitude towards employee attraction, engagement and retention. All departments, Marketing and HR for example need to come together to communicate a vision that makes potential new talent jump at the opportunity to work for your company. All to often HR is siloed from the Board and Marketing when they are crucial piece of the puzzle.
Attracting new talent is one thing, but what is the journey you want them to go on in your company. What should it look like from job application through to onboarding to one day leaving. What are you doing to communicate the reasons; why someone should want to work for you; what success looks like in your company; the current employees you have and also the commitment you have to their growth.
Is there a smooth transition from job offer to their first day? Does it feel consistent with your values and where are the pitfalls? Do you have a fluid approach to reviews? When can an individual take some development courses? How do your employees bond, develop and connect - team nights out, retreats, weekly baking competitions, charity runs?
What happens when someone expresses an interest to leave? Do you wait until then to have a ‘stay interview’ or are you aware of who is happy and who is not? What happens when someone leaves, are they supported until the end? Leavers again have the potential to be your biggest allies or enemies. Are you doing enough to maintain good ties and communication?
Sustaining employer brand momentum
Your employer brand must grow and evolve with the times to keep abreast of changing needs of the workforce. Take the time to check in with your employees via surveys, happiness chats and exit interviews to provide you with information to shape and mould your culture and processes moving forwards. Also it’s important to communicate authentically how you are consistently meeting your employees needs and retaining existing talent. Keep promoting across various social media platforms what you are doing well, the feedback you receive and the changes you made and culture and process innovations. Constant recruitment is an expensive and time consuming game and a losing battle if your employer brand isn’t strong to begin with.