The word branding has been familiar in marketing circles for years. Now the term is also gaining ground in the human resources department. As a marketing term, branding refers to the message, aesthetics, reputation, and other factors of a business that impact consumer perception.
The employer brand is similar in many ways. The focus is still on things like reputation and messaging. The difference here is that the employee brand targets are potential employees.
Is Employee Branding Something You Should Be Concerned About? If you want to attract the best talent in your industry, the answer is yes. Here, we’ll explain exactly why employer branding is so important and how you can create your own employer branding strategy.
Employer brand explained
Put simply, an employer brand is a company’s reputation as an employer and the perceived value it has to offer to employees. When you build a positive employer brand, people are more likely to look for you when looking for a job. In addition, you can take advantage of your employer brand to recruit great talent.
Why is the employer brand so important?
The employer brand allows you to save on recruitment costs. You already know that the recruiting process is expensive. When you’ve established a good employer brand, those costs go down. You are better able to attract the right talent. In many cases, potential employees may even search for you.
You will attract a larger pool of more talented recruits. Today, the overwhelming majority of job seekers will do some sort of company research before applying or deciding whether to accept a job offer. Your branding efforts will impact what they choose.
Finally, your employer brand can build awareness of your business among the public on multiple social media platforms. This can lead to positive results in your marketing and consumer recruiting efforts.
Where does the employer brand come from?
Your employer brand is something your business builds over time, just like the consumer brand. It is influenced by social media posts, employee reviews, company reputation, news articles, blog posts, and even word of mouth.
Imagine you posted a job posting on a popular job search website. A potential employee sees the list and is interested in the position. The problem is, they’ve never heard of your business. So that they:
- Visit your website and social media pages
- Ask your friends and acquaintances what they think about it
- Google your business and read the results
- Read reviews and ideas from third-party websites
By doing these things, this job seeker will learn more about your work culture, your compensation, your benefits, and the treatment of employees. They’ll find out what your most dissatisfied employees have to say and hopefully what your most satisfied employees have to say as well. They can also find out where your business stands on social issues and if there have been any scandals that have impacted your business.
This job seeker’s perceptions of your business reflect your employer brand. Fortunately, you can take control of this branding to make sure potential employees see your value as an employer. To do that, you need to create a great branding strategy.
Start with a winning branding team
The employer brand is generally controlled by HR and recruiting. That being said, a good branding strategy should involve many stakeholders. If possible, you should build a multidisciplinary team to achieve this.
Consider adding people from the following departments:
Ultimately, your HR and recruiting staff will need to work with the results of your employer branding strategy. In addition, they will gain insight into the current perceptions of job seekers and current recruitment efforts.
Your marketing team has many of the skills, technologies and digital assets you need to launch an effective branding strategy. They will be able to help with messaging, content creation, social media, and other recruiting marketing efforts.
Your talent acquisition strategy should align with your business strategy. On top of that, executives should understand better than anyone what your employer’s message should be. You may not need to involve C-level staff in all decisions, but they should be part of the conversation.
Mainstream marketers often recruit their most loyal customers to participate in marketing efforts. You can do the same with employees who are both happy with their work and eager to share their experiences with others. These brand ambassadors can help you build awareness of your employer brand to strengthen your reputation and attract top talent.
Introduction to employer branding strategy
The employer brand does not happen overnight. It’s an ongoing effort to position your business to attract the talent you want to recruit. Here are a few steps to get started.
Write an employer value proposition
Your Employer Value Proposition (EVP) is a concise statement that expresses what you have to offer to potential employees. It will become the cornerstone of your branding efforts.
Building candidate personas
A candidate persona is a prototype of your ideal candidate. They have the skills, experience, education, values, and personality to be a great addition to your team. Once you’ve created your personas, you can tailor your content and other efforts to attract people with similar characteristics.
Identify social media platforms
Now you know what you want to communicate and to whom. The next step is to identify the best places to reach them. Of course, you can use your website for employer branding. You can also integrate your branding into your job postings and other recruiting content.
However, any good employer branding strategy will include an element of social media. Many brands start with LinkedIn, but don’t end there. You can reach your target prospects on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and other platforms.
Create relevant content
The key to a great employer brand is relevant, quality content that communicates your culture, values and EVP to potential employees. This content may include:
- Videos of employee testimonials
- Behind the scenes videos
- Blog posts
Remember, you can’t completely control what others have to say about your business. However, you can use content creation to build whatever employer brand you want.
Awareness is the key
How do you know if your employer brand is working for you? The only way to find out is to set recruitment and retention goals and track the results. Plus, your employer brand is also influenced by the things others have to say. You need a suite of analytics tools to track your reputation as well as other factors.