Building An Employer Brand: Everything You Need To Know
A version of this article has been published on The HackerEarth Blog.
The future is now!
Every aspect of handling a business has seen a significant change in recent years and quite a lot of it is due to a storm of post-COVID technological advancements. From AI, and machine learning, to HR tech, every aspect of running a business is being revolutionized.
The recruitment industry is no different — the strategies used by HR professionals to recruit skilled candidates are currently seeing a massive change. Not all of it is tech-related; quite a lot of the changes are about employing new and impactful strategies to engage talent.
In short — this is about employer branding!
But what is employer branding in recruitment?
A relatively new concept that is making the rounds. It’s a key factor to help brands remain influential and maintain a good reputation among consumers and potential employees alike.
In fact, reputation matters so much that, according to a 2017 study, 67% of men and 86% of women in the US will not join a company with a poor reputation. Furthermore, do bear in mind that recruitment is fast becoming more like marketing. Hence, using the same strategies for employment branding is now becoming an essential part of the hiring process.
Marketing + employer branding… but why?
The answer is simple, to attract the best talent there is. With start-ups popping up around every corner complementing the high scarcity of skilled candidates, recruiters are forced to re-strategize and adopt new strategies.
As a recruiter, you must understand one thing, treat candidates like you would treat a customer and the job role is the product you are offering them. This can be done with a great recruitment strategy and employer branding.
Multiple top-tier brands have already adopted this strategy. For example, Starbucks has quite successfully created a great work environment. They use their social media handles to let the world know how good their employees are.
Additionally, they also have a separate social media handle to connect and interact with job seekers. This is a great example of an employer brand.
Employer Brand: A Definition
The term “employer brand” is used to define an organization’s reputation from the perspective of potential candidates/employees and is also used to convey the brand’s values and how they treat its employees.
Employer branding refers to the process of how an employer brand is made and maintained.
Employer branding has a direct impact on recruitment numbers as brands with good reputation attract and retain more employees. Furthermore, they’ll also witness a significant increase in employee satisfaction as compared to brands with poor reputation.
As per TalentLyft, around 83% of employed individuals will quit their current job if they get an offer from another organization with a better reputation. This clearly shows how important employer branding is.
How Building An Employer Brand Will Help Your Business
When recruitment branding strategies are a huge part of the recruitment process, it comes as no surprise that there is a slew of benefits that follow. From attracting and retaining top talent to boosting your organization’s performance, there are many.
But it will all only come together when you implement an effective recruitment branding strategy. Mentioned below are a few pointers on how to build a strong employer brand.
Low Cost Of Hiring
As per these statistics by LinkedIn, you can reduce your organization’s cost-per-hire by a whopping 50%.
If you’re thinking it may also reduce the quality of candidates, in the same report you can also see that a good employer branding strategy attracts more qualified candidates. Taking simple steps such as letting everyone know about your workplace values through social media posts and similar activities can go a long way in attracting top talent without much investment.
Better Chances Of Attracting Top Talent
A follow-up to the previous point, a good employer branding strategy makes it easy for recruiters to connect with skilled and exemplary candidates.
Typically, a lot of effort and resources would go into attracting, hiring, and retaining top talent, but the winds are changing direction now. By creating a good employer brand you can attract top talent without hassle. All it takes is maintaining a positive work culture and letting people know about it.
Employer branding isn’t only used for attracting top talent, it is also used to improve retention rates and decrease employee turnover rates.
By bonding with potential employees during the hiring process, you’re promoting a good level of engagement with the brand and when employees are engaged/interactive, it boosts productivity levels as well.
Increased productivity also means decreased employee turnover rates and improved retention rates.
More Brand Credibility
With a great employer branding strategy, the brand’s credibility improves as well. It’s common knowledge that customers would not like to interact with brands that have a bad reputation. This means if you want customers to interact with your brand, you need credibility.
When you employ a good employer branding strategy, it can create a ripple effect in boosting the brand’s credibility.
Boost Organization’s Performance
When a brand has a good reputation, people are more likely to interact with them and buy its products/services. But the same cannot be said for brands with a negative reputation. Let’s take Apple, for example. A big brand with a great name managed to besmirch its name briefly due to a scandal, where they purposely slowed down old versions of iPhones and this negatively impacted their brand name and business.
In 2017, as reported by LinkedIn, it was seen that brands with great employer branding saw their revenue increase by 20% and this speaks volumes.
Tips To Build An Employer Brand
If you want to build an effective employer brand, then remember, it’s the small things that matter most. For instance, you should give employee reviews the same attention you give customer reviews. Similarly, there are other things you can do to improve employee experience and become a great employer brand.
- Build a delightful hiring process
If you want the best candidates to join your organization, you need to have a good hiring process. When the recruitment process is enjoyable and engaging for the candidate, the enthusiasm is carried over when they’re hired and this improves employee performance and increases retention rates as well.
You must make the candidate feel valued. Apart from using HR tech tools, there are other things you can do to make the process delightful as well:
- Pay attention to employee experience
Among the most important points, always pay attention to employee experience as it matters a great deal. The experience of the employee always affects engagement with other employees. With good employee experience, you can see improved engagement levels, and good engagement levels translate to higher productivity.
Furthermore, employee experience also affects retention rates, if employee experience isn’t up to the mark then employees will start to quit, thus increasing employee turnover rates. But with positive employee experience, retention rates will improve.
- Providing perks that matter to the employee
Employee benefits and perks are crucial. Your employees need to feel rewarded for everything they’re doing for the organization. As per this report by Aflac, nearly 49% of employees look for new job opportunities if their current employee benefits and perks aren’t satisfactory.
Benefits and perks, typically, are extended to the employees’ families as well, covering everything from health to financials. Perks are a little different than benefits, perks are added benefits and brands nowadays are leaning toward offering several great perks like flexible working hours, work-from-home options, and other similar benefits.
Let’s take Google, for example. They’re known for offering great employee perks like flexible work schedules to building in-house gyms for employees. They also offer sleep pods for employees to take power naps and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
With work-from-home taking over, the perks offered are even more attractive, like, a lack of micro-management, hybrid working options, options to choose your login and logout timings, live workout sessions, free food delivery coupons, and much more.
With great perks… how great is that?
- Offer learning and development opportunities
The opportunity to learn and grow is a major deciding factor for candidates when they’re on the hunt for a job. As per a 2020 survey by Stack Overflow, it was seen that 59% of candidates are looking for an opportunity to learn and develop their skills as well.
In addition to that, when you ask employees to learn and develop additional skills, they are engaged and they also cement their place as valuable assets who deliver quality great results.
- Align your Employer Branding Strategy with Overall Brand Strategy
Remember Employer Brand and Corporate Brand are two different sides of the same coin. A corporate brand’s main aim is to increase sales and bring in revenue, whereas, an employer brand maintains a focus on the recruitment and retention of employees.
Employer branding strategy involves understanding if the workplace is good enough for employees, introducing inclusive policies, and looking out for barriers in the recruitment process. So to get the best result, it is important to align their objectives and prioritize both of them equally. If they aren’t, then it could affect your recruitment process as well as your business operations.
- Seek the expertise of the marketing team
As previously mentioned, recruitment has become more like marketing in recent years and it only makes sense to take the guidance of marketing experts.
You should be able effectively to market the job role and the brand to potential employees and candidates. With the help of a marketing team, you can do the same in the most effective manner.
With strong competition on the rise, an effective marketing strategy aligned with your recruitment goals will help you attract and hire top talent.
- Monitor employee reviews as much as customer reviews
Just like a customer who reviews products online before purchasing them, people research brands before sending over their job applications.
The best way to know about a brand’s workplace environment is to read online reviews of the same. Of course, getting a positive review from every employee (past or present) may be impossible but how you respond to them also tells a lot about your brand’s values.
On the off chance you come across a credible negative review, make sure you address it.
Building an employment brand is as important as building your organization’s corporate brand. If you can recruit top talent then the success of your corporate brand increases as well.