Employer Branding: How the job market really views your company!
Published on January 1st, 2023
What Is Employer Branding?
Employer branding is a blend of the reputation a company has as an employer and the image it presents to its potential and internal employees along with its stakeholders. It is an active process involving monitoring, managing, and directing how the company is perceived in the job market.
In effect, it works in a similar manner to corporate branding. However, instead of building value in the customers’ eyes towards a product or service offered, we build value in the eyes of job seekers and the workforce towards employment at the company. Instead of marketing features and capabilities of services and goods in exchange for money, we market the opportunities and benefits of working at the company in exchange for the candidate’s skills, abilities, network and experience.
A good employer branding program can position your company as a sought after organization to work at. Therefore it has taken a new role as an essential part of top organizations’ hiring strategies. Good employer branding is the reason why Google, Facebook and Microsoft are considered a great place to work at even if they are at the top of their industries business-wise.
Adversely, bad employer branding can negatively influence an organization’s ability to secure capable employees. For example, Goldman Sachs took a heavy hit to their employer image due to an op-ed posted by a disgruntled former employee, which had a detrimental effect on their hiring endeavors for the following year.
The importance of Employer Branding
As mentioned before, employer branding has a strong influence on the company’s standing as an employer of choice. We are generating awareness for the business and attracting skilled applicants. The top companies in several industries are constantly cultivating a robust employer brand to retain their positions as major players in the competitive job market and increase their pool of talented employees.
In a survey, it was revealed that 72% of hiring executives around the world agreed that employer branding has a significant impact on recruiting, which as we know greatly determines your organization’s success. With similar numbers, around 82% of applicants take employer brand and reputation into consideration prior to applying for a job.
It also provides other benefits to the organization in the realm of employee relations. 69% of surveyed employees disclosed that they believed that it was immensely important that their employer has a brand they are willing and honored to support.
Moreover, the more that an organization develops its employer brand, the more likely they are to attract and retain top talent. Retaining employees reduces the turnover rate and the dual benefit of attracting and retaining ensures that we secure more qualified employees overall.
A good employer brand also prevents poaching from other companies. 84% of an organization's employees consider shifting to another company if it has a better reputation. Therefore, passive candidates within the company are eliminated by good employer branding.
In general, lower costs are a win for the company. By developing a strong employer brand, companies can afford to not spend as much on advertising or promoting their open job roles as they receive free marketing from those influenced by the positive brand image.
LinkedIn has reported that a company with a strong employer brand compared to its competitors, sees a 43% decrease in the cost per candidate hired. This is a vital metric in the calculation of the Return On Investment for a company, as the company is getting more value out of the resources they are putting into hiring.
Good employer branding also delivers the benefit of making employee referrals more common. If a worker believes that their employer has created a favorable environment for work, they are more willing to recommend their company to their peers and acquaintances. This provides us with the personal networks and connections of employees. This is a valuable hiring channel, one that can be used to secure candidates who are more likely to work well together in a professional setting.
Five ways to build your Employer Brand
1. Skill training for employees
Provide employees with the opportunity to further their career by developing their skills and knowledge.This is a highly rewarding method of developing your employer brand. Potential applicants in the job market perceive the opportunity for on-the-job learning and the challenge of learning while working as benefits of working for the employer providing them.
By demonstrating a commitment to professional development and education, employers can convey their dedication to the progress of their employees. This increases employee motivation and positively influences their opinion of their employer.
Employees who are proficient in the latest skills and technology are rising in demand. Providing skill training is an efficient approach to satisfying this demand. By training existing workers, we attract skilled employees and create them as well. Skill training is a great way to not only develop the employee brand but also directly induce a result we wish to get from employer branding by increasing our pool of applicants.
Skill training prevents internal employees from looking for employment elsewhere. By letting employees pursue their professional endeavors from within the company, we reduce the chance that they would choose to leave. This also reduces hiring costs as companies can use internal hiring in the form of promotions to fill vacant positions in lieu of external hiring.
2. Develop a conducive recruiting process
It is extremely vital that we develop a recruiting process that leaves a good impression upon the applicant regardless of whether they are offered the job or not. This is achieved by utilizing tools such as candidate relationship managers, chatbots, holistic interviews, etc. We make the application process as easy as possible and ensure that all applicants have a positive experience. This contributes to the employer brand as we highlight the company at the very first step of recruiting.
By having rejected applicants maintain a positive opinion of the company, we also prevent bad word of mouth and thus maintain the employer brand. It is important to note that we should be transparent about why the applicant was rejected, as this prevents accusations of discrimination and communicates that the company is looking for competent skilled employees.
3. A great first day can be memorable
On the same note it should be mentioned that employer branding can be influenced after the hire as well. The first month and a half are normally considered as a part of the onboarding period of a new hire and this time period can have a significant impact on the employee’s perception of the company. By having a trouble free onboarding process, companies can leave a first impression that lasts throughout the employee’s professional career.
Employee orientations, ice-breaking sessions and training sessions are the tools to be utilized in this regard. By tracking employee satisfaction through surveys and feedback, we can target employee grievances and boost the company’s employer brand through satisfied employees.
4. If potential employees find like minded individuals in the company they are more likely to apply
By hiring a diverse set of employees, the company can relay the message that it provides a safe and tolerant environment for work. A workforce that is varied in perspectives, backgrounds and beliefs is conducive to innovation and is able to adapt with the changes in the market. Equal opportunity employers are fulfilling a moral duty and this improves their standing in the job market. Employees recruited in this manner also tend to display greater levels of commitment and engagement while employed which contributes to the employer brand and their overall productivity.
Focussing on diversity also gives the company the capability to tap into a wide range of communities. They are built upon various beliefs and attitudes and having proponents of the same employed in the company lets members of these communities assess their decision to apply to the company or not. This allows us to access a larger talent pool with a wide range of abilities, achieving company objectives from employer branding.
A study also revealed that companies that valued diversity and inclusion also tend to be more profitable than companies that are not. This can also bag more applicants for the company.
5. Social media controls your virtual image
Social media is an excellent tool for recruiters to use in their venture of developing a strong employer brand. It is widely used and makes interacting with prospective candidates an easy task. Social media presences give potential employees a close look at the work culture present at the company which they consider as crucial while evaluating their employment options. This is reflected by the statistics, and studies have shown that around 79% of applicants utilize social media in their employment hunting endeavors.
Therefore it is vital that a strong social media presence be developed to further employer branding endeavors. Relevant information should be posted on social media along with blog posts, videos and pictures highlighting the company culture and employee experiences. Have employees engage with this online presence by commenting on, liking and sharing posts. This propagates the company’s employer image and contributes to it.
Having a team dedicated to social media management is indispensable in this regard. Having real people engage with potential employees provides a personal touch to the interactions and can give them a preview of the workspace, opportunities and work culture in the organization.
It also acts as an avenue for receiving and reviewing employee reviews. Professional social media platforms such as LinkedIn let employees rate their employers and this directly influences employer brand. Similarly, platforms such as Twitter have been instrumental in recording and informing the public regarding employee grievances, with a single bad tweet capable of decimating a company’s brand image. Therefore, monitoring social media platforms for employee reviews is a necessary aspect of maintaining a positive presence.
The social media platforms that receive the greatest traffic and engagement at this time are LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. These are the platforms most used by the young generations of workers, and are great channels for recruiting candidates and influencing employer branding. 88% of Millennials place an importance on company culture and social media provides them with a sneak peek into the company’s work culture. By managing this “sneak peek” companies can positively influence their employer branding efforts.
Radhika Sarraf is a content specialist and a woman of many passions who currently works at HireQuotient, a leading recruitment SaaS company. She is a versatile writer with experience in creating compelling articles, blogs, social media posts, and marketing collaterals.
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