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Employer branding is essential, or else you will be missing out on top candidates, potentially losing money. Having a strong employer brand allows your company to get recognition and increases your brand awareness.
When we hear the term “branding”, most of us probably think about the marketing aspect: things like logos, taglines, brand messaging, and how a company is perceived by customers. But as technology continues to advance, more and more companies are focusing on improving their employer branding.
Still in doubt whether you should invest in employer branding? Today, more than 70% of recruiting and HR leaders agree that employer branding has a big impact on hiring, and even more so on business success. Not having a strong employer brand can affect many areas of the business, cause you to miss out on top talent, and potentially lose money.
In this article, we’re discussing the importance of employer branding and how to begin putting together a strategy for success.
1. Attracting and Retaining the Right Talent
According to stats, strong employer branding attracts 50% more qualified applicants. It becomes even more important in highly competitive industries where niche skill sets are in high demand.
Employer branding not only helps with employee retention but is also a great way to attract quality employees. Research has found that when deciding where to apply for a job, nearly 85% of candidates consider the reputation of a company as an employer to be very important. In addition, about 50% of job seekers say they would not work for a business that has a bad reputation, even if the pay is attractive.
Employer branding is the business identity of your company. A strong employer brand will make your existing employees proud they’re a part of your company. It is also what makes you a good employer and helps you stand out to job seekers. Nowadays, most people check the social media pages of companies before applying for a job in order to get an idea of the brand image, the employer’s expectations, and figure out if they would fit into the company culture.
2. Reduced Costs
If your brand is well-known, you won’t have to spend tons of money on recruiting costs. According to studies, companies with a strong employer brand saw an increase of nearly 30% in employee retention and a decrease of about 50% in cost per hire.
What does this mean? Instead of promoting your current vacancies on career sites, a simple job page on your website or share to social media will be enough for potential candidates to find you and apply. You can invest the saved money on branding or product development and set yourself apart from the competition.
A positive employer brand can also help you save on salaries. Companies that disregard developing their employer brand risk paying more than $4k in salary premium per employee. In addition, if your company has 10k workers, you could see as much as $7.5 million in additional wages! While salary is very important, it is not the most important factor when an individual decides whether to take a certain job or not. Studies have shown that over 65% of job seekers would accept lower pay if the organization they are interested in has very positive online reviews. So, think of it this way: if you don’t have a good reputation, you will have to compensate with higher salaries in order to attract top talent.
Besides saving you money, a positive employer brand can also help you save time. You’ll be able to reduce your recruiting efforts as candidates will find you themselves.
3. Business Growth
When your company commits to an employee-centric brand, employee engagement becomes an integral part of your company culture. And the outcome of it is increased productivity and profits. In fact, more than 70% of mid-sized companies with a strong employer brand reported increased company performance, as opposed to 45% of businesses with weak employer brands.
When your workforce feels passionate about their work, they will also put more effort into it. In addition, employees who talk positively about your organization will generate public interest, thus helping you attract new business.
When your business is successful, your revenues will grow too, ensuring the financial stability of your company. According to a study by the Boston Consulting Group, companies that invest in employer branding can experience a profit margin increase of 2,5% and revenue growth of about 3.5%.
Image source: Pexels
4. Improved Reputation
Nowadays, nearly 80% of candidates will look into an organization’s reputation as an employer before applying and over 50% of candidates will rely on employee reviews. So, when your best workers share their positive experiences on social media, it will certainly work to improve your company’s reputation.
Ask your employees to share everything, from behind-the-scenes photos to company news, awards, and activities. When they publish both their personal accomplishments and the accomplishments of the organization, they strengthen your online visibility and make your company more attractive to job seekers.
What your employees spread about you also has an influence on customers. Bear in mind that prospective clients also have easy access to information with social media, review sites, and career sites. A prospective client might think, “If the employees are so satisfied, I wonder how they treat their clients?”
5. How to Improve Employer Branding
So, how do you improve your employer brand? Start by taking a look at your current company culture. Check social media and websites like Glassdoor to see what people think about you as an employer. You can also conduct employee surveys and talk with your employees and leaders about their opinions on your company culture. Here are a few more suggestions you should take into consideration:
Clearly define your message. What do you stand for as a company? What is your EVP (Employer Value Proposition)? Your message has to be authentic as your tone of voice will also stem from it.
Keep your employees happy. The best way to prevent unsatisfied employees from spreading negative comments about you on social media is to keep your current employees happy but also maintain good relationships with your former employees.
Offer high-quality candidate experience. Bear in mind that job seekers can spread the word about a negative experience too. This is why you need to make sure the candidate experience is positive throughout the entire hiring process.
Be active on social media. As mentioned before, social media is one of the best places to promote your brand, especially when it comes to recruiting Gen Z and Millennials. Find out where your ideal candidates are and engage with them on those channels by sharing your content or answering questions. In most cases, LinkedIn is the best channel to reach prospective candidates. Consider sharing employee testimonials and content to drive interest in your organization.
Tell your story. People are naturally drawn to stories as they represent the human side of the organization rather than a faceless corporation. You can use your “About Us” page, landing pages, and direct communication with candidates throughout the hiring process to share your story. Showcase your employees’ success stories via blog posts or videos on a dedicated career page or on your social pages. Instagram is perfect for this due to the proximity it creates with the audience.
Include your employees and your management team in building your employer brand. Encourage them to be active on social media. If necessary, provide social media training to ensure that all employees follow brand guidelines when sharing content.
Host and attend events. Consider arranging an event or an open house day where you will show your organization’s image in a positive light and connect with your target candidates. Another great way to build a strong employer brand is to take part in local events because your potential hires are also going to be there. You can co-host or sponsor a local event or even have your CEO speak at some of them. These activities will give you an opportunity to showcase your company culture and promote your employer brand.
Rely on technology. Technology can help you improve your employer brand by providing effective communication channels and improving the overall candidate experience. For instance, on sites like Glassdoor, employers have the opportunity to respond to reviews and show their point of view. You can also use survey tools like SurveyMonkey to gauge employee mood, as well as social media monitoring tools like HootSuite to help see what people are saying about you online.
Every organization should invest in employer branding in order to make sure it is the first company job candidates will think of. If your company isn’t popular among the community, negative word-of-mouth will quickly spread and affect multiple aspects of your business. The ability to retain and attract the best workers in the market is crucial for any organization.
So, start shaping the narrative and make sure you can provide a sense of belonging to all your employees. This way, you’ll ensure that people have a positive view of your brand identity, which will not only benefit employee retention and attract top talent but can also help boost productivity and increase your bottom line.
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