Employer Branding is the strategic process of establishing your company as an employer of choice, so you can attract top talent.
Sounds simple, right? Well, it’s a little more complex.
As we work our way through the lowest unemployment rate since 1974, in the middle of what many organisations are still fearing – the ‘Great Resignation’ – being able to successfully compete for top talent means standing out, above and beyond, your talent competitors.
There’s a well-documented, proven process to creating a successful employer brand. The key though, is your employee value proposition. You see, employer branding isn’t about trying to convince prospective talent that your business is a better place to work than it actually is. Rather, it’s about clearly articulating what’s unique to your business, in terms of your value proposition to employees. Your EVP.
Think about your EVP like this:
What unique benefits does your organisation offer your workforce, in return for the experience, insights, skills and competencies that they’ll bring to your business?
Today, I’m going to take you through why employer branding is so important for your business. I’ll provide the key best practices you need to consider to get your employer branding strategy underway. And I’ll briefly provide insight into the difference between employer branding, and recruitment marketing.
Why Embark Upon an Employer Branding Strategy?
There are four main reasons why you need an employer branding strategy. These reasons stand up, no matter what the job market looks like, or where the economy stands. They’re imperative for your business to achieve:
- a best-fit mix of talent across your workforce
- a trusted talent pool, suited to your workforce strategy and business goals
- optimal talent engagement
The four reasons you need an employer branding strategy are:
1. Cost of Recruitment
According to LinkedIn research, employer branding is estimated to reduce your cost of recruitment by half, compared to organisations with weak or no employer branding in place.
2. Cost of Reputation
The same LinkedIn research tells us that many organisations with a poor EVP (and therefore a poor or non-existent employer brand), will increase wages to make up for the fact that their reputation is undesirable. Yet, most job seekers would rule out working for an organisation with an unfavourable employer brand. Adding weight to this claim, Harvard Business Review previously reported that only 28% of job seekers would be tempted to join an organisation with a poor reputation, when offered a 10% pay rise.
3. Beat Talent Competitors
Your company is only as great as your people, right? And great people want to work for great brands. Top talent, the best in the market, aren’t looking at organisations that don’t value and nurture their own people, their culture and employment experience.
You may not be the biggest in your market. Or the most successful. But with the right value proposition for talent – a proposition that’s authentic and proven – employer branding can be your secret weapon for competing for talent, way above your weight. With the right strategy and communications, your strong employer brand levels the playing field for top talent in your market.
4. Retain Your Best Workers
Workers employed by reputable organisations that live up to their EVP, are typically more invested in their jobs. And they’re much less likely to jump jobs.
The bonus for the organisation is, engaged employees are productive employees. They help boost organisational performance and accelerate growth. These workers not only want to stick around, but they’re more willing to tell other quality talent – talent who will ‘fit’ within the company culture – about how good the working environment is. This further helps to reduce Point 1 above, the cost of recruitment.
Employer Branding: Key Best Practices
Here are the most important best practices for building a credible, compelling, and memorable employer brand:
1. Make the Employer Brand Central to Your Workforce Strategy
Employer branding is a long game. So, a successful employer brand must sit at the core of your workforce strategy. Prioritise employer branding and recruitment marketing as central to your workforce strategy, and you’ll retain your top hires, and attract the market’s best people.
2. A Positive Candidate Experience
The candidate experience prior to joining your business (or not, as the case may be), is crucial as it’s the first taste of working life in your organisation. Be respectful, communicate regularly, deliver on your promises, and don’t ghost your candidates: even the unsuccessful ones.
3. A Positive Employee Experience
Like candidates, employees in your business need to feel they’re being nurtured, respected, and listened to. If conflict exists between your people and your organisation, your employer branding efforts will be wasted. A highly engaged workforce makes for a successful employer brand.
4. Be Active on Social Media
To reach millennials and Gen Z (even older folks) an active presence on social media is crucial for recruitment marketing and amplification of your employer brand. And we’re not just talking LinkedIn. Depending on the role, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram are all key channels. A regular, consistent, and clever campaign message about your employer brand is key.
5. Causal Initiatives
Your employer brand is also an opportunity to showcase your organisation’s philanthropic and charity initiatives. This is incredibly important in today’s socially conscious talent environment. Whether your people volunteer work hours to a charity, and/or your organisation donates to various charities, these initiatives tell prospective hires a lot about the ethos of the business.
6. Engage the Management Team
Employer branding is a whole-of-business initiative, not just an HR project. Securing buy-in from your management team gives the initiative the credibility and approval it deserves. Ideally, your management team must be adept at sharing your employer branding messages on social media, in timely and measured ways.
It’s true of most people that they remember stories over facts or slogans. So, when you’re amplifying your employer brand messages, one of the most potent means for doing this, is to create interesting, memorable, and engaging stories. Use truth, humour, quirky anecdotes, and first-hand accounts of what your employer brand means, and why it’s so powerful.
Employer Branding Vs Recruitment Marketing
I want to quickly touch on the importance of knowing the difference between employer branding, and recruitment marketing. We often hear people in the industry using these terms interchangeably. Which is problematic.
Employer branding and recruitment marketing are close relatives. But they’re different.
- Employer branding is the strategic process adopted for clarifying, understanding, defining, and positioning your business as a quality place of employment. A place sought by the top talent in your market.
- Recruitment marketing is the process of communicating your employer brand. This is the tactical marketing activity to undertake for promoting and publicising your employer brand.
Indisputably, employer branding is a smart business investment. Whereas a bad reputation will cost your business not only quality candidates, but also existing talent, a great employer brand will mean you can reduce your hiring and turnover costs. As word-of-mouth, social media, and industry chatter builds, you’ll be able to attract the top talent in your industry, to your doors.
As one of the world’s leading providers of contingent worker management solutions, CXC is well positioned to optimise all elements of your contingent workforce strategy. With operations in more than 50 countries across five continents and decades of experience, we can assist with every aspect of your program.
If you are interested in discussing our insights on employer branding, and would like to find out more about how we can work together, please contact us.