How to Excel at Employer Branding to Attract and Retain Top Talent

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In today’s rapidly transforming economy, the competition among employers to bag top talent is becoming more fierce than it ever has been, and companies now have to furnish engaging work experiences to make employees stick around. 

The internet, too, has transformed the modern hiring process. 

Your company’s reputation on social media channels also acts as your brand’s voice these days and helps to attract talent. Nearly 75% of people looking for a job now say that they would consider applying with an employer that has a good reputation in the job market.

Building the right brand in the eyes of your employees and potential hires will increase your brand equity, make your business more competitive, and create significant growth opportunities for the future. This piece will look at a few ways employers can do just that.

1. Conduct Audits of Your Brand’s Perception

The first and foremost step when it comes to developing a positive employer brand is having a clear idea about how potential employees view your brand when they come across it for the very first time.

Companies with poor branding pay close to 10% higher salaries.

A detailed employer brand audit of your current brand perception, both through the eyes of your external audience and existing employees, will help you adjust the various elements of your branding strategy in a way that they project the company culture and values.

There are numerous places you should be examining. Some of those are:

  • Google reviews
  • Social media platforms
  • Employment review websites
  • Internal survey sheets submitted by existing employees

2. Build Your Employee Persona

Once you know what most job seekers think about your brand, you need to define what your ideal hire is going to look like.

Without a clear understanding of your employee persona, it will get challenging for you to develop a branding strategy that caters to your company’s unique needs and targets a person with the aspirations, personality, and skills you’re looking for.

Denise Lee Yohn, in one of her recent articles, explains why employee personas have become increasingly important:

“Using employee personas makes more sense now than ever before, because in many ways, employees have become customers of work. People have adopted a consumer mindset to their jobs, using job sites to decide where to work the way they might decide where to go to dinner.

Plus, the pandemic, economic slowdown, and social tensions that have risen in the last year have impacted people in vastly different ways. So, different employees in a single workforce have vastly different needs—and employers must understand and address those differences.”

Invest enough time toward breaking down the qualities your target employees possess:

  • What are their main personality traits?
  • What causes do they care about?
  • What motivates them day-to-day?
  • Where do they research for information?
  • What roles and responsibilities do they want?

Of course, these traits will vary according to the location and specific staff role you are marketing to; however, at a rudimentary level, there must be a template that helps you craft a branding strategy that appeals to your ideal candidate.

3. Establish Your Organization’s Differentiators

Next up, knowing what can make your organization unique for potential candidates and placing it above your competitors will take you a long way in crafting an effective brand story.

It is first essential to reassess your values and compare them with potential recruits’ alternatives to establish your differentiators or USPs in a detailed manner. You can conveniently do that by asking yourself questions such as:

  • What causes do you care for that others don’t? 
  • What facets of your company culture do you nurture that others don’t? 
  • Where does your company excel and stand out against what your competitors are getting to the table? 

The answers to these questions will help you define your company’s unique characteristics that can help boost its attractiveness before potential hires.

Nearly 86% of HR professionals believe recruiting is equal to “marketing.”

In the same way, your recruitment marketing efforts aim to set your offering apart from the crowd; your branding strategy needs to work just as hard to improve your current teams’ sense of belonging and keep you in the minds of potential candidates.

4. Identify and Utilize Your Primary RecruitmeMarketing Channels

After you’ve established your company’s differentiators, you can safely assume that your preliminary research is done for most of your branding strategy, and it’s time to start implementing things practically.

The next step would be to identify your primary marketing channels and utilize those effectively to reach your prospective recruits and best engage with your existing satisfied employees. 

Some commonly leveraged marketing channels by businesses to attract leads include:

  • Social networks
  • Career sites
  • Content marketing
  • Lectures and workshops
  • Employee loyalty programs
  • Inbound recruiting
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)

You can also conduct expert webinars frequently to attract corporate brand loyalty. Close to 53% of marketers believe that this lead generation mode is one of the top-of-the-funnel formats that generate the most high-quality leads.

One important thing to remember here would be to identify channels that will help you promote your organization’s differentiators and establish attractive elements for your audience (i.e., potential candidates and existing employees in this case).

5. Formulate Your Employer Value Proposition

Your company’s employer value proposition (EVP) is nothing but a promise to its current and future employees. What the company has in store for them will make them passionate about wanting to be a part of your team.

The EVP is more of a lynchpin of your employer branding proposition.

Your employees should be at the crux of your EVP – their goals, motivations, interests, etc. Some of the things that matter most in this respect include:

  • Professional development
  • A thriving work culture
  • Holiday allowance
  • Flexible work timings
  • Healthcare benefits
  • Bonuses
  • Solid work-life balance

Most employer branding efforts should comprise a combination of these. 

However, alongside these employee-focused perks, you also need to assess how you will incorporate the core values of your business within your strategy. How committed you are to be the best in your industry. How highly your employees are valued. How much do you care about supporting your employees’ aspirations?

One recent article on Recruiter.com explains how a good employer brand proposition plays a vital role in attracting and retaining quality hires:

“Your people strategy is a powerful way to communicate your employer value proposition and brand. Younger workers in particular are drawn to purpose-driven employers. And because skill development is so important to employees’ professional futures, companies that emphasize employee growth have a purpose-driven differentiator that helps them attract and retain quality talent.”

6. Invest in Your Internal Team’s Development

Treating your current employees right and taking care of their needs plays an essential role in fueling your branding efforts. Close to 67% of men and 86% of women in the United States say they wouldn’t join a company with a bad reputation. Therefore, if your current workforce isn’t connected with the organizational goals, it will impact the opinion of your future hires.

One best practice to retain top talent and build a strong employer brand would be to provide learning opportunities for your employees constantly. This will help you demonstrate that you are committed to their growth and make them feel connected to your organizational goals. 

William Craig, Founder, and President of WebFX, in one of his recent articles, explains how this works: 

“Investing in continual learning boosts your reputation as an employer who cares. Word gets out, and you’ll need to guard against an influx of customers and applications from candidates. You do good for your employees, and it draws good back to your company. Offering rewards for conference attendance and continuing training or a small stipend for books cultivates an environment for continual improvement, and that’s an excellent reputation for all to possess.”

7. Assess Your Model’s Success

Finally, once you’ve invested enough time and effort into building internal brand advocacy and leveraging your top marketing channels to attract new hires with it, next up, you must assess whether or not your employer branding strategy is working in your favor.

You can begin by examining the success of your branding initiatives against your pre-defined key performance indicators (KPI), which may include:

  • Cost-To-Hire
  • Time-To-Hire
  • Number of quality applicants you receive for each vacant position
  • Number of positive organic reviews on your social media pages, etc.

If any of these KPIs are falling short of your aspirations, it is time to reevaluate, modify the course, and tweak your approach until you achieve the results you want. Your employer branding process should never feel set in stone. As your overall business strategy changes to reflect new patterns, requirements, or trends, your company’s employer brand strategy should follow suit.

To know more about what other steps you can take to build a compelling employer brand strategy – one that gets you result-driven and employee-focused – get in touch with us at Recruiter.com.

Our network of skilled, on-demand recruiters spread across the United States can help you scale up your teams quickly and create brand advocates that spread the word about your business to attract top talent within no time.

 

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