To attract top talent in this highly-competitive market, building an employer brand is critical. Then, that brand needs to carry across to all touchpoints, starting with the hiring process and continuing on through the employee and customer experience.
Essentially, your employer brand is your company’s identity. It is the heart of your business and helps define the ways in which your company operates. So, how do you define your employer brand and how do you consistently communicate it across multiple touchpoints and platforms?
Get started by following these steps to building an employer brand.
Step 1: Define Your Company’s Vision, Values & Mission Statement
The essential first step to building an employer brand is defining your corporate vision, values and mission statement. These foundational elements will help to guide both your internal and external brand strategies by defining what you want to achieve, how you want to achieve it and determining a clear course of action to follow.
Step 2: Determine Your Employer Strengths
To attract the right candidates for your jobs, you need to understand the strengths of your company as an employer. What do you offer your employees? This is more than just the standard retirement, health insurance, paid time off package; this is the entire employee experience. Do you provide a clear path for employee advancement? Do you offer meaningful perks like flexible hours or remote work options? Determine your company’s greatest strengths and then highlight those throughout the company, your web presence, and your recruitment process.
Step 3: Create a Positive Company Culture
Your vision, values, mission statement and employer strengths should all be reflected in your company’s culture. Top recruits are looking for a positive and engaging company culture. If you have a poor culture with unhappy employees, candidates are going to spot that fairly quickly. Your culture is visible through your work environment, employee interactions, and perhaps most noticeably, through your online presence. Potential candidates are going to do a thorough search of your company online – from your website to your social media pages and then to employer review sites like Glassdoor. The last thing you want is to have several negative employee reviews posted on Glassdoor or a similar site. A positive culture with satisfied employees will shine through and attract the candidates you want. If a review of your online presence reveals opportunity areas, create a plan for addressing them.
Step 4: Create a Consistent Brand Experience
Your employer brand should be designed in tandem with your corporate brand. The company’s vision, values and mission statement should be equally represented in both, but it’s also important to be consistent with factors like brand colors, tone and messaging. Potential recruits, employees and customers should all be able to look at any piece of corporate messaging and know that it came from your brand – from an online job application to an internal email to a company brochure.
To ensure that employer branding is consistent across both the internal and external customer experience, it’s helpful to form a brand strategy team with members from various departments around the company. This should not be simply the job of HR or Marketing. Include at least one representative from every department of the company and consider bringing in branding experts from outside to help make sure that no important details are overlooked.
Step 5: Own Your Online Presence
While you can’t totally control what is written about your company online (though a positive company culture helps), you can control your owned web experience – meaning your website, blog and social media pages. Your web presence is where you have the opportunity to show off all of the hard work you’ve done building a great internal and external brand experience.
One of the first places a potential candidate is going to go to start researching your company is your website. It’s essential that your employer brand is on display on this website. A great way to show off your employer brand on your website is to have a page or section dedicated to employees. If your employees are willing, have them film employee testimonials or day-in-the-life videos to share. Or, if they’re not comfortable on video, then have them write reviews for the page. Genuine employee testimonials are incredibly powerful recruitment tools.
After checking out your website, a potential candidate will then study your social media pages. Social media is a great place to showcase your employer brand because most platforms allow you to be a little more relaxed and show some of the fun things your employees do. Use Facebook or Instagram to highlight employee achievements or post images from a recent company-sponsored philanthropy day. Take to LinkedIn and Twitter to share new job postings and encourage your employees to share these posts with their followers as well. Having employees who are willing to advocate for your brand in this way speaks very highly of your company culture and employer brand.
Building an employer brand takes time and commitment; take the time to carefully develop it and then show it off, both internally and externally to help attract the best job candidates to your organization.