Why You Need an Employer Branding Strategy Right Now

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Why You Need an Employer Branding Strategy Right Now

Some companies hire the best talent on the market, while others struggle to attract qualified candidates. What is the difference between them? The former do at least one thing right: top-notch employer branding and an ongoing employer branding strategy. Elite candidates “shop” for jobs just as they shop for gadgets and clothes. However, instead of reading product and brand reviews on Amazon, they go to professional websites, such as Glassdoor, Capterra, or Trustpilot, among others, to get a good scoop into your company.

Moreover, they talk to other professionals to get the “real feel” of you as an employer. So, what are people saying about you when you are not around? Those conversations amount to your employer branding. Today, we will discuss why you need an employer branding strategy sooner rather than later to build an impeccable reputation on the market and attract top talent!

What Is Employer Branding?

Employer branding is a process encompassing all the activities and strategies companies implement to build and manage their reputation among job seekers (active or passive), their employees, collaborators, stakeholders, and other industry leaders. Employer branding is one of the bricks you place at the foundation of your talent acquisition strategies. The better you position your organization as an employer of choice for elite candidates, the more chances you have to recruit them.

In some cases, your brand as an employer might seem elusive and intangible, but it is what puts you on the map of talented job seekers. Your employer brand comes into play, especially when you run an employee referral program, as candidates (who your employees recommend) will check you out on all platforms and environments.

As a short conclusion on the employer branding definition, we can say that it is similar (but not equivalent) to a marketing strategy. It means ensuring that candidates, employees, and stakeholders like what they see and learn about you as a company worth working for in the long term.

What is an Employer Branding Strategy?

employer branding benefits

Just as you build your brand as a top-quality service provider or seller of high-end products, so you should design and implement an employer branding strategy to position yourself as a desirable employer. At the core of your employer brand lies your company’s mission, vision, values, and employee value proposition. At a minimum, your strategy should focus on the following aspects:

  • Unique policies, programs, rewards, benefits, and values you offer your employees – in line with what they want from a top employer;
  • A smooth and memorable application experience that encourages candidates to want to work for you rather than abandon your application form in its middle;
  • Brand consistency across all social media channels & review websites, press, industry outlets & newsletters, live events, etc.;
  • Seamless advocacy from your employees with the help of great content that might attract other elite candidates to send you their resumes;
  • Fine-tuned content across all platforms, starting with your website and ending with the leaflets you offer at career fares.

Your employer branding strategy is the set of actions you take so that your company stands out from the crowd regarding top talent attraction. The simple question you need to ask yourself before you post job ads with the help of your Applicant Tracking System or implement an employee referral program is the following: why would elite candidates want to work for you?

Many organizations don’t take employer branding seriously, although the benefits are tremendous. So let’s see why it is crucial to start designing an employer branding strategy right now!

7 Employer Branding Statistics to Consider for Your Business

You might think that it is enough to offer people employment and put the proverbial roof over their heads, but this is an obsolete and non-profitable way of approaching the talent market. Unfortunately, many CEOs consider that all they have to do is offer decent working conditions and fair payment to build a reputation of excellent employers whom people are dying to work for at least a couple of years. Employer branding statistics, however, beg to differ.

So let’s allow the numbers to do the talking!

  1. According to research conducted by LinkedIn, over 70% of candidates will research a company’s reputation before applying for a job opening;
  2. We are witnessing a historically high level of talent shortage. The Korn Ferry reports state that by 2030, there will be a global human talent shortage of more than 85 million people, which, in turn, will lead to about $8.5 trillion in unrealized annual revenues.
  3. A report from the Corporate Responsibility Magazine says that over 70% of American job seekers will not accept a work offer from a company that has a bad corporate reputation;
  4. The CR Magazine lets us know that more than 90% of candidates would consider changing their job if offered a position in an organization with an excellent corporate reputation;
  5. LinkedIn also found out that a strong employer brand reduces employee turnover by almost 30% and cost per hire by about 50%. Moreover, companies with strong reputations as “worthy employers” receive more talent applications and make 1-2 times faster hires.
  6. According to Gallup, almost 90% of all employers believe that their employees leave to other companies for more money, but, in reality, only 10%-12% do. The reasons why your people are leaving include career advancement opportunities (or lack thereof), lack of recognition, or benefits.
  7. Let’s talk about employee benefits and organizational values. In that case, you should know that having a foosball table in the basement and free coffee in the kitchen will not cut it. A Glassdoor Employment Confidence Survey found that employees want health insurance, paid time off, flexible working hours, performance bonuses, solid retirement plans, paid sick days, and many more.

The Benefits of Employer Branding

A reputable company doesn’t have to study such numbers for long to realize that it needs an impeccable employer branding strategy and a different approach to the concept of “how to treat your employees.”

The hard truth is that talent acquisition is getting progressively harder, despite the rise of recruiting systems and strategies, recruiting marketing methods, automation, and entire teams dedicated to human resources. If you still think that investing time, money, and resources in employer branding is unnecessary, let’s see some of its benefits!

1. It Offers You Access to a Larger Talent Pool

Some companies have to hire from a bunch of people who send their CVs to occupy a position. Other organizations sit back and relax, counting the applications pouring in and taking their time with pre-employment assessments, reference checking, and in-depth interviews.

An employee branding strategy helps you avoid settling for whoever bothers to send you their resume because no matter what you did, people didn’t apply to your job openings. On the other hand, when you have a name and a reputation, you have to manage the flood of applications to ensure you don’t allow any elite candidate’s resume to slip through the cracks.

2. It Saves You Time and Money

As we said, instead of putting all your time and effort into outreach, job posts, and recruiting marketing, you wait for top candidates to come to you. Moreover than saving time, however, a solid employer brand saves a lot of money. Here is how:

  • Job posts on boards and career sites can get very pricey at some point and yield mediocre results. When you have an excellent employer brand, you only need your website’s career page and some pinned posts on social media to attract the talent you need;
  • You can save on salaries in the long term. If your company has a poor standing, you will sometimes have to pay bigger salaries and performance bonuses to encourage talent acquisition and retention;
  • Having a great employer brand and rising above the employees’ expectations lowers turnover rates as it improves employee satisfaction. You already know both to have a huge impact on your bottom line.  

3. It Helps Your Business as a Whole

People talk, and people complain about their jobs/employers/managers with little to no boundaries. Whether they talk on social media, career sites, or over a meal Friday evening after work, nothing can stop them from discussing their employers.

In other words, these talks can easily reach other interested parties who can influence your business: potential suppliers and clients, stakeholders, collaborators, and so on.

When you hear that a company’s employees mention how unsatisfied they are with their current employment, how willing are you to engage in business with that organization? On the other hand, when all you hear about a company is how great it is, aren’t you a bit more curious to do business with it or recommend it to your friends, family, and associates?

It makes sense at a very emotional level: if you learn that a company treats its employees badly, don’t you automatically wonder how it will treat its customers?

4. It Gives You Leverage with Your Employee Referral Programs

When your current employees think you are doing great things, they will be more enthusiastic and genuine in their involvement with your employee referral programs. Who would recommend their friends to come work for an organization that they don’t like in the first place?  

In the same trail of thinking, your employer branding helps you deliver a positive candidate experience, even if you hire a certain applicant or not. This “candidate experience” is one of the hottest buzzwords in human resources and recruiting as of late, and we will dedicate it to a separate article. Overall, the way you treat your candidates in the pre-employment stage reflects upon your employer branding. On the other hand, your employment branding strategies can significantly improve this experience, so things are quite co-dependent in this regard.

5. It Allows You to Boost Your Recruitment Strategies

As we said on previous occasions, your brand as a worthy employer is the backbone of your talent acquisition and retaining strategies. Nevertheless, it would help if you widened your perspective. Your strong employer brand encourages active and even passive job seekers to send you their applications or consider your offers via the referral program. At some point, you won’t be able to keep track of everything and everyone.

Consequently, your employer brand will somewhat force your hand to invest in a complete hiring system equipped with an ATS, a reference checking tool, candidate scorecards, and relevant pre-assessment employment tests. You might lose your edge on the job market in the lack of automation and objective candidate tracking and selection tools.

You are running again in a vicious circle (of the best kind): using a high-end hiring system builds your employer brand. At the same time, your positive image determines you to evolve and become even better at the recruiting game with the help of technology you can easily afford (since you don’t waste money on hiring mistakes anymore).

Do You Have an Ongoing Employer Branding Strategy?

Why would anyone work for my company in the present or the future?

Here is the question you need to answer before you begin your quest to develop a successful employer branding strategy.

If your answer revolves solely around salaries, you need to reconsider your approach. Our advice is to check your organization on career sites, review platforms, and social media. What do people say about you? Are they happy? Would they recommend others to work for you?

Branding yourself as an employer people would die to work for takes the time, effort, and money you spend marketing your services or products. Both business strategies yield excellent outcomes: a solid reputation in your industry, higher revenues, employee retention, and a bottom line to make you proud and encourage you to evolve. Now it is your time to share some experiences! Does your organization run a consistent employer branding policy? What do you do to stay ahead of the competition regarding talent acquisition and retaining? What employer branding “secrets” can you share with the community?

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