The Power of Employer Branding: The Key to Hiring Success
Given how competitive the job market is, talent attraction and sourcing have become a key component of talent acquisition and employer branding is an essential strategy.
Employer branding plays an important role in identifying and engaging with quality candidates before they apply for a position, giving candidates a first impression of you as an employer and what it’s like to work for your company.
It’s often said that company branding is a consistent story about the value the company offers employees in return for their skills, experience and efforts.
A solid and creative employer brand will help bring more quality hires in recruitment and communicate that via a robust online brand presence while your employees become the company’s “influencers.”
In a sense, your brand becomes a recruitment tool in of itself. When it is presented authentically and effectively, it will automatically attract the right talent.
Today, more than ever, talent acquisition professionals have to think like traditional marketers.
According to a Talent Board research in 2019, candidates have become more savvy in their job search and are now more likely to have some kind of previous relationships with employers (51%) and conduct their own research (69%).
Candidates want to be prepared and take ownership of their journey, as such they are diving deeper into the company’s website sites and their social media to get a clear picture of a company before making a connection.
There are more resources available than ever for candidates to research employers. Talent Board reports that 18% of candidates used employer review sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, FairyGodBoss, Kununu (Monster.com) to investigate potential employers.
Therefore, to attract top talent and mitigate some of the challenges that come with recruiting, your company needs a strong, genuine and transparent brand.
What Candidates Expect From an Employer Brand?
- They want a clear understanding of the company culture.
- They want as much information as possible about the work they will be doing.
- They want to know about the environment in which they will work.
- They want to know why employees want to work for an employer and why they stay.
- They want to know if the company’s mission aligns with their own career goals.
You need to keep in mind that the attitudes, expectations and behaviors of today’s candidates are shifting and your employer branding strategies need to be adjusted accordingly.
Gem, a recruiting solutions company, surveyed 500 talent acquisition (TA) professionals which covered priorities, pain points and 2022 recruiting goals.
At the top of the list for priorities, employers recognize that communicating with candidates early on is key for talent attraction:
- Content provided across channels must be consistent and compelling.
- The number of employers that say they implemented mobile text messaging campaigns increased by 71% in 2019.
- 63% of employers are considering implementing chatbot technology.
Chatbots can be leveraged to improve candidate communication by answering general employment questions and help hiring teams by leaving more time for them to focus on engaging with top candidates that are already in the process.
Here are the top reasons companies have lost out on talent:
- Better offer elsewhere (58%)
- Compensation not high enough (41%)
Counter-offer from candidate’s current company (36%)
- Inadequate benefits (13%)
- Hiring process took too long (12%)
- Concerns about career path (11%)
- Concerns about company culture (4%)
If you don’t have an employer branding strategy or one that does not reflect the needs of today’s top-tier candidates, Gem suggests sitting down with current employees to find out what made them decide to work for you.
Ask questions such as these below or encourage them to complete an anonymous employee survey in order to gain valuable insight.
- What are some benefits of working for the company that isn’t in the job ads?
- What do they find to be the most fulfilling part of their job?
- Are their immediate co-workers committed to the organization’s goals?
- Is their job in alignment with their career goals?
- Do they think their opinions count at work?
- When the organization makes changes, do they understand why?
- When you contribute to the organization’s success, do they feel recognized?
- Does their job give you the flexibility to meet the needs of your personal life?
- Do you regularly receive constructive performance feedback from your manager?
- Do you know how you fit into the organization’s future plans?
Carefully consider the answers and implement feasible changes. These answers will also help you build your employer brand strategy.
Some of the recent changes organizations have made to improve their employer brand includes:
- Being fully or partially remote
- Adding new mental health resources
- Providing work-from-home stipends
- Additional PTO, and assistance with childcare
- Candidate experience strategy
Gem found that most respondents realized their company also needed to pay more attention to the candidate experience and make some improvements.
- Shortening the hiring process/speeding up offers
- Increasing communication throughout the hiring process
- Giving timely feedback to applicants
- Increasing diversity of candidate pool
- Making more compelling offers.
Going along with improving the candidate experience, Gem suggests having a solid recruitment marketing strategy, which can reduce time-to-hire, build a more diverse talent pipeline, and boost employee morale and retention.
Naturally, the basic goal is to always attract more, qualified candidates to your company, but you should go deeper than that.
Picture your ideal candidate so that you know exactly who you are looking for. After you nail down the desired skill level, experience, core values, and career goals you’re looking for in a candidate, you’ll be able to better tailor your employer branding pitch.
It’s also important to tweak it depending on which kind of candidate you’re going after. For example, younger talent might be more interested in career advancement and a lively office, while childcare perks and retirement planning might appeal more to older candidates.
Create recruitment content. Newsletters, blogs, videos, and webinars can all help convey your employer brand across and attract candidates from all over.
Build your own talent community. You’ll likely encounter a lot of promising candidates who, for one reason or another, can’t currently work for you. But don’t just let them go! Keep them on file, and maintain an ongoing relationship with them so that when the time is right, they’ll be ready to go.
Is employer branding really that important? Gem says yes. It often is the deciding factor for a candidate when they’re torn between two companies.
Employer branding can benefit your company in many ways, not just in terms of hiring. Having a good reputation as an employer also has a positive impact on your overall company brand and can be a determinant for business success. After all, many customers and partners prefer to work with companies that are known for their good employee relations.
That being said, the alignment and collaboration between your HR and marketing teams are essential to developing a great employer branding strategy that will not only attract talented candidates to your organization but also increase employee retention.