Standing out from the crowd is proving to be a particularly challenging task for many companies looking to recruit top talent. While some of them might offer great job openings, in an open-environment that promotes engaging work and encourages learning and development, if they haven’t built a strong employer brand, they might be left sending countless emails to potential hires.
Building an attractive employer brand is not only about attracting a few people for your current job openings. Instead, it’s a long term effort to position your company as a brand that people can relate to and want to build a relationship with. This goes for both potential employees as well as customers – they all want to know what your company really stands for, which means going on Glassdoor and LinkedIn and listening to the inside voice of your company.
If you want to be successful at creating a strong employer brand, you need to look at potential employees as customers. You need to market your company. That means creating a strong value proposition, targeting your employee persona, engaging in online communication, leveraging different channels, and getting your message across.
Here are 7 practical ideas to help you build an engaging employer brand and attract the right talent:
1. Convey your company values and vision
Don’t wait until the interview stage to talk about what your company stands for. Instead, open the communication lines way ahead of the application process and make a habit of demonstrating these values in day-to-day actions.
Building a brand takes time and consistency, that’s why you’ll demonstrate integrity and inspire trust if you’re truly committed to these values and people can see that.
Your company’s values should be aligned with the way people behave and talk about your organization. If one of your core values is innovation, this should be reflected in your recruitment campaigns and events.
2. Interact with potential hires early on
Get involved in university events for your industry, where you have a chance to meet your future employees. Get ahead of the common scenario where fresh graduates don’t have the necessary experience or set of skills to get the job by offering learning and development opportunities that can help them become prepared candidates.
Even if they won’t end up applying for a job at your company right after graduation, you’ll be one of the first brands to give them an idea of what the industry looks like and what their futures can shape up to be. In a year or two they’ll still know of you and maybe then they’ll apply for the right job or recommend it to a friend.
3. Your employees are your brand ambassadors – use that
Employee endorsements weigh more than a six-figure campaign budget because they’re authentic. When someone recommends a company to a friend, they’re staking their relationship on endorsing that company.
While it’s good to have some guidelines about how your company should be presented or how it should be included in Social Media posts, it’s best to keep these indications to a minimum and allow employees to be creative and honest in their recommendations.
4. Host industry events
Establish yourself as an industry leader and create engaging conversations that will attract bright minds looking for new job opportunities or collaborations. You can choose to make targeted recruitment events or full-scale conferences that bring together HR goals as well as Marketing and Sales goals.
Either way, if you want to be a first choice for top talent, you have to be a first choice for your industry as well.
5. Use and encourage feedback
Just like a marketer, keep a close eye on what your potential hires like or dislike about your brand or the way you’re presenting it. Your recruiters probably come across valuable opinions or objections so make sure they share them with other company strategists so that you can address them and perfect your message.
As a potential hire, it’s extremely rewarding to have your opinion matter. If the company interviewing you cares enough to ask and perhaps even make a change, they’re definitely on the short list for “next best employer”.
6. If you’re hiring for attitude, recruit with attitude
Many potential hires, especially Millennials and younger generations place a significant importance on your company culture. If you’re aiming to recruit for attitudes and ensure a culture match for potential hires, build your recruitment campaign in such a way that it showcases this culture.
Ask your current employees what your culture means to them and how they would see it represented to an external audience. The best insights are probably already inside your company you just have to tap into them.
7. Step up to the digital challenge
Your potential hires are digitally savvy. They take special notice to how you present yourself online and to the entire user experience that you’re providing. In a survey by Spherion Staffing, 47 percent of Millennials interviewed declared that a prospective employer’s online reputation matters as much as the job it offers.
It’s important that your website is mobile and responsive, and that you keep an updated online presence on Social Media as well.
“Today, job seekers are using social and mobile to apply for jobs and gain insight into a company’s culture and values. Ignoring these platforms isn’t an option.”
Building your employer brand is the first step in creating an engaging employee experience. It’s a challenging but rewarding process that can help you attract the right talent and engage your existing employees in the process, so make sure you do it right.