When talent demand is high, employers must have a solid employer brand in place to stand a chance against competitors fishing in the same talent pool. If you want to catch a fish, you better have the most attractive bait.
A company’s employer brand is how the company is perceived by prospective employees when they are determining whether your business is a place they’d like to work (and existing employees when deciding whether they want to stay, too). It encompasses culture, benefits and compensation, values and overall reputation. While most employers understand the importance of employer branding in their recruitment efforts, many are unsure of how to start the process of refining their employer brand to meet their candidates interests and needs.
Why employer branding is so important to get right:
- According to the National Association for Manufacturers’ (NAM) most recent manufacturers’ outlook survey, the primary business challenge cited by manufacturers surveyed was attracting and retaining a quality workforce. In fact, nearly 70 percent of respondents cited this as their number one challenge.
- A strong majority of candidates identify reputation as a key factor when considering a new job. And, according to Glassdoor, candidates read at least four reviews before forming an opinion about a company.
- Additionally, employers with a strong employer brand can reduce their cost-per-hire and increase the number of qualified applicants they receive, not to mention reduce turnover. (LinkedIn)
When candidates are considering a new employer for full-time or temporary work, their opinion is often influenced by factors of an employer brand, like:
- Company mission and vision
- Company location(s)
- Compensation and benefits
- Opportunities for advancement
- Job security
- The team, and who they’ll be working with
- Company values, including corporate social responsibility and community efforts
Without these employer branding elements clearly defined and communicated, recruiting success is unequivocally compromised.
Start Strengthening Your Employer Brand – Now
In addition to customized recruitment messages, videos, and social recruitment strategies, it’s important to create and distribute content that is relevant and interesting to your target pool of candidates – and to pipeline talent ahead of critical needs. A major benefit of having a developed employer branding strategy is that reactionary recruiting becomes the exception instead of the norm.
To begin honing your employer branding strategy, consider starting with these three steps:
- Partner with marketing. It is important to promote the whole company – mission, vision, values – not just open jobs. Work with marketing and other internal stakeholders to share a holistic message that gives special consideration to the talent you’re trying to attract to the business.
- Safeguard your online reputation. An employer brand is nothing you can completely control. It lives in the hearts and minds of your employees and candidates. What you can do, however, is take an active role in the conversations being had about your company as an employer. Stay close to your online review profiles, like Glassdoor, Yelp, and other company-rating sites, and engage with people on social media.
- Be authentic and flexible. Meet with your target audience on their terms – meaning, if the talent you’re trying to attract is online during certain days of the week or times of day, make it a priority to have someone covering the desk at that time. Candidates today are expecting real, not templated, responses to their questions, and they’re expecting it on their time. Deliver an experience that caters to them.
If you would benefit from having an exploratory conversation about your employer brand, contact us. We have offices in Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Grand Rapids, Sturgis, Marysville, OH, and Tipton, IN. We’d be happy to meet with you to discuss how you can improve your employer brand and better attract (and retain) the talent you need to successfully operate and grow your business.
WSI is a purpose-driven staffing and recruiting firm. We’d love to share some strategies that have worked well for our clients and could work for you, too.