Employer Branding Best Practices
Work is no longer what it used to be a couple of years back. The ever rising influence of social media and intensifying talent war have completely changed how employers are perceived. It has altered the way people seek and engage in the jobs that employers offer. In addition, the inclusion of millennials in the workforce resulted in the dramatic shift in hiring as well as evaluating work. They expect more engaging and more authentic work experience with their employers, in addition to all other facilities that make their lives more comfortable.
A couple of years ago, professionals would miss no chance to associate with the biggies of the business world. They would associate the greatness of an organization with its size and presence in the world. However, in the recent years, the scenario has turned upside down. Professionals build an image of the organization on their own, basis the perception of its existing employees, its presence and behavior on social media, its workplace culture, the perks, benefits and facilities it offer and independence and autonomy the employees receive.
That being said, what works and what doesn’t, what’s expected and what isn’t varies by the location, resources, size and nature of business of an organization. However, below are top 15 employer branding practices that experts recommend. You may want to pick the ones that help you meet your current goals. Rest you can pick one by one as you evolve as an employer. So, here you go:
Adopt a Strategic Approach to Provide a Holistic Experience throughout Employment Lifecycle
It’s your approach towards recruiting, engaging and retaining employees that speaks a lot about your employer brand. Providing a holistic and healthy work experience to employees right from interviewing to exit ensures a positive impact. Not only your intention is important but you are expected to adopt and apply a systemic thinking to how to drive employee engagement.
We have already discussed this aspect in the previous article, in which we talked about various employee touch points. As a business, you need to remember that employer branding is not only a way to create a talent pool but you have to integrate it throughout employment lifecycle.
Be Accessible and Deliver Corporate Insights
The most important aspect of your employer brand is that it must be accessible to everyone, everywhere and every time. Gone are the days when brands were known for their cold stance and inapproachability. Brands now are more people friendly. Deliver corporate insights to give people glimpses of how it’s like to be at the workplace. You can:
- Publish videos on your YouTube channel showcasing work environment, employees having fun, preparing for a major event, etc.
- Post pictures on your Instagram account showing your audience what you are up to in quickly digestible pictures.
- Be careful when posting job opportunities on career websites. Pay attention to job description and show how seriously you take recruitments.
- Connect with people and professionals on social media; establish a personal connection with them.
Know Your Audience
Well, you may say that you want the best. But you need to look into your organization and identify how employees behave. Analyze what really has changed. First you need to segment your employees and find out what kinds you need more and what kinds will be easily available. This helps you understand who you need, why you need, where they are present and how they can be attracted. Once you identify them, connect with them on an ongoing basis.
Make It Clear What You Stand For
You, as a business, must have some mission, vision, values and ethics. What you believe in, what you care for, what you want to achieve, what you value should be clearly defined. And this should flow through your communication channels regularly, to make the whole world aware of what you stand for, what makes you tick and what separates you from others. Show:
- How quality is at the center of whatever you do
- Why you work for environmental or societal causes
- How you welcome, respect and develop people
- How you deliver your best in whatever you do
- How you are more interested in serving humanity while ensuring efficiency and success at the same time
Take into Account Candidates’ Perspective
Once you identify what kind of talent you’re looking for, the next step is to understand what potential candidates expect from their employers. What are their pain points? You’ve got to address them. You will need to step into a candidate’s shoes and understand how they buy an employer. It’s a lead nurturing process; therefore, do your best to understand what involves in an employer buying decision.
Foster Lifelong Learning
Learning and growth are important components of building a strong employer brand. Most companies around the world are coming up with their own academies as a learning initiative. The idea is to help employees upgrade existing and learn new skills, so that reach the next stage in their respective careers. Moreover, it’s about giving them the opportunity to identify and work on something that’s really close to their hearts. They are prepared for alternative career options. So, in order to provide a comprehensive employment experience to your people, take initiatives to foster constant learning.
Network, Network and Network
Your network is your worth. Invest significantly in networking on social media. This is how you remain connected with your talent pool. It’s not just about adding everyone to your network. Rather it’s about growing it organically. You need to ensure to connect with people from diverse backgrounds and interests. After all, present and future demand diversity at workplace. Moreover, the productivity of your organization increases dramatically when you have a diverse workforce. Their upbringing, exposure to different things in life, their thought process and difference in perspectives can add to the pool of ideas at your organization.
Indulge in Meaningful Conversations
With so many platforms around, you can actually indulge in group and one-to-one conversation with prospective employees. Employer branding is not only about communicating how good your workplace is and how much you pay your employers. It’s also about providing candidates with the information they need, guiding them with their careers, organizing skill enhancement workshops and showing them the ways to advance their careers. You build relationships when you indulge in meaningful conversations. When candidates get so much help without being associated with you, they are compelled to think how it would be to be associated with you.
Publish Branded Content
The content that you roll out for public consumption makes a big difference to your employer brand. This is true whether you cater to masses or classes. For example, the content Coca Cola rolls out is for masses and Mercedes focuses on a particular segment. The content produced by them is different and separates them from their competitors. The content can be in the form of TV advertisements, billboards, targeted emails or contests. It must achieve one, some or all of the following purposes:
- Serve a societal or environmental cause
- Sensitize audience towards something
- Strengthen your brand image
- Offer solutions to problems of your audience
- Incite emotions
- Provide information
- Show gratitude
Give your company a real face and underpin the above purposes with the stories and experiences.
Place a Lot of Trust in Your Employees
The organization that puts a lot of trust in its employees doesn’t need to blow its own horn. Rather its employees are its brand ambassadors who spread a positive word of mouth by speaking highly of it. Most of the times, organizations have strict policies about what employees are saying about them on social media. However, the best companies do just the opposite of it. They give complete freedom to their people to share their views, opinions and experiences. ‘Great places to work’ really use their internal resources to get the good stuff for the outside audience. Therefore, placing trust in employees and building a culture of appreciation is one of the must-dos to strengthen your employer brand.
Put Conscious Efforts in Developing Leadership Capability to Take Your Employer Brand to the Next Level
Building and strengthening an employer brand is a collective responsibility as the C-suite alone cannot build awareness about the organization. However, they can train the leaders and managers on employer brand principles and practices. Rather than relying on just few brains, this should be made an organization-wide practice. Top executives must put conscious efforts in developing this capability across organization to take their employer brand to the next level.
Create a Diverse Workplace
Creating a diverse workplace is full of challenges and possible setbacks. However, if managed carefully, it taps into the hidden potentials of your workforce, giving you the opportunities to significantly expand your reach cross borders. Looking outside the geographical borders has worked well for most organizations. In fact, they swear by the opportunities and insights it brings to their business.
Creating a diverse workplace works in your favor. You are seen as an equal opportunity employer not only by your target audience but also by masses. Being open to all kinds of people from different backgrounds and geographical territories helps a great deal in establishing your employer brand.
Be Transparent and Authentic
Transparency and authenticity are not only limited to small businesses. Rather these can be attributed to big businesses as well. One of the things that you can do establish your employer brand is to be transparent and authentic. You need to be more human despite being a business. This is how you set yourself apart from the others in the lot. Gone are the days when emotions were to be left at home. Nowadays almost everything revolves around the work life; therefore employees deserve better than the best.
Remember Employer Brand is Not Equal to Talent Acquisition
As a business, you always need to remember that employer brand is not equal to acquiring great talent. Nor is it restricted to talent acquisition. Employer brand runs through the organization in anything and everything it does. It is owned by the entire organization from top to bottom. It’s not an outside branding, just to attract the best talent. Rather it’s a holistic process with look-in and look-out approach. It works through the entire employment lifecycle, right from connecting with outside people to hiring and retaining them.
Keep a Tab on Economic, Digital and HR Trends
You must be wondering how economic, digital and HR trends are interconnected. Well, these trends provide information about how the world around you is changing and how change in technology is impacting the behavior and expectations of your target audience. Depending on these reports, you can alter or modify your employer brand strategy. Change is constant. So, you are expected not only to meet but surpass the prevailing standards.
Establishing an employer brand requires organizations to be proactive in every aspect, be it offering more than expected remuneration or creating a workplace culture free of biases, taking care of all their needs and requirements, helping them grow personally and professionally, giving them the freedom to be on their own and choice to work at their peak productive hours. It’s a deliberate and conscious process until it becomes a routine.
Authorship/Referencing - About the Author(s)
The article is Written By “Prachi Juneja” and Reviewed By Management Study Guide Content Team. MSG Content Team comprises experienced Faculty Member, Professionals and Subject Matter Experts. We are a ISO 2001:2015 Certified Education Provider. To Know more, click on About Us. The use of this material is free for learning and education purpose. Please reference authorship of content used, including link(s) to ManagementStudyGuide.com and the content page url.
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