When you think of a "brand" you typically think of how a company presents themselves to their customers. Many brands boil down to one word.
For instance, Volvo is "safe;" Apple is "innovative;" Nike is "powerful." That strong brand is what attracts new customers and keeps old customers coming back. But what about your employer brand? Do you spend any time on building and protecting that?
Your employer brand is simply the perception of what it means to work at your organization. It is shaped by the experiences of current and past employees, candidates and yes, even your customers. Anyone who has engaged and interacted with your organization has the opportunity to contribute to this perception through word of mouth, social media or through a review on a job site like Glassdoor. For instance, LinkedIn helps job seekers connect with people that work at companies they are interested in applying in. In theory, this is supposed to help the job seeker get a foot in the door when they submit their application. But a LinkedIn connection might also give that job seeker the "inside scoop" of what it is really like to work at your company. What's the culture like? What's the growth potential? What kind of personalities run the departments? It is this brand that sways a great candidate to either continue on with their online application process or run for the hills.
Developing a powerful and positive brand that attracts the kind of talent you want coming through the doors means taking a good look at the talent you already have. What are the most common attributes of your successful employees? Everyone wants employees that are smart and motivated, but what else matters to you? Do you need more leaders with big visions or do you need people that thrive when working in the trenches? Do you want people with an entrepreneurial spirit and that like to challenge the norm? Or do you need talent that that works really well within strict guidelines? Knowing the kind of talent that makes your company run day-to-day is the key of building a strong employer brand.
What does it means to work for your company as a whole, or within an individual department? Not just what kind of work those departments do, but how they fit into the bigger picture. How does IT interact with sales? How does sales work with the C-suite? Are certain departments more standalones than others? Do some teams integrate so much you can't tell where one ends and the other begins? What kind of corporate ladder is there for talent to climb? How will working for your brand look on their resume down the line?
All these factors become the basis of your Employee Value Proposition – the most compelling value you offer to prospective employees. It could be boiled down to something as simple as “High pay, free food and a competitive environment.” Think about working for a company like Google means just in terms of on-campus perks! They need talent that doesn't care about spending 10-14 hours a day at work because of all the perks that come with it. Or it could be something like “Positive social footprint, internal advancement and fanatical focus on customer satisfaction.” Zappos has the kind of customer-centric brand all retailers aspire to achieve and they empower their agents to make good customer service happen, no matter what. They want talent that is willing to go to the extra 10 miles to make something good happen...and they support those that do!
The key to building an employer brand is to honestly look at your organization, get lots of input and define a concise EVP that can be easily understood by your target candidates. Boil it down to a few key points and don't be afraid to be honest! If you want to attract the right talent you need a clear and consistent and accurate message that resonates with those candidates.
Want to learn more about employer brand and all the other factors that make up great recruitment marketing, check out Talemetry's free Recruitment Marketing Handbook.