Branding is often thought of as an effective marketing tool that companies use to attract customers. For example, in the infamous Coke vs. Pepsi battle, both companies attempt to assert themselves as the best brand of cola in the mind of consumers. However, traditional branding isn’t the only thing an organization must consider when building their brand. A strong employer brand is also essential when it comes to business success.
What exactly is an employer brand?
An employer brand refers to the perceptions current and potential employees have about what it is like to work at a company. An employer brand is an important part of the employee value proposition and is essentially what both potential and current employees perceive to be an organization’s mission, values, culture and personality.
A strong reputable employer brand is a critical element of an organization’s strategy, because it can help companies attract top talent and make recruiting efforts easier. It can also improve retention as employees have clear expectations about the company at the onset of their employment. As a result, companies are looking to have more control on the impression of their company in the mind of a candidate.
The challenge is that an employer brand is not what an organization states it to be. Rather, it is what each person thinks the employer brand is. Furthermore, candidates don’t come to you in a vacuum. Before they even considering applying for a position, they have been exposed to company marketing, information shared by friends or family, and the influence of social media – all of which has contributed to the way they perceive an organization.
An employer brand isn’t something that is created. It’s something that is constantly forming. Your role as an organization is to understand, define, reflect, and monitor it.
Understand – Assess your Employer Brand through internal focus groups, interviews, and candidate surveys. Look at jobsites, social media, and company reviews.
Define – Determine how you would like to be viewed as an employer based on a realistic evaluation of your company’s unique strengths.
Reflect – Deliberately and proactively communicate. Share messages, company highlights, and celebrations in order to build and sustain an engaging Employer Brand. Use multiple channels to spread the word and reply to negative and positive feedback.
Monitor – Measure the effectiveness of your efforts. Metrics may could include number of applicants, employee retention, or cost of hire. Make adjustments along the way.
The evidence is clear: employer branding is an important component of an effective talent strategy. When making a decision on where to apply for a job, 84% of job seekers say reputation of a company as an employer is important. (Glassdoor, Harris Poll, April 2017). The decision is yours, but if you don’t manage your employer brand…others will.