What candidates see, think and feel about your company as a potential place to work is more important than ever before. These perceptions shape the reputation that your organization has among job seekers (and among your customers!), and this reputation plays a significant role in how you’re able to attract and recruit talent as well as how you retain your employees.
And while it can be hard to have full control over this reputation, you can better frame the narrative by creating an employer branding strategy.
What exactly is employer branding? It’s your reputation as a potential employer coupled with the promise you make — otherwise known as your employer value proposition (EVP) — to candidates and employees. In other words, it’s how you market your company as a great place to work and what makes you unique as an employer of choice.
Even if you haven’t created a formal employer branding strategy, you already have an employer brand! Any messaging and content out there, whether on your careers site, social channels, employer review sites or other platforms, all goes back into shaping what job seekers think about your company.
But to turn your employer brand into one of your sharpest and most effective recruiting tools and to help you frame the narrative, you’ll need leadership support to create a cohesive strategy that positions your company as an excellent place to work through the right channels with the right content and targeted to the right audiences.
Here’s your guide to laying out the benefits of an employer branding strategy, ways to gain leadership support and what should be included when you start developing an employer brand strategy for your organization.
Bottom-line employer brand benefits
A positive employer brand has far-reaching effects not just within your HR or talent acquisition teams, but also on your company as a whole. Take this stat, for example: 86% of people would consider not applying to or working for an organization that has a poor reputation, according to Randstad.
This means your employer brand impacts both talent attraction and employee retention! A bad reputation can drive down applications as well as result in high turnover, which of course can do damage to your company’s bottom line.
But enough of the doom and gloom. Here are some interesting data points from LinkedIn on how a great employer brand can spur success for your business:
- 75% of candidates look at and consider a company’s employer brand before submitting an application.
- A positive employer brand can result in 50% more qualified applicants, drastically speed up the time to hire and decrease the cost per hire.
- Turnover can drop by as much as 28% with an employer branding strategy.
- 59% of recruiting leaders say they are investing more in employer branding.
It’s important to keep in mind that your employer brand encompasses a wide range of elements. There’s your content, messaging and EVP, but also your candidate experience! To learn more about aligning the promises of your employer brand and how job seekers interact with your company, download our ideabook 6 Unbreakable Employer Brand Promises.
Key elements of an employer branding strategy
There’s no one perfect formula to creating an exceptional employer brand strategy. After all, a crucial part of your strategy is communicating what makes your company unique, which means that your strategy should be tailored to your organization’s individual needs and goals. However, there are several vital components that your strategy should include:
- Determine your differentiator: Candidates want to know why they should want to work for your company, so tell them with your EVP! Your EVP should clearly convey what benefits and opportunities your organization provides to employees, and this value should be a core tenet of your employer brand strategy.
- Align with business goals: What objectives has your company set out to achieve? Include them when developing your strategy. For example, if a new product or service is launching soon, you’ll want to make sure your employer brand is targeted toward candidates who will help you with this goal. Keep in mind that your employer brand strategy won’t always be static, and that you should make changes as your company’s objectives evolve.
- Create candidate personas: A key aspect of your employer brand strategy is targeting the right audiences. Candidate personas keep you on track! Developing personas helps you ensure your content is answering pressing questions and providing value to your different talent audiences.
- Involve relevant stakeholders: An employer branding strategy should not be limited to just your hiring teams. Stakeholders from across the company, such as execs and marketing, should have a seat at the table as well, since the candidates you recruit will go on to have an impact on the overall business. Their input will help you shape a brand that speaks to a range of talent groups.
- Develop advocacy programs: Your company’s reputation is a key ingredient in your employer brand recipe, and your current employees can help spice it up! Employee advocacy programs provide an amplification platform for your current team members to share why they like working at your company, helping to further strengthen your employer brand.
- Craft content for the right channels: You might have created stellar employer brand messaging, but if you’re not sharing it on the right channels, your strategy will stall. Find out where your ideal candidates are, develop content that provides value and use the right channels to get in front of job seekers.
- Measure your results: You’ve put in all the work to create a comprehensive employer brand strategy, but how can you be sure it’s working? Create a measurement plan as part of your strategy to ensure you’re bringing in the results you want, or at least have insight into where your strategy might be missing the mark so that you can make necessary changes.
Developing an effective employer branding strategy won’t happen overnight. But by carefully crafting a strategy that markets your company as an excellent employer of choice, you stand a much better chance of capturing those candidates who will be eager to be a part of the team and who will help drive further success for your business.