Being able to recruit and retain the most talented people in the market should be the goal of any company. This is especially true of highly competitive sectors that have a large demand for niche skills. For organisations like these, it is important to continually tighten relationships with existing and potential employees. This is achieved through clear communication of a company’s objectives, personality and culture – its ‘employer brand’.
An employer brand is easier to define than it is to practice. It is the perception that stakeholders and employees have of a company, including the most important point: what it’s like to work there. To be a successful employer brand, you obviously have to be a good employer – a place where people want to come and work. Employer branding should impact all aspects of an employee’s journey, starting with recruitment and spanning training, development, promotion, incentives and even departure.
A well-defined and established employer brand will dramatically change your company for the better, significantly increasing job applications and providing the luxury of a large talent pool to choose from. During times when recruitment markets struggle and companies fight for the best talent, a strong employer brand will ensure your company is top of candidates’ lists, helping it stand out from the crowd. And whether you need sales recruitment or call centre recruitment, good recruitment agencies will help construct on-brand adverts that attract only the most suitable of candidates.
Next, a company that reinforces its values and personality is more likely to gain employee engagement, which leads to better motivation, productivity and retention. And by retaining talent and knowledge, you improve your bottom line. Nurturing employee support for the brand will ultimately improve their loyalty, which lessens the risk of losing them to competitors.
Analysing and Rethinking Your Employer Brand
When cultivating your employer brand, it is essential to consider a few points. First, highlight the most compelling features of the company to current and potential employees. How do these things separate you from the competition? Also, consider which job roles are the most vital to the company’s success. What does it take to recruit, engage and retain employers in these departments? If you tend to employ people with certain characteristics or traits, consider if these traits match the ongoing needs of your company. Do these employees reflect the employer brand? Finally, understand your current employer brand. What do people think about working for your company? Is your current employer brand affecting your ability to attract and retain skilled workers?
By clarifying this, you can begin to understand where you currently stand in the employer market. From there, you can decide what to tweak, change or overhaul. It’s a starting point to create an employer brand strategy.
Traditionally, developing an employer brand falls under the remit of HR and marketing and communications. However, each employee should be willingly responsible for the employer brand. The employer brand should not be a forced burden, but something that is carried with pride and enthusiasm. This can only be achieved through a true understanding and advocacy of the brand; values that are lived and breathed by all employees – from top to bottom.
Part Two of this article will look at attracting new talent through employer branding. It will also discuss how good recruitment agencies can reinforce your employer brand to potential employees.