If there were a quick and easy recipe for employer branding, it might go something like this: one part management, one part human resources, one part marketing and two parts current employees. Mix well and bake until you have the right applicants for your open positions.
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. If it were, it wouldn’t be so difficult to find qualified employees. Employer branding might sound like just another gimmick that you don’t have time for, but that’s definitely not the case.
The fact is that employer branding happens for your company whether you are involved or not, so it’s important to dedicate as much time and resources into it as your other marketing and branding campaigns. But like any other campaign, you’re bound to make some errors. Here is a list of common employer branding mistakes and what you can do to fix them.
Assuming candidates know what you know
You know you have a great company with plenty to offer employees, but you can’t assume everyone else knows that, too. Create a jobs page on your website listing not only the open positions, but also salary ranges, benefits and other job perks. Make sure your positions are easy to apply to; don’t impose a bunch of unnecessary restrictions.
Make sure you include important information about your company on social media. Candidates want to know your business’s mission and values and how that factors into the workplace. Post photos and videos from company events and outings to show your company isn’t all work and no play.
Ensure that your job postings, website and social media pages are updated regularly. Be sure to respond to candidates in a timely fashion if they choose to reach out to you via social media, too.
Being out of touch with your current employees
Here’s something to think about: When you have an open position, how many referrals come from current employees? If the answer is little to none, then you have a bigger problem. Employer branding starts from within. If employees truly enjoyed working at your company, referrals would be pouring in anytime a job became available.
It’s time to conduct an employee audit. Give employees an anonymous survey to determine areas of strengths and ones that need to be improved to create a better workplace. Check job pages such as glassdoor.com or indeed.com to find out what people are saying about your company and what it’s like to work there. If employees are unhappy, chances are they aren’t being quiet about it, which impacts your employer brand.
If employees have favorable things to say about your company, give them an outlet to say it. Allow employees to create posts for your social media and website boasting what it’s like to work for you and the company.
Leaving candidates out to dry
It’s easy to get caught up in the details of hiring someone, from the pile of resumes to the interviews and onboarding. But what you shouldn’t do is forget the people who applied but didn’t get hired. When it comes to employer branding, those experiences count, too.
Also read: Should You Treat Employees Like Customers?
Send a letter to candidates thanking them for their time and interests. Add a personal touch by using custom envelopes with your company logo and make sure to choose one with the right stock and imprint method, the selection at CompanyFolders.com is a good place to start. Encourage the candidates to keep their eyes open for other available positions and apply again.
Whatever you do, make sure you keep candidates updated on the process. Don’t leave them wondering if the position was filled or not. If candidates don’t like how they were treated, they will let people know, which will also negatively impact your employer brand.
Burying your head in the sand
No company is perfect, so it’s OK if you receive bad reviews from a current or former employee or a job candidate. The important thing is how you handle it. Burying your head in the sand and acting like they don’t exist or they’ll just disappear won’t do any good.
Take a deep breath, go over each review and respond to them. Make sure to remain civil. Thank them for taking the time to give you a review and address the points the person has made. Explain how you plan to rectify the situation if those steps are necessary.
Failing to respond is not an option. According to a recent survey, 69% of applicants said they are more likely to apply for a job if the employer actively manages its employer brand. That means responding to reviews, updating your company profiles and sharing updates about your company culture and work environment.
Not tooting your own horn
While you’re updating your online presence, remember to share the things you’re most proud of. Has your company received any special awards or accolades? Was it recently recognized for a unique achievement? Let the world know, especially if it’s related to how you treat your employees or what type of workplace you provide.
Did your company make a large charitable donation? Did your employees participate in a community event such as a toy or canned food drive? Does your company allow employees paid time off to volunteer? Philanthropy is important to many people, so these are things job candidates would like to know about your business. It speaks to your company’s community involvement and efforts to give back.
The days of posting a job on a search site and hoping applications roll in are over. Companies need to be proactive in their search for the best candidates. They need to sell themselves to the candidates as much as the candidates are selling themselves to the businesses.
Just like dating, the company and the candidate are getting to know each other before committing. Hopefully, these tips will help you stand out and find the people right for the jobs.
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