Today, an organization’s reputation is more critical than ever. Surveys have shown that 86% of people would not apply to work for, or continue to work for, a company that has a bad reputation.
So whether you’re currently strategizing and monitoring your employer brand or not, it matters more than you think it does.
The purpose of employer branding for an organization is to be perceived as an attractive, distinct, credible, yet authentic and consistent brand.
An attractive employer brand can lead to improved talent acquisition (without additional spending), reduced time to fill and time to hire, less spend on salaries, improved employee retention rates, and a more enjoyable, thriving work environment for everyone in your organization.
The bottom line is, creating an employer branding strategy or improving your existing one will boost your recruitment impact and help you attract the right candidates to your organization.
How to build an employer branding strategy?
Don't try to build an employer brand or an EVP on your own! Consulting your workforce is key in this, and collaboration with the different stakeholders will help you get to the core of your company culture.
- Develop an EVP with your workforce already on board. This will increase engagement among current employees. Employees who are reminded of the benefits of working with the company, will more easily refer other talents to the organization.
- Analyze your current recruitment process: how do you post job openings, look at the design of the application process and how does the onboarding go?
- Be specific on what you want to achieve: What do you want your employer brand to tell about you? What are your priorities?
- Set up a project team: bring people together who are committed building this brand. This is probably the most affordable option as a start-up or scale-up.
- Define the channels and formats to market your brand: choosing the right channels will be key, and you should be aware that you cannot be everywhere. So choose wisely in function of your target audience. We have listed the most common platforms below.
- Use employee ambassadors: Did you know that candidates trust employees three times more than employers to gain an accurate picture of what it’s like working at an organization?
What is an EVP (Employee Value Proposition)?
You can consider an EVP as the promise a company makes to its employees in return for their commitment. It is a comprehensive list of all rewards and benefits the company offers to its employees. An EVP has an internal focus, it targets your employees already on board, whereas the employer brand as a whole also represents the image of your organization to the outside world.
Overall, these 5 elements are often referred to as the basis of a good EVP: compensation, work-life balance, stability, location and positive work environment.
This aspect is the financial reward employees receive to work for you. It's about the salary, but also additional financial benefits like bonuses, reward systems, etc. However, be aware that this aspect is not as important for every generation: younger people tend to value development opportunities more, for example.
This part has received increasing attention in this post-COVID era. People have currently discovered the benefits of flex work, home office, etc. They became conscious of all the 'lost time' spent in traffic jams, whereas a lot of activities and tasks can be performed online and from their homes. the number of holidays is also an aspect of the work-life balance, as is the expected flexibility in terms of overtime.
Is your company stable or at risk? Do people have development opportunities and perspective, or is there no option to offer growth plans to employees? These are important elements for the new generations.
This goes beyond the simple location of your office. It's about a positive work environment, where people feel inspired and where autonomy is offered. There is a strong link nowadays with the work-life balance.
Positive work environment
Last but not least, positive relationships, team spirit, time for teambuilding and being supported by colleagues and leadership that should be integrated in the values and corporate culture.
If you keep your promise to your employees, it will boost their engagement and trust. It will allow you to turn your current employees into your best ambassadors for your employer brand.
Link your internal EVP with the external company brand
Your EVP forms the basis of your employer brand. Your company culture is defined by behaviors and principles in this EVP. It shows candidates what they can expect from your organization and outlines what your working environment is like.
Your Employer Brand, like your consumer brand, is mainly based on opinions and perceptions. This is how you are perceived as an employer to your employees and people outside of your organization; therefore, it is primarily out of your control. However, it is possible to have an impact on it, but it needs to be curated carefully and in order to be credible, it needs to be carried out by all company stakeholders.
How to measure the success of your employer brand?
There are a number of factors and KPI's you can analyze to check the quality and success of your employer brand:
- Average retention: do people stay in your company?
- Employee engagement level: do they feel happy with the organization?
- Quantity and quality of new hires: are you able to attract the right people for new positions?
- Brand perception: how are you perceived by external people and competitors?
The importance of social media
The importance of social media cannot be overlooked when talking about your employer brand. You can manage your own social media channels as an organization, to ensure a consistent brand image. But be aware that everyone who has been in contact (as an employee, partner, client, supplier) is a potential ambassador and contributes to make or break your reputation.
- LinkedIn is still the reference for sharing content-based information.
- Facebook can be interesting to interact with employees and other partners who are active on this forum.
- Twitter is mainly used to remain top of mind and to be involved in discussions on actual (political) topics.
- YouTube is the go-to channel for video content. Have a look at the example of Unilever here.
- Instagram can be used to create a more visual image of your company, sharing stories or pictures about day-to-day life in the office.
- As you engage in social media, don't forget that these are quickly moving and shifting. Generation Z and Alpha are mainly active on Snapchat and TikTok, so you can also consider being active (or reactive) on these platforms.
- Glassdoor is a dedicated platform to have a look at a company through the eyes of employees who work there or were active in the past within the company.
You are probably convinced about the added value of a strong employer brand in this current war for talent. Now where to start? Focusing on a professional, standardized and objective hiring process is a good start.
We have designed an interview guide to make a professional impression and to select the right people based on competencies, mindset and values.