Google. Apple. Microsoft. Amazon. Deloitte. All these names seem to have something in common. Ask a job seeker or a fresh graduate, you will get an instant answer – they all possess the dream employer branding candidates would love to get hired.
With workplaces becoming hybrid and candidates empowered with more insights into the organization through various channels, employer branding is the need of the hour more than ever before. Consequently, companies are putting in their best efforts to build their employer branding to attract and retain exceptional candidates.
What is an employer brand?
Employer branding conveys what you are as an employer. It is what your company is from the perception of the existing employees and future job candidates. It is the way you treat them, care for them, and nurture an environment where talent thrives cheerfully.
Employer branding is a lot beyond the salary checks your employees receive. It is an umbrella that comprises your mission, vision, culture, ethos, compensation, social causes, products, and services.
Why should you care for an employer branding strategy?
Employer branding is an essential element in attracting top-notch candidates. Amidst the talent crunch and the tug of war for proven candidates, employer branding is the gateway to invite a quality talent pool into your organization.
A solid employer brand instils trust in the candidates and lets them gravitate towards your company over other job offers. It is no secret that top companies differentiate themselves from the rest of the companies in the market and attract talent based on their employer branding strategy.
Interestingly, candidates count on employer branding before they initiate their hiring process. A company with a well-carved employer branding strategy can stay a cut above its competitors in enjoying a quality workforce.
Nevertheless, employer branding is a superset of employee value proposition (EVP).
What is employee value proposition?
Employer Value Proposition (EVP) is what makes your employees enjoy working with you. It provides the answer they find when they introspect – what’s in it for me? It covers the rewards and benefits employees receive for their association with your brand.
Talent Lyft finds five vital criteria that define the EVP of an employer:
- Compensation: Comprises pay satisfaction, fairness in pay, appraisals, and promotions.
- Benefits: Medical, paid vacation, reimbursements, perks for family, retirement allowances, shares.
- Career: Stability, feedback and evaluation, support for learning, training opportunities, the scope for career growth.
- Work Environment: Work-life balance, autonomy, decision-making, valuing opinions and ideas.
- Culture: Support from higher-ups, inclusiveness, trust, and responsibility.
Why should companies care about employer branding?
Employer branding comes into the picture and impacts right at the grassroots level of building a company – its hiring.
If employees are what make an organization, employer branding is what it takes to attract high-caliber candidates.
Interestingly, studies strengthen this observation.
- According to the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) and the Manpower Group, 45% of businesses struggle to attract top talent due to the lack of quality employer branding.
- 60% of candidates in a survey done by Glassdoor agreed that they look beyond the job description and count on employer branding.
- 69% of candidates reject the offers from employers with below-par branding, though they do not have any other job offers at hand.
- 50% of the candidates that received offers consider pay as secondary over employer branding.
In addition to attracting better candidates, having a solid employer branding imparts multiple benefits to companies:
- It reduces the cost per hire by as much as 50%.
- It brings down employee turnover and retention costs by 28%.
- It imparts an upper hand while negotiating and dealing with candidates in the interviews.
While it appears that candidates sell their qualifications and skills in the interview, in fact, organizations sell their branding in impacting the decisions of the candidates.
Furthermore, employer branding plays a game-changing role in attracting passive talent.
A strong employer brand is the prime decisive factor in levitating passive candidates from their existing employers.
What does it take to build and retain employer branding?
While there are diverse factors that create employer branding, Forbes finds that it is mainly the perception of the candidates that plays a dominant factor irrespective of the industry – business, IT, manufacturing, or engineering.
Alongside, this study performed on students finds fascinating findings that can impact employer branding.
- The characteristics of a brand such as compensation, job security, work-life balance, training, and development opportunities can create an impression about employer branding.
- The market success and the financial position of the brand have only a partial impact on employer branding.
- Students love to associate with companies that showcase and prove themselves are future makers and innovators.
On the contrary, there seems to be no fixed criterion that decides an employer branding.
The study concludes that – it is not just IT or manufacturing that creates an employer brand, but its agility to build products and offer services in the emerging trends such as AI, Robotics, and Automation that plays a dominant role.
Does this mean companies have to change their EVPs to attract talent and meet the emerging trends?
The study seems to discourage this.
Instead, the results demystify that the company culture is the critical aspect that holds the crucial answers in building an employer brand.
How to build an employer branding strategy?
Employer branding is more of marketing your brand. It needs elucidated planning and streamlined execution to attain expected results. Besides, employer branding strategy is a continuous process. It must accommodate the needs of your existing employees and can attract the newer talent pool with efficacy.
Here are simple yet impactful steps you need to follow while building an employer branding strategy.
Step #1: Assess why you need an employer branding
As the first step, define your employer branding objectives. Employer branding strategy must accomplish some or all of the following goals:
- Attract the creamiest talent pool
- Build trust with candidates
- Convert candidates into employees by influencing them better
- Cut down on hiring time and cost
- Gain more trust and value on social media
- Boost the offer acceptance rate from candidates
- Improve employee engagement and morale
- Retain existing employees and bring down employee turnover
- Gain more reputation as an employer over your competitors
Step #2: Build your potential candidate persona
Once you are clear about your employer branding goals, create the potential candidate persona you would not want to miss.
To achieve this:
- Define the age, qualifications, location, pay package, and experience of the candidate.
- Be clear about your target candidate – whether you are searching for active candidates or filtering from a passive talent pool.
- Understand why the candidate is changing the job – personal, professional, or other preferences.
- Company culture – openness to ideas, transparency in pay, promotions, and appraisals, work-life balance, wellness initiatives, team building activities.
- Check what can you offer the candidate to attract them – flexibility in work, percentage of hike, benefits, and compensation.
- Consider other factors that impact the job acceptance rate – current workplace, family decisions, location preferences, shift timings, commute.
Step #3: Improvise your Employee Value Proposition
Studies find that candidates hired from referrals often stay longer and dedicated to a brand. Thus, focus on the improvising employee value proposition by accounting to the needs and feedback of the existing employees.
- Scrutinize and improve benefits you offer to the existing employees including gratuity, shares, provident fund, medical insurance, vacation, maternity/paternity, and other benefits.
- Company’s involvement in social causes – is your mission driven towards making a change in society? How good are you in encouraging your employees to participate in social activities and causes?
- Create a flexible and friendly workplace where employees would love to contribute with more productivity.
Step #4: Leverage data to build an employee branding strategy
Employers must not ignore to stay updated with the changing market trends related to candidate expectations, competitor strategies, and global trends. Especially in the current times that accustomed the workforce to the new normal, a shift in employer thinking seems to be the need of the hour.
To achieve this, companies should leverage data effectively. Job portals, forums, employee review portals, and social media can provide valuable insights into how and what employees expect from their potential employers.
Step #5: Promote your branding through an effective content strategy
Brands should take their stories closer towards candidates to make sure they reach and impact them.
Here is where the necessity for an all-inclusive, multi-channel content strategy that attracts and engages your target candidates plays a dominant role.
Candidates see what you talk about, how you relate to the community, and what else you have to offer to them apart from only business.
Use your blog and social media to get closer to potential candidates as much as you wish to impact your clients and customers. Selling through such a content strategy can be time-taking but pays off in the long run in establishing your employer branding.
Step #6: Evaluate your employee feedback
Invite your employees to talk about what else they would want from you as an employer. Consider their opinions and start constructively working on them. Acting on the feedback and encouraging your employees to have a candid talk about company policies and processes can give you a closer view of where you can improve your brand to take it to the next level.
Step #7: Be yourself to stand out from the crowd
While building employer branding, it might feel tempting to follow top brands and imitate them.
Instead, be yourself and let your company persona radiate in its way to let the magic happen. Let your brand speak its story through the job descriptions, social media presence, employee stories, website, and career pages.
Step #8: Let your employees speak for your brand
Happy employees build a happier employee branding. Encourage your employees to share their stories about working with your organization. Show them you care and support them in times of need.
Ask your employees to review your company and its culture on portals like Glassdoor or Indeed where candidates spend considerable time understanding your organizational culture.
Employer branding is a continuous process. Don’t forget to measure the results once in a while and keep improvising towards retaining your employer branding status.
Cloudely powered by GigMinds is a staffing solutions provider that helps global companies to find high-calibre candidates effortlessly. To know how we help you cut down hiring costs and time in finding world-class talent, please reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Connect with us on LinkedIn for regular updates.