What is Employer Branding and Why is it Important?
We all know that hiring the right person for the right job is the most basic and one of the first steps a recruiter needs to consider when on the lookout for talent.
As a recruiter, one knows that the organization’s long-term success depends on hiring the right talent who are not only qualified but also are a good fit for the company culture.
What exactly is it that attracts talent towards your organization when you are hiring?
More importantly, what is it that makes a company struggle to find talent when they are looking for new candidates?
The answer to both is Employer Branding!
Let’s try to understand what exactly is employer branding and how to build your employer brand.
What is Employer Branding?
When we talk about employer brand, we need to understand that we are not talking about the company brand that we build to create an image of the company for the customers, but we are talking about building a brand for the potential candidates who would be a good fit for the company culture.
A good employer brand is a complex mechanism which consists of multiple factors like the company culture, employee engagement, candidate experience, and so on.
It is the way you tell the story of your organization and give reason to the candidates as to why your company is a great place to work at and its unique position in the market.
In simpler words, employer brand is your company’s perceived image and its reputation in the market as a workplace.
Many businesses fail to understand the importance of a good employer brand and do not value it much.
When a company is unable to hire the best talent or fails to retain their good hires, a poor employer brand is to blame.
With a good employer brand, you can differentiate yourself from other organizations who are trying to acquire the same talent.
Your chances of attracting talented candidates will increase while also helping you retain some valuable hires.
You would be in control of the online conversation about your organization.
Importance of Employer Branding
It goes without saying that employer branding is very important. Importance, however, may be subjective as it depends on your priorities.
Here are some points that strongly suggest why and how employer branding is very important for your company’s growth and development.
Attracting the best talent
When you have a good employer brand you will attract a lot of people who would want to work at an organization like yours because of the reputation that is built and the brand that is created.
When you attract a large pool of candidates, you are more likely to acquire the right talent for the right role.
You would also have the edge over your competitors who are trying to hire the same talent.
Improved retention rates
Your employer brand will only improve when you have a great work environment.
With an improved employer brand, you would have a much stronger work environment and company culture.
When an employee is used to a great work environment and company culture, they find it hard to find another place that comes close to comparison, thus, improving your retention rates.
Saves time and effort with each hire
With a good employer brand in place, people will be aware of the company and the kind of work environment it brings, your reputation and promises become your selling point.
The chances are that your current employees will be recommending the company to their friends, colleagues and other developers.
With this, awareness is already spread within the talent pool hence reducing the cost of spreading awareness and lowing the risk of hiring unqualified candidates.
Not only does it save cost, you can also speed up the hiring process with a repository of talent and close candidates for the hard-to-fill roles instead of chasing them.
Build credibility with your investors and customers
Your reputation as a workplace can make or break the confidence of your stakeholders.
It only takes one bad thing to taint your reputation and goodwill that may take years to restore.
Your customer perception completely depends on it.
Having a responsive brand that tends to the needs of customers and employees contributes to your business growth.
Streamlining the Employer Branding process in your organization
To build or create a brand is not something that you do one time and see the results overnight.
It is a process that needs to be understood and has to be approached in a certain way to get the expected or desired results.
Also, it is important to note that if you are a small organization with 50 employees who do not plan to make any hires soon, you probably do not need to look for employer branding just yet.
However, if you are a company with more than 50 employees and are looking to hire more people now would be a great time to start.
If you are a large organization, you must already have a strategy in place which needs to be regularly monitored and adjusted to yield the best results. That being said, let’s get into how you can build your employer brand.
Review your existing employer brand
As mentioned earlier, employer brand is basically the image of your company as a workplace among the common crowd who might be potential candidates for hire.
Before you get started, you need to review and check what the image of your company is as a workplace and build on top of it.
If you’re a small company, chances are you do not have any image as people might not be aware of the company, which is great because it then gives you a blank canvas to work with and you have total control over how you want your workplace to be portrayed.
If the word about your company is already positive, you just need to maintain that and keep the positive buzz about the workplace alive by keeping and maintaining the positive work environment of your company.
If the existing image is not very appealing, you will have to consider rebranding and strategize accordingly.
Review your current selection and hiring process
The more of great talent you hire the better it is for your brand.
Here, you need to consider the leadership principle “Hire and develop the best”
You need to check and make sure that your selection and process filters out all the underqualified candidates and makes sure that you are hiring the best and not settling for anything less
If you are willing to settle for anything less than the best, you will immediately fail at brand building.
Build a brand based on your EVP (Employee Value Proposition)
Employee valuation proposition is one of the important traits that attracts candidates towards a company.
It is the first glimpse a person gets into your work culture.
When you build your brand based on your EVP, people become aware of your brand.
It also helps people understand how you value your employees and instills a level of trust.
As you proceed with building your brand you may not always know what to do next.
You may even find yourself getting stuck and unable to figure out what to do next.
When you set goals, you can keep track of where you are and what else you need to do in order to achieve your goals, you can even set up milestones (OKRs) that help you navigate towards your end goal.
The worst thing you could do for your brand is to spread false information or portray an exaggerated image, this impacts your credibility as a company and throws people off.
When you’re honest, even if you are not perfect people appreciate honesty. One of the key things that works for us at Keka is that we have a strong company culture that takes in and values all the employees’ voices. Keka also makes sure to maintain a transparent company culture through various tools such as one on one meetings, and Pulse surveys.
Honesty is not only respected among your stakeholders but also the general public who would be interested in working with you.
Candidates tend to trust employees more than employers to understand how it is to work at your organization.
It is very clear that your existing employees are a major part of your employer brand. As a matter of fact, they are the key to achieving the desired perception and attracting the right kind of people to your organization.
Having a strong internal communication about your employer branding through newsletters, meetings and other forms can help you ensure that your employees are on the same page.
Once they understand your vision and mission, let them take charge and lead the idea by sharing content and posts on your various channels. You may guide them but make sure that it is authentic as authenticity shines through!
Having employee ambassadors doesn’t mean making workers do things. You need to influence them enough and provide the experience they desire to in turn make them like the company so much that they become ambassadors. And start spreading a good word about the organization.
Monitor your progress
Keep an eye on the progress you are making and see that everything is on track. You need to adopt a metrics and fetch the data to analyze it and report your findings to your stakeholders.
If you have resources like applicant tracking software in place, then fetching the right data and analyzing it should make your job easier, helping you track your progress better.
Tweak and adjust your strategy
Once you have all the data analyzed and you know where you are in your journey of building your employer brand, you now should be able to tell what is working for you and what isn’t.
You need to understand how you can adjust your strategy in a way so that it works for you and helps you achieve your goals.
Building and developing a successful employer branding strategy is one of the best ways to spread awareness of your company and attract top talent.
Over time, you will achieve a shining reputation for being a sought-after company that people actively want to work for.
If you haven’t devoted time and resources to building your employer brand yet, there’s no better time than to start today.
Trying to get my head out of the world of anime and manga and adding bit of that flavor in my work is not just fun but also satisfying. My ignition on the creative engine never goes off, maybe you’ll see a bit of that in my puns.
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