In just a few years, employer branding has evolved from a rarely used term, to a crucial hiring strategy. And for good reason! 82% of people would not take a job at a company with a poor employer brand. We asked some industry leaders for their advice on how to build a strong employer brand and attract top talent to their roles.
Andrea Marston is Senior Director of Talent Acquisition at AOL. For her, successful employer branding is about telling stories and showing the human side of your business. She says this is particularly important when people have a narrow or outdated view of your company.
“We are an older brand that people have some prejudices about but that might not be the reality today. So the only way people understand our employer brand is by having real conversations with real people. It’s got to be authentic.”
EY’s Caroline McAniff says employer branding should offer candidates a genuine insight into what it’s like to work at your company.
“When I joined EY I had no idea of what it was really going to be like working here. I had perceptions which turned out to be completely wrong and it was a perfect example of an organisation that was not showcasing its employer brand.”
To remedy this, Caroline and her team researched what elements of EY’s culture made it a unique place to work. They communicated their findings by putting their employees in the spotlight using blogs, video content and a new careers site. They also renewed their focus on the most relevant social channels for their audience: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. “We measured the success of this work through the massive interaction we have received on our website, engagement on our social channels and in the increase of great applications we have received for all of our open positions. For example – our grad programme attracted triple the number of applications compared to the previous year and the quality of candidates was significantly better.”
Support your team
Shazam’s Director of Talent Acquisition, Ruth Penfold, is another champion of employee advocacy. She encourages her team to get out there and build their own personal brand, which in turn does wonders for Shazam’s employer brand. In her role she supports her team by running sessions and workshops on how to conquer blogging and public speaking. She says: “One of the most important things you need to do is be yourself…and from that very authentic, connected place start writing about things that you’re actually interested in and feel real for you.”
Dee Murphy is an Organisational Psychologist and Jobbio’s Expert in Residence. In her experience nurturing your employer brand comes down to being honest enough to admit your failings and brave enough to share them! “It’s important for the employer (and the employee) to be honest and open about what they bring to the table and about what they expect from potential candidates.
Companies should highlight the good, the bad and the fugly when showcasing what it’s really like to work with them; and employees should shout about their strengths and where they’ll add value, while also recognising where they’ll need help.
Too often, candidates get caught up in the ‘marketing gloss’ and feel they were sold a dummy when the job or the environment isn’t what they expected; and employers are left frustrated when the ‘Yes Man’ from the interview doesn’t know power point from a paper cut once on the job.”