The Power of Employer Branding: Building a Strong Reputation to Attract Top Talent
June 6, 2023
POV: It’s Monday morning, you’ve just woken up and groggily stagger towards your laptop. Your eyes are so blinded by the crisp white light of your email desktop that you can hardly register the word leaping out at you from the screen: Congratulations! You rub your eyes in disbelief and think you’re seeing double – but there it is, in black and white. You’ve received not one, but two job offers. Both are mouth-wateringly tempting: Prestigious companies, high salaries, enviable benefits packages. In theory, you should be torn. But before you’ve even had a chance to think about it, your instincts have made the decision for you.
Throughout the hiring process, you did your research into both companies. You put on your FBI goggles and traipsed the internet high and low for every last shred of information out there: The company websites, Glassdoor, Instagram, Twitter, the Business Insider news section…you explored every corner of the internet in a bid to get a better sense of what you were in for as a prospective employee of both companies. People in your industry talk, so you heard from employees past and present. While under scrutiny, one company came out with shining colours, but the other…less so. Now, the prospect of working at the latter company sends shivers down your spine: A horror film flickers through your mind when you picture your life as an employee there. You accept the offer at the other company without thinking twice.
Moral of the story: Employer reputation matters. According to a recent survey, 86 percent of potential employees would not consider working for a company with a bad reputation amongst former employees or the public. Furthermore, 65 percent stated that they would leave their job in light of negative media portrayal of the business. On the flipside, a positive reputation is a major selling point for prospective employees: An appealing company culture can attract high talent and ultimately result in up to 33 percent higher revenue per employee.
Employer branding is a powerful tool that can help you purposefully position your company to attract and retain top talent. If you do not choose to proactively shape your company’s narrative, other people will do it for you. Thanks to the internet, candidates have an endless stream of information at their fingertips, and often, the loudest voices – populating Glassdoor, Twitter, or the Instagram comments under your company’s latest posts – are the least satisfied. Employer branding allows employers to take some control over how their company is perceived, both by current and future employees. It’s an opportunity to shape an exciting and unique story, one that will define the course of the business.
While employer branding is basically storytelling, that doesn’t mean that you have total creative licence over the narrative you craft. You’re not writing fiction – you’re building an employer persona that will breathe life into your business, uniting current and future employees under the flag of one common purpose.
Crafting an Employer Value Proposition
The first step of impactful employer branding is creating an Employer Value Proposition (EVP). Your EVP needs to be short and simple, and needs to succinctly answer some simple questions: What is your company’s mission? Why would someone want to be a part of it? And what makes your company unique?
The first thing to note is that you cannot whip up an EVP out of thin air: It needs to come from the heart of the company, and that means asking employees at different levels of the company for their input and insights. An EVP goes deeper than leadership: You need to formulate a comprehensive understanding of the company experience from different perspectives. An EVP should aim to be two things: Truthful and strategic. It should encapsulate the essence of the company while also aiming to appeal to the right kind of talent. The benefits are twofold: Creating brand ambassadors within the business, while simultaneously pulling in new talent. Beamery research has shown that 69% of candidates on the job market would be drawn to a company that proactively cultivated their employer brand, which demonstrates just how powerful an effective EVP can be.
Owning your EVP
Once your company has a clear EVP, it’s time to get it out there: Make sure that every platform your company has control over is using messaging and marketing that aligns with your unique EVP. Employer branding is a never-ending process; It’s not over the moment you update your company’s ‘About Us’ page.
You may opt to create an Instagram account that gives prospective employees an insight into the daily life of people working at the company, while also giving current employees the opportunity to have fun and let their personalities shine through. This account wouldn’t be geared towards the consumer, but rather employees.
Maybe your main focus of employer branding is responding to reviews left on Glassdoor in a constructive and empathetic manner, in order to showcase your company in the best possible light. The company’s digital footprint is an endless treasure trail for people thinking about joining the company, so you want to make sure that the traces you’re leaving behind paint your company in a positive way.
Social media is one of the mainstays of an effective employer branding strategy, and the best way to go about cultivating a positive employer reputation is by putting yourself in the candidate’s shoes, and going through the process of researching the company in the same way a prospective employee would. Is your overall experience of the company after a couple of Google searches an overwhelmingly positive or negative one?
Above all else, it’s crucial to note that your current employees are the pillar of the company’s brand. They are the beating heart that pumps life into the company, and they’re a powerful force to be reckoned with. If they have something negative to say about their experience working there, prospective employees will find out about it. They are the people who have experienced life at the company up-close and personal, so people will take their opinions very seriously. What they say and post online matters. For this reason, your employer brand starts at home and should involve looking inwards: Having satisfied employees is the most organic and guaranteed way of having a positive brand reputation. By sense-checking how your employees are feeling, you’re showing a proactive interest in their wellbeing at the company. Investing in the welfare of your current employees will create brand ambassadors, and should they leave the company, they’re more likely to leave positive reviews about their experience working there.
December 19, 2023