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Employer branding is the reputation you have as an employer among your employees and the workforce. It’s also how you market your company to job seekers and internal employees.
If a job seeker asks an employee at your company, “What’s it like to work there?” the employee isn’t going to say, “We’ve built some awesome merchandise.” Instead, he’s going to lay into the day-to-day of people management, company values, and workplace culture. To ensure a good employer brand, you need to tell a compelling story.
Employer branding goes deeper than storytelling — you also need to walk the walk. Telling your employees and the general public that having a ping-pong table makes you a great place to work isn’t going to cut it.
At this point, you might be wondering, does this really matter to me and my company?
You have an employer brand whether you’ve put effort behind it or not — so why not put effort in to ensure it’s a brand you can be proud of?
Next, let’s explore how you can implement an employer brand strategy today.
A good employer branding strategy can help you attract better talent, cut down on hiring costs, and reduce employee turnover.
A powerful employer brand begins by focusing on your company’s mission statement, values, vision, and culture. It can be helpful to identify what your business needs are and work backward to understand the type of talent you need to fulfill those objectives.
For instance, consider Teach for America’s mission statement — “One day, all children in this nation will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education.”
In this way, they’ve aligned their values, and their employer brand, with their business goal.
You might not be fully aware of your company’s reputation among job seekers, or even your employees.
Conduct a brand audit and send out internal surveys, conduct social media searches, monitor career sites for reviews, or hire a firm that monitors reputations. Your research should help you uncover your employee’s favorite aspects of your company culture that you can focus on highlighting and any areas for improvement to ensure a strong employer brand.
Once you’ve researched, cultivated a list of business values, and learned about your existing perceptions, you’ll want to create an employer value proposition.
An employer value proposition is a marketing message and a promise, so say things that are factually true about your business that your employees would agree with. You can use this value proposition on your website, recruitment materials, or LinkedIn Company Page, and recruiters and HR teams can discuss it with potential candidates.
Giving employees the opportunity to pursue learning opportunities and become proficient in new skills shows your commitment to on-the-job learning and professional development. And by challenging your employees, you’re ensuring they won’t get bored in their roles — which could lead to higher retention rates.
Plus, as they develop new skills, they become more valuable employees for your company. A win, win.
When implementing a strategy to improve the market’s perception of your brand, use multiple channels. Share videos, photos, slideshows, blogs, and other forms of messaging to ensure you reach a large group of audiences on the platforms they already use.
Similarly, it’s critical you use high-quality videos, photos, and text to tell your company story. You might consider putting employee interviews on your job page or a slideshare created by your CEO on your About Us page.
A pillar of a strong employer brand is a continuous commitment to building diverse and inclusive teams.
One of the most important factors in developing an employer brand is honesty, transparency, and being genuine.
Don’t ask for employee feedback because you want to hear the positives to share on your career pages. Negative feedback can also help you learn about areas for improvement, and making changes can help you meet more of your employees’ needs. In turn, satisfied employees have higher retention rates and are more likely to promote your business and boast about the culture they’re happy to be part of.
The same goes for job seekers and the general public. Making false statements and promises about your values, culture, and happenings will come back to haunt you if your conditions are too good to be true, like if prospects accept job offers based on promises you don’t fulfill.
Be genuine and honest in your efforts, and commit to building a culture exactly as it seems — doing the opposite can cause more harm than good.
Starbucks works to cultivate a strong community among its employees. For instance, it refers to current employees as partners, instilling a sense of pride, and has Instagram and Twitter accounts (@StarbucksJobs) to promote its employer brand and interact with job seekers.
By creating social media accounts to demonstrate appreciation for current employees and evoke passion in potential candidates, Starbucks shows its commitment to being more than just a product. The company also uses the platforms to demonstrate its commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Further down the page, you’ll learn more about opportunities for learning and development, HubSpot’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, and insight and reviews from real employees. The language also consistently focuses on the job seeker: “Picture yourself at HubSpot.”
For consumers, Wistia brands itself as a video marketing software that helps grow audiences and build brands. It only makes sense that it would be brand-conscious and use its software to underscore the ideas they want to convey to job seekers.
SoulCycle aims to transform traditional corporate culture by offering benefits that evoke a sense of purpose and belonging to each employee.
For instance, Soul gives its employees two paid business days off per year to volunteer at a charity of their choice with the hope that the charity days will help employees feel happy and more fulfilled. Additionally, employees can take classes for free at any time that suits their schedule. This displays Soul’s deeper commitment to making fitness fun and using exercise to de-stress and connect with the community.
Canva also doubles down on this idea on its social media channels, which are full of inspirational content and ideas furthered by design.
To demonstrate its commitment to recruiting high-quality talent, Eventbrite created a web page to introduce job seekers to its recruitment team. The bios are funny and relatable with fun facts about each recruiter.
Additionally, the Eventbrite recruitment team page states, “Interviewing shouldn’t be nerve-wracking —– it should be exciting. It should spark great conversation. We believe in respect, transparency, and timely responses (we don’t leave anyone in the dreaded recruiting black hole).”
Its language reflects their values, likely inspiring job seekers to apply.
The ecommerce site Jet created this inspirational, employee-focused video to spread awareness for its fun, engaging, motivational workplace. The video is especially powerful because it uses real employee interviews, giving the job seeker a sense for Jet’s work culture and values.
Additionally, the video is likely empowering and pride-evoking for current employees, who can see their company’s clear commitment to carrying out its mission statement through videos of its workers.
It can be challenging to find qualified applications to fill tech jobs. For many companies, their leverage is having an incredible employer brand and great perks to attract top talent. Companies can take a cue from Shopify, where it recognizes this and tell job seekers that it’s its turn to apply to you.
Each one of the examples on this list has in some way shown their empathy, a human element, and a slice of their culture to begin attracting great employees. Human capital is your biggest investment and asset, but remember that your candidates are also investing in you.