Employer Branding: 5 reasons why it matters
You’ve spent thousands on your recruitment process advertising your position, interviewing candidates, and crafting employment packages. You get down to the final and most promising candidates and make an offer. Job done, right?
Closing candidates is often the biggest challenge in the entire recruitment process. The top talent have plenty of opportunities, so why should they work with you? It’s your job to convince them, and this is where employer branding can make or break the deal.
What is employer branding?
You already know about your corporate brand. It’s what people think of your products and services: the emotions and impressions that come to the surface when people hear your name or see your advertising. Your brand is a huge factor underpinning your company’s success.
But you also have a second brand that has a huge impact on your success: your employer brand. In short, this is your reputation as an employer. It is how people outside your company perceive your EVP (employer value proposition). It is made up of everything that constitutes your employees’ experiences: from vision, mission, and values, to benefits and working environment.
Your employer brand gives candidates a reason to work (or not work) for you. And employer branding is the process of shaping and marketing your employer brand.
Why does it matter?
Here’s 5 reasons why employer branding matters.
1. Recruitment is getting more competitive
We live in a world of candidate-driven job markets and skills gaps. Recruiters say it is tougher than ever to fill positions with the right candidates. That means they are going to greater lengths to develop creative strategies for attracting candidates. Having a positive employer brand gives you a leg up on the competition and makes sure you get a greater number and quality of applicants.
2. You have an employer brand whether you like it or not
It’s no secret that information is more accessible than ever. Even more so for digitally savvy Millennials and Gen Z who represent an increasing percentage of the working population. With social media and websites such as Glassdoor, it is easy for people to find out what it’s like to work at your company. Before applying, candidates have most likely already researched you and have an image in mind.
And that reputation might not be the one you hope it to be.
But it’s too late to change that with a tour of your flash offices, a gracious introduction speech, and a nice benefits package. So it’s important to get on the offensive by strategizing and intentionally projecting an employer brand of your own crafting.
3. A bad employer brand is costly
Not having the right employer brand is costly for business: both directly in terms of your bottom line, and indirectly in terms of your productivity and future growth as a company.
Research has shown that having a negative employer brand results in spending more per employee in the recruitment process—to the tune of around $5,000 per employee according to Linkedin. On the opposite end of the scale, having a positive employer brand does a lot of the work for you. Candidates want to work at your company meaning you don’t have to spend as much in attracting or hiring them.
Your employer brand also affects your performance as a company. A positive employer brand equals happy employees, and there is a growing body of evidence that shows happiness improves productivity.
A strong employer brand means buy-in from your employees on your mission, vision, and values. If everyone is united in vision your workers will be more invested in the company’s success. They will go that extra mile to get the sale, secure the client, or create a better work process.
“Being a great place to work is the difference between being a good company and a great company.” – Brian Kristofek, President and CEO, Upshot
4. Attract the best talent
“Hire great people and give them freedom to be awesome.” – Andrew Mason, Founder, Groupon
A company’s success is dependant on the strength of it’s workers. That statement will become even more true with AI predicted to take over low-level jobs, leaving your employees to focus on where they can add value. But you aren’t going to be able to attract top talent without a strong employer brand. According to one survey by Glassdoor, 69% of Americans would not take a job with a company that had a bad reputation, even if they are unemployed.
Millenials and Generation Z also care deeply about societal impacts. In Deloitte’s Global Millennial Survey 2019, 46% of Millenials, and 47% of Generation Z indicated that making a positive impact was a priority for them. This ranked as a higher priority than starting a family even (39% and 45% respectively).
As a result, you are unlikely to attract top recruits from the Millenial or Z generations unless you have a positive employer brand that includes strong ethics and a mission that benefits society.
5. Improve employee retention
The same Glassdoor survey referenced above indicated that 84% of employees would consider changing companies if they were offered a job at a company with an excellent reputation (in the absence of this, most would require a 1 to 10% salary increase to consider such a move). This means less time and money spent on hiring and initiating new employees. You can trust that your long term employees understand what you are trying to achieve as a company and have internalized your company culture. It also means you get to reap the fruits of the professional development you’ve invested into your current employees.
First steps in developing your employer brand
Like any reputation, an employer brand takes time to establish. So don’t wait until your next recruiting round starts before thinking strategically about employer branding. Many hire experts to consult on employer branding, but there are some simple steps you can take yourself first.
1. Assess your situation
The first step is to do an audit both internally and externally. Survey your employees to assess the positives and negatives of working at your company. Are they proud to say they work at your company, or is it just a job? Are they committed and eager to perform well? Do they feel they are respected and appreciated? Also assess your HR practices and consider whether employees have ample opportunity to develop their career.
You can assess your external reputation by checking out Glassdoor, other employer review sites, and your web presence generally. Take a moment to check out the same for your competitors so you have a better idea of your strengths and weaknesses.
2. Develop your EVP
If you haven’t already, take time to craft your EVP (employee value proposition). Your EVP basically sets out what you offer an employee in terms of values, culture, and benefits in exchange for their expertise and efforts. An EVP should be employee-focussed and reflect what you hope employees get out of working for you and what you expect from them. It should include aspects such as:
- Your mission and vision
- Your values and working culture
- Career development strategies
Find out what it is your employees actually want in terms of the above, consider your company’s needs, and craft an EVP that creates a winning formula for everyone.
“Culture is simply a shared way of doing something with a passion.” – Brian Chesky, Co-Founder, CEO, Airbnb
3. Craft your online presence
After you’ve considered what kind of employer you want to be known as, you need to make sure your web presence reflects that. Get creative with content. Publish blogs, video, and images across a variety of platforms and your own website to tell your story.
You can also use your LeaddMe company page to publish multimedia content. If you don’t have one yet, find out more here.
The bottom line: treat your employees well
It’s one thing to write a stellar EVP, and another to execute it. There is no point having an EVP statement on the wall that your employees roll their eyes at.
At the end of the day, you invest in employer branding to tell a story, but that story needs to reflect the reality of working at your company. The truth is just a quick Google search away, so make sure you look after your employees. Do this well, and they will become willing advocates for your business.
Employer branding has become key to attracting and retaining the talent you need to achieve your business goals.
We set out 3 steps you can take to improve your employer brand above. Which one can you start this week? We challenge you to add it to your to-do list right now.