What is employer branding?
Employer brand refers to how a company is viewed by the current and potential employees. Employer branding, is thus, the strategy adopted by an organisation to promote itself as the employer of choice. This strategy typically focuses on attracting, hiring and retaining talent.
The term Employer Branding was coined by Simon Barrow who defined it as “the package of functional, economic and psychological benefits provided by employment, and identified with the employing company.”
It is similar to corporate branding but with a different purpose and for a different audience. Corporate branding focuses on building a value proposition to the customers. Similarly, employer branding is the process of giving an employee value proposition. It is a promise that the organisation makes to the current and potential employees. It is the assurance of delivering certain cultural parameters to employees if they join or continue working with the organisation.
In simple terms, it is the management’s effort to make the employees feel good about their workplace.
What is an employee value proposition (EVP)?
An EVP is in-line with an organisation’s mission, vision and values. It includes all the things, both tangible and intangible, that you offer to the employees. It is like payback for the skills, knowledge and experience they bring to the table. A strong EVP can give a powerful reason for the employees to work for you.
The EVP must be based on the benefits that a company can offer to its employees. These benefits must be tested for their value on the current set of employees. Only when they are proven successful with them, should you include them in your EVP. Your EVP may include the following.
- The organisation’s culture and values
- Overall compensation including perks and benefits
- Growth trajectory
- Employee recognition
- Quality of work
- Work-life balance and paid leaves
- Job security
- Opportunities to work in other countries
Why is employer branding important?
In these current times, news and information travel faster than ever. Our lives are dominated by social media and people like to share every good and bad experience. Due to this reason, an employer’s reputation matters more than ever. As per a study by Randstad USA , 86% of employees would not want to work with an organisation that has a bad reputation among former employees.
With strong and positive employer branding, attracting and retaining talent becomes a lot easier. A study by LinkedIn found that building a strong employer brand can reduce the turnover rates by 28% and halve the costs of hiring. Besides, you can get 50% more qualified candidates.
Having a strong employer brand and communicating it constantly to the existing and potential candidates can drastically improve the efficiency of your recruitment team. They will find it easier to engage top talent and quickly move them to the offer stage.
Employer branding process
As important as it is to have an employer brand, it is equally important to walk the talk. It is much more than away to market your company to prospective candidates. It is what excites your current employees and enthuses them. They will talk about their employer and spread the word if they are really happy with what they are getting. Here are the steps to follow if you want to build a strong employer brand narrative.
1. Find your company’s unique value proposition
The first step in the process is to familiarise yourself with the mission, vision and culture of your organisation. You may want to take a deep look to understand the unique attributes of your organisation. You may start by evaluating your business needs and then work backwards to identify the kind of talent you will need to reach your goals.
2. Familiarise yourself with the existing brand
Every organisation has a reputation. Before you work towards rebranding your organisation as an employer of choice, it may help you to know the reputation of your organisation. It is best to take both internal and external feedback into account. You may use surveys, social media platforms and third-party help to dig deeper into this. This exercise will give you an idea of what is working and what needs improvement.
3. Define your EVP
Now is the time to express your unique attributes into words. Your EVP must resonate with your consumer brand and should speak to the employees. Since it is a promise, you mustn’t include something you cannot give. The recruiters and hiring managers are going to speak about your EVP during interviews. Therefore, it is crucial to go beyond compensation and include something more meaningful and with a deeper purpose. It must resonate with passionate and skilled candidates and encourage them to work with you.
5. Create engagements for your current employees
Candidates are more likely to take feedback from their current employees. Therefore, it is crucial that you engage your current workforce. Besides, they are the ones who will help you in achieving your mission. Share their testimonials on your careers website and ask them to share your events on social media platforms. Create videos, blog posts, and slideshows featuring them and circulate this media everywhere.
6. Spread the message
Concentrate on a few phrases that you would like to be used in office parlance. Make a conscious effort to use them in all HR and recruitment meetings. Use it on your career’s website and social media platforms. You can even suggest your top management to stress upon it during their meetings.
7. Tighten your onboarding process
The first couple of months are critical for a new hire. A smooth onboarding can go a long way in turning a new hire into a productive employee. The candidate is more likely to stay longer with the organisation. As per Glassdoor, a strong onboarding process can improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%.
8. Provide growth and learning opportunities
An article by shortlister reveals that nearly 5,000professionals were looking for a new job in 2018 because they were bored with their current position. (Kornferry*,2018). You can resolve this situation by hiring from within your organisation. Give your employees opportunities to apply for higher or cross-functional jobs. Allow them to grow both professionally and personally through training programs. This will ensure higher retention and reduced hiring costs.
An effective way to strengthen your employer branding is by using AI-powered recruitment chatbots. These chatbots can appropriately answer candidate queries in real-time. Secondly, automating your hiring process can impress your candidates by giving immediate feedback and closing the loop.
Employer branding is not just a marketing gimmick to attract candidates. Instead, a strategic approach towards creating your employer brand can give several benefits. It becomes successful when your strategy includes the entire employee lifecycle and has elements for each stage. By attracting, engaging, and retaining employees, your employer branding can lead to great business results.