The second of two articles, looking at how an effective employer brand can help attract and retain outstanding employees.
In Part One, we discussed the benefits of creating an employer brand. However, apart from retaining existing employees, a good employer brand is also essential for sourcing the best employees from the talent pool. Attracting this talent is the first step of any recruitment process. That said, it’s useless trying to promote your company as something it’s not, especially if people already have preconceived ideas about you.
Attracting new talent
Imagine all the jobseekers that have interacted with your company. Every interaction leaves an impression; opinions are instantly formed. Is the lasting impression of your brand positive or negative?
Candidates who are serious about a role will thoroughly research a company, through websites and social media. Does your website reflect your employer brand? Do online discussions about your products, services and employer brand represent you in a good light? If not, it’s time to consider the external perception of your company too.
Understanding people’s perceptions can only work in your favour. By playing to these perceptions, you can build yourself into something truly compelling for potential employers. For instance, instead of reeling off technical requirements in a job spec, tell people why the job is so attractive and what the company can offer them. By hinting at the business culture and job benefits, as well as long-term opportunities, you create a hook that’s hard to ignore. People don’t like cold corporate copy; a brand is there to humanise a company, so make sure your public identity reflects this.
Take the time to sell your company as a valuable opportunity for employees. Explain your culture and reward schemes. Perhaps introduce a monthly or annual bonus. Demonstrate what individual and collective success looks like within the company. Emphasise your dedication to training and development, and think of more exciting ways to offer this to employees. Perhaps offer opportunities to train in different cities or even overseas. Involve your company in industry events or start nominating employees for industry awards. There are countless ways to add value and prestige to your company – it’s just a matter of thinking outside the box.
Most importantly, however, is to ensure each and every candidate is treated well, regardless if they are right for the job or not. We live in an age where one mistake could be the internet’s next big story. People will have invested time and hope in your company, so be sure to offer them respect and courtesy – the imprint of the employer brand will leave a lasting impression.
Remember that your biggest critics can come from within the company. Don’t let it get to that stage – all employees should be company ambassadors. As mentioned in Part One, employees need to live and breathe the brand, embodying its culture and ethos. However, you can’t expect to nurture this mentality overnight. To properly develop an employer brand mentality, you must invest in your current employees. It’s pointless promoting your company as a place of ambition, innovation and career development if the reality is broken promises. Always advertise what you deliver – realistic opportunities that people can relate to.
If you’re unsure how change your approach to recruiting new staff, speak to a good recruitment agency. It needn’t cost the world either. Many recruitment agencies now offer a one-off, low-cost, flat fee service. Use this to your advantage – in fact, use all the resources necessary to help build your employer brand.