Employer Branding. How Companies Draw New Talent
When we think of branding, we think of those tactics that are used to attract patrons and customers to a business, product or service. Branding aims at creating loyalty, trust and ensuring growth.
But branding also means attracting the right talent to a companies workforce. Enter Employer Branding.
When today's talented job seekers hit the pavement in search of new work, there are a number of priorities they need to sift through.
Not only do they line up their personal and professional interests and abilities, but they're also evaluating whether a prospective employers' history, benefits and conditions. Job seekers are looking for employment that will mesh with their own career goals, lifestyle choices and more.
For many entering the workforce, the questions go beyond what they're capable of doing. Candidates want to know what their employers are capable of providing.
In today's competitive employment market, candidates are interviewing the employer as much as the employer is interviewing the candidate.
The result is a rise in employer branding. Companies are going out of their way to create environments at work conditions that are likely to attract the best candidates.
In branding terms, employee perception has become just as important as consumer perception when it comes to the longevity and success of a company's image.
When it comes to employer branding, tech industries are clearly leading the way.
According to the latest brand health report from Hired.com, Netflix tops the list of brands creating the most enthusiasm among prospective employees. Not far behind is Google, SpaceX, Microsoft and Apple.
What is it that these companies have done to achieve a higher standard of employer branding and how can smaller companies improve their own employer branding in order to attract the best possible applicants?
Socializing the Employment Experience
The employment market has moved from the Christmas staff barbecue to a far more immediate social experience among employees.
Employers are now engaging with the brands they work for as well as each other in real time, in and out of work hours, through social media.
Rather than attempting to police the social aspects of the workplace, employers can be looking for ways to integrate healthy social opportunities through online channels.
While most businesses now use some form of cooperative business level applications (Think Zoho, Slack, etc.), these applications are primarily for collaboration and have business and goals for products and services in mind.
More social applications that emphasize some degree of privacy like WhatsApp can be used for teams at various levels of the organization to share their work ideas, as well as more social aspects of their lives with one another.
By making these social channels available to staff, a business can encourage a greater depth of social cohesion and loyalty among individual members.
Showcasing a brand personality, thinking like a human and focusing on relationships are all essential elements of a strong and authentic employer brand message.
Human contact is essential to an employer brand: how easy is it to contact your recruitment or HR team, for example?
In these forums, a less formal style of communication can take place, and much can be learned from the interaction.
Providing Real Transparency
Merely sharing the budget with your organization is not what people mean when they think of transparency today.
Online entities such as LinkedIn have totally changed the way people can interact with and learn about prospective employers.
A company profile that has a focus on employee relationships and not just products and services is going to fare better and attract a healthier pool of candidates.
This means being transparent -and that's to your advantages a business. It is your opportunity to showcase the workplace environment to text, images, and other rich media.
By allowing prospective candidates to pick Through The Lattice and see the internal relationships and functions of the organization you are going to weed out those who do not feel compatible with your workplace environment.
While consistent branding requires some moderation, it's also a place where candidates can review the opinions and work conditions of existing employees.
An important aspect of transparency is using real people, real video and real images. Stock footage does not suggest openness. Stock images lack a sense of what people regard is genuine.
Adapting Your Physical Environment
The physical environment of the workplace should reflect the goals and passion of the industry it is in.
An organization such as Google or Tinypulse has emphasized play and leisure and have been consistent in there branding by producing an atmosphere within the workplace that appears playful.
Not every workplace is or should be a funhouse. The temperament of your employees and the nature of the work they are doing should dictate the physical environment.
What is required to motivate a web designer will not be the same as what is needed to motivate a mechanical engineer or a biologist.
This kind of employer branding helps increase the number of suitable applicants and ensures that the branding is consistent with the demeanor of the people who work within the brand.
The Power of Inclusion
If you go and work for an organization like Netflix, you're unlikely to hear the word staff or employee. Netflix has developed a culture that embraces the idea of partnership and collaboration. This is one of the reasons that so many people are keen to work with Netflix.
At Netflix, the culture is such that you don't feel like you're just punching through the numbers or clocking up the hours.
Their vision is to engage their work is in the process of building an industry upon partnerships. This gives candidates a sense of ownership and community within the organization.
Allow Your employer Brand to Grow and Change
A business cannot survive without rules and regulations. But these rules and regulations should reflect not only the goals of the brand but also the ambitions of those who are working toward that goal. Manly, the employees.
Policies and workplace regulations can and should be monitored and modified as the company and its brand development. What may not have been possible two years ago may be possible now. This is particularly true concerning employee benefits and incentives.
Technology has also allowed us to accommodate a more flexible working environment. From remote work and work teams to engaging freelancers, the policies should be developed to allow maximum opportunity.
in short, workplace policies should reflect the flexibility we enjoy with today's technology.
There was a time when the central focus of an organization was the attraction of good customers and clients. But today's Marketplace calls for an equally competitive attitude when it comes to engaging quality staff.
A business that puts effort into employer branding is not only going to create a more cohesive business brand overall, but they are going to attract the kind of candidates who will back the brand with their time, energy and incredible depth of skill.
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David is a qualified workplace trainer and assessor in New South Wales Australia and has a background in digital business development and marketing. David is the founder of Mallee Blue Media and works with small business and in-house teams providing one to one training and consultation in digital design and search marketing.