Employer branding—how employees and potential future hires perceive your company—is a valuable asset that all companies should nurture and grow.
Improving your brand can help you with valuable HR metrics, like retention and recruitment. According to Glassdoor, 77% of job seekers consider a company’s culture before applying for a job, and 69% would reject job offers from companies with poor branding.
Keep these four rules in mind to create an employee brand that will inspire your people and help you compete for talent.
1. Emphasize your company’s values
Your employee brand should answer one question—Why would someone want to work here? Every company has its philosophy about treating employees, inspiring meaningful work, and building great products or services. If you’re going to attract employees who share your mission, your employer brand should emphasize these values. Some companies can boil this down to one tag line that can inspire employees, let them know what the company values, and guide them in uncertain situations.
Google is one of the best examples when it comes to understanding employer branding. It’s a company where people aspire to work because of its reputation for innovation and employee empowerment. For decades Google has invested in learning how to create a better workplace, alongside building products that people love to use. Part of Google’s employer brand is giving people the “freedom to amaze,” which aligns with its reputation for innovation, collaboration and for placing trust in its employees. This brand philosophy extends to the hiring phase, where recruiters assess a candidate’s Googleyness’—the ability to think in imaginative, innovative, and ultimately unstructured ways.
2. Walk to walk
Employer branding is more than just a marketing strategy. Your values need to align with how you do business, and just as important, who you do business with. Major companies—from the MLB to Hersheys to Unilever—have cut ties with advertisers and partners who don’t align with their employees’ social views. Employees want to be seen and heard. Companies can do this by standing by their employees and putting their people before their profits. It’s not easy or obvious, but it will earn you the gratitude and loyalty of your workforce.
3. Get feedback from employees
Your products and services are one part of your employer branding. The other part is your people. HR leaders need to measure the temperature of the workforce, even outside of the office. Encourage managers to check in with employees, make sure everyone knows their role and how they’re contributing to the company’s success, and what channels they can harness to grow within the company.
On the same note, HR needs to act boldly and decisively to root out any toxic behavior. People will quickly lose faith in a company if they see problems that keep going unchecked. Make sure employees feel comfortable coming to HR and raising concerns. One easy way to do this is to send out anonymized surveys to check in with employees regularly. Pass feedback on to leadership to let them know what changes they can institute to improve morale and the employee experience.
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4. Give employees a voice in your brand
The employee experience is an extension of your overall brand. An employer brand isn’t really about the company; it’s about the people who work there. When it comes to recruitment, let your employees answer candidates’ questions about company culture, management styles, and what it’s really like to work at the company.
Employee advocates can be critical in attracting top talent to your organization. We trust first-hand experiences over PR pieces constructed to paint a company as the ideal workplace. Get employees involved by curating employer brand content to share across their social platforms. Highlight employee stories to showcase the incredible people who work at your company and give everyone else an insider’s perspective. Employee reviews are a powerful asset to leverage for recruitment. Over 65% of Glassdoor users read at least five reviews before forming an opinion of a company, so it’s critical to focus your attention there as well.
Can employer brand truly have an impact?
People today expect a lot from their employers. It’s become increasingly important to show people what your company stands for, how you take care of your employees, and the ways your company puts your values into action.
Companies that care about their brand and invest in their employees can create a workforce filled with loyal employees who love what they do.