Companies with positive reputations get more job applications from top-notch candidates and hold on to their best and brightest people, who tend to be more productive and save their organizations money over the long term. A strong employer brand also creates its own momentum, since happier, more productive employees become their employers’ good will ambassadors, a powerfully effective way to promote your company.
But getting employer branding right is based on planning and putting certain proven strategies into place:
- Know yourself: The first step to successfully branding your company is to develop a deep and meaningful understanding of its vision and foundational values. The more clearly these attributes are defined, the more likely you’ll be able to turn them into compelling and truly unique selling points (USPs).
- HR, meet PR: Cooperation between these departments is essential since it combines the best of both. Storytelling, creativity, message discipline and audience targeting are what PR does best. HR pros are experts at recruiting, talent management, employee engagement and training. Together, HR and PR can help produce a reputation that attracts, connects with and keeps talented individuals.
- Brand ambassadors: A dynamite idea to amplify your employer brand is to empower your people to do so. Technology and social media have liberated branding so that it doesn’t have to rely exclusively on marketing departments to be effective. And when 84% of people say that they trust peer-to-peer recommendations over any other form of advertising, you know that organic word of mouth is the way to go.
- Not candidates, customers: Glassdoor, one of the world’s leading job sites, finds that today’s job-seekers approach the search the way they shop online for any product or service. This is why it’s important to provide a positive recruiting experience, based on clearly presenting your company’s expectations, work style and interview process. By doing so, job candidates are more likely to give positive reviews about their experiences with your organization.
- Get emotional: What we decide to buy is partly based on the emotional response we have to a brand. People connect to a company that shares their values and aspirations because it makes them feel good. A classic example of the power of emotion to boost employer branding is the Macintosh Vs. PC ad campaign. Microsoft’s pitch was based on its features. But Apple’s appeal was emotional: everybody wants to be creative and cool.
- Culture club: You can’t expect your people to become strong brand ambassadors if they don’t feel connected to your company. Investing in your people’s sense of well being while at work means promoting a culture of transparency and continuous communication. Once your organization has established a positive emotional connection with the people who run it, they’ll enthusiastically blog, tweet, or post on their Facebook page about how great it is to work there.
- Purpose over profits: Today’s top talents are often socially conscious individuals who are deeply concerned about our world. If your organization wants to attract and retain the highest quality people, you may want to take a page from Toms Shoes, a company based in California that matches every shoe purchased by customers by providing shoes for children who need them most. The company also encourages its people to take part in ‘giving trips’ around the world, where Toms shoes employees distribute shoes in such places as Honduras and Nepal. Who wouldn’t want to work for such a caring, committed company?
To attract the best and brightest people you need more than a well-produced YouTube video and eye-catching website. Top talents today want to thrive in a place where they can have a positive employee experience. By first looking inward look at what truly guides your company’s actions and then taking a few simple steps to get a clear, compelling, message across, your employer branding will help transform your company.