As an employer, how do you stand out from the crowd when it comes to attracting top talent? What are job candidates, employees, and alumni saying about their experiences with your company, and how much of an overview do you have on these crucial conversations?
In this candidate-driven job market, the employer brand cannot be ignored. That’s why many HR professionals are now thinking like marketers to stay one step ahead to attract and retain top tier talent. According to the 2019 Employer Branding Insights Report from Wonderful Workplaces, 94% of job seekers will consider an employer’s brand before choosing that company. Yet, there are many organizations still struggling to embrace the employer brand mindset when it comes to their talent recruitment and development strategy. Below we look at three key areas where you can get started with creating and marketing your company’s employer brand to boost your hiring and retention strategy.
1 – Create a strong employer brand
This first point might seem obvious but is still worth making, because it can be the most difficult. Many companies tend to confuse the employer brand with the corporate brand. In 1996, Simon Barrow and Tim Ambler first defined the employer brand as follows:
The package of functional, economic, and psychological benefits provided by employment and identified with the employing company.
A study published by LinkedIn found that “[t]he cost per hire is over 2 times lower for companies with strong employer brands.” This could add up to millions of dollars a year in hiring and recruiting. LinkedIn also found that “[c]ompanies with stronger employer brands have 28% lower turnover rates than companies with weaker employer brands.” So, the question is: what makes a strong employer brand?
- A clearly defined value proposition – In other words, what makes you a great place to work? Why should a job candidate choose your company instead of the competition? Your value proposition should be things other than salary (i.e., corporate culture, benefits packages, professional development opportunities) and speak to candidates’ needs.
- Engage your current employees – Who better to promote you than your current employees? They can be your biggest brand advocates, so get them involved. Capture individual testimonials about their journey with your company and ask them to share their employee experience on their personal social media channels.
- Show – don’t tell – via social media – Use your corporate social media channels to tell your employer brand story. Videos and images of internal events, community initiatives, training & development, can make your employer brand very visible online. The point is to create a connection with the people you want to attract and those you want to retain.
2 – Use technology to innovate and transform recruitment
Not only is the job market candidate-driven, but it is also technology-savvy. HR professionals can no longer rely solely on stacks of resumes to find their ideal candidates. Technology has made it possible for anyone to apply for a position from anywhere in the world, and recruiters can find the best candidates from the comfort of their offices. What’s more – these digitally-inclined candidates expect potential employers to utilize technology to create more personalized, real-time connections when engaging with them.
Artificial intelligence (AI) seems to be the latest buzzword in hiring and recruitment. AI in the recruiting process means that HR professionals can now capture actionable data that they can use to optimize their recruitment processes. Through Machine Learning (ML), you can categorize and analyze resumes and find the best fitting candidates. ML can also be used to examine your current employee experience, ensuring that it is optimized, which can help boost your employer brand.
3 – Leverage ongoing feedback to keep evolving
How do you capture the full employee experience story from hire-to-retire? Companies tend to deal with employee feedback in fragments – annual performance reviews, exit surveys, etc. – rather than create a holistic approach where they can capture insights at every touchpoint throughout the employee journey.
Feedback captured at every stage of the employee journey with your company (recruiting, onboarding, L&D, etc.) can be used to improve their experience. This can lead to greater advocacy, which will help enhance your employer brand. According to LinkedIn Employer Brand Statistics, job candidates trust information from a company’s employees three times more than they trust information from the company.
Ambler, T. & Barrow, S. J Brand Manag (1996) 4: 185. https://doi.org/10.1057/bm.1996.42