What Is Employer Branding?
When the topic of branding comes up, our minds often immediately go to the generic branding components: product or service offerings, market positioning, and the core message of the business. But there is another type of branding that is just as, if not more, important for companies to consider – employer branding. As the name suggests, this concerns the brand image of businesses as employers, meaning that the target audience here is existing and prospective employees.
An employer brand encompasses any and every way that a company is perceived as an employer by former, current, and future employees. It also includes the company’s promise, or employee value proposition, to employees in exchange for their hard work.
Employer branding is how you shape your employer brand for the kind of candidates that you desire. The aim here is to make your employer branding so desirable that it supersedes the competition, and candidates flock to you because you’re simply the best to work for!
Employer Value Proposition (EVP)
The EVP is a crucial element of your employer branding, being a core reason behind the attraction and retention of employees. An overwhelming majority of the top employers are united by a strong EVP. But what exactly is an EVP?
Simply put, it’s the value the employers promise their employees, articulated into a statement or more. The EVP can encompass any and every aspect of the employment experience that makes it special, giving the company an edge over competitors.
Let’s take a look at Canva’s EVP, which is thoroughly outlined on their website. It includes values such as “Empower others.” and “Pursue excellence.” – which are then further elaborated on their platform. By having these simple yet powerful statements, (prospective) employees can gauge a feeling for the company and its corporate culture. Canva goes deeper in showcasing their EVP by outlining the perks offered at their headquarters, including meals prepared by their very own in-house chefs, and free gym memberships.
Employer Branding and the War for Talent
With employer branding having the power to reduce employee turnover by up to 28%, it’s definitely a key aspect that should not be undermined. The War for Talent is now more fierce than ever, meaning that the quest for the acquisition and retention of great talent is too. If there ever was a time to invest in your employer brand, it’s now.
In business, the image that your stakeholders – from your customers to your employees – have of your company sets the tone for the rest of your operations. The numbers speak for themselves: 9 out of 10 candidates claim that they would apply for a job based on an actively-maintained employer brand alone, 80% of TA managers believe employer branding plays a major role in the ability to hire quality candidates, and 55% of prospective candidates are deterred by negative online reviews. This only highlights the need for employer branding to be prioritised in the quest for taking your company to the next level with the very best talent out there.
What Makes an Employer Brand Stand Out
Now that the importance of employer branding has been established, that brings us to question: what makes a good employer brand?
A great EVP is at the epicentre of solid employer branding, but what use is a great EVP without even greater communication of it? A clear communication strategy that accurately brings across the offerings of your organisation is a sure-fire way to spread the word about what your brand stands for. That’s the only way you can ensure that your prospective employees know about all the fantastic things that await them once they join your company, and that current employees are fully aware of the opportunities available for them to leverage.
Communication can be done by taking advantage of the various channels that are actively used by employees, such as under the “about us” section on the company website, the internal newsletter, via emails, and through social media posts. Social media can be especially rewarding when it comes to attracting new employees, and with 96% of employer brand specialists utilising social media, it is something that they are well aware of.
Here are five ways to effectively leverage social media posts that can go a long way in boosting your employer brand:
1. Show off your workspace
A great working environment is one of the most significant factors when it comes to choosing an employer – after all, it is where you will be spending much of your time. Whether it’s a coffee corner, a great view, or slides (yes, google HQ is known for their slides!), let your prospective employees know what you have in store for them.
Boston Consulting Group does a great job of this under their “Life at…” section on LinkedIn.
2. Feature employees
Shine the spotlight on your employees by featuring them in posts. Let them share their story with the world! What’s their background? What do they love most about your company?
By showcasing the friendly faces behind your workforce, prospective employees can get a real feel for the people that make your company what it is. It’s also something that the featured employees can be proud of, and repost on their own social media – win/win!
Amazon does a great job of regularly featuring their employees on their LinkedIn page with over 25 million followers, but this is effective no matter what your company size is – what are you waiting for?
3. Promote perks
With an undeniable number of talent using social media, there is no better place to announce (and give a quick refresher of) your corporate benefits. Whether it’s a complimentary gym membership, unlimited coffee, or taco Tuesdays, social media is your playground to shout about it!
Remind your employees of all of the benefits they have at their doorstep, and let prospective employees know what’s waiting for them as a bonus for being a part of your company.
4. Give a taster of the candidate journey
Being on the other side of the recruitment table can be daunting, and it’s not uncommon for candidates to scour social media looking for clues on what to expect once they submit their application. Help them out by being transparent and shining a light on the candidate experience.
Microsoft does an excellent job of this on their Microsoft Life Facebook page. There, they host live events for prospective candidates to get all the information they need, and any questions they have answered. This live broadcast offers a casual setting for candidates to get a better understanding of what’s waiting for them, and feel supported by the company from day 0.
5. Create your own employee hashtag
Hashtags are probably the best way to find all of the social media posts about a particular topic – in this case the recruitment side of your company – quickly and easily.
Adobe’s hashtag of choice is #AdobeLife, under which you can find a range of posts about life at Adobe across social media. This is a fantastic way to encourage existing employees to post about your company; afterall, your workforce’s personal social media content reaches over 500% further than companies’ official content, and attracts 800% more engagement.
This can also be a part of the process of turning your employees into brand ambassadors. Click here to learn more about brand ambassadors and why they’re so important in our blog article.
Employer branding is how you present yourself to the world, which includes the candidates that your company needs. It’s essentially the first impression you make, and we all know how important it is to make a good first impression. Luckily, there is a method to employer branding. Having a strong employer value proposition combined with even stronger communication of it on platforms such as social media channels can go a long way in shaping your brand and, ultimately, growing a priceless talent pool.