Your employer brand is how people perceive you as an employer. It’s your reputation in the outside world and it’s absolutely crucial in attracting the right talent to your roles. The extensive reach of social media and growth of review sites like Glassdoor and Vault mean it’s never been easier for prospective talent to find out what it’s like to work at your company.
Our research shows that 78% of people would look into a company’s reputation as employers before applying for a job. If that’s not alarming enough 82% of people would not work at a company with a bad reputation.
One possible reason for the increased focus on employer branding, is the changing landscape of the hiring marketplace. As Millennials and Gen Zs become more prominent in the workforce, we’re seeing a different set of values take precedence in the workplace. Presenteeism and longevity are no longer the marks of a good employee and high salary and security are no longer the marks of a good employer. Today’s talent want to know who they’re working for and why. They’re interested in pursuing their passions and interests and look for greater work life balance.
More than 50% of people are more likely to take a lower wage at a company with a strong employer brand.
Another reason for the rise of employer branding is the so-called ‘war for talent’. Certain skill sets are so sought after that the competition for talent is near impossible. In the tech sector, for example, we’re seeing talent demand outstrip supply, making a strong employer brand crucial for converting candidates.
How do you establish your employer brand?
The first step is to define what elements make up your employer brand – figure out who you are. Invest time and effort into researching what makes your organisation a good place to work. Ask employees for their feedback on what they find unique about their role or department. Key questions to ask when determining your employer brand:
What is your culture?
What do you do and why do you do it? It’s important for prospective talent to get a sense of your vision and mission for the business.
What are your values?
What’s the driving force of the business? What does success look like in your organisation? Do you prioritise dedication or entrepreneurship, creativity or organisation? Being open about your values will give talent a good indication of their suitability to your company.
How are you different to your competitors?
As the race for talent intensifies what is it about your company that sets you apart from the rest? What do you offer talent that no one else does? Or what don’t you offer?
Remember, you’re not just trying to entice the most suitable candidates to work for you, you’re also trying to put off the unsuitable ones.
Don’t make any assumptions on what will best motivate and retain employees. Our studies show that the top four motivations that would make respondents likely to stay at a job are flexible working hours/days (39%), good relationship with colleagues (35%), earning potential (31%) and good relationship with management (31%).
The second step in establishing your employer brand is to run an audit. After you’ve done your research internally, you need to assess how the public perceive you. Check review sites and social for any references to your reputation as an employer. Run focus groups to get a sense of how people view your business. Take a look at your competitor’s reputation too and see how you measure up.
The biggest challenge isn’t establishing your vision or personality as a brand, it’s communicating it.
You need to identify any disparities between your public and private persona so that your external image aligns with your internal reality. For example if you market your company as innovative and disruptive but your employees feel like their creativity is stifled your credibility is ruined.
You need to educate the leaders in your company and get them invested in building and maintaining your employer brand.
The benefits? A strong employer brand reduces hiring costs through more relevant applications and better employee retention. It also improves brand recognition which can lead to more sales and increased brand loyalty.