What does it take to attract top talent in a competitive job market? The answer goes beyond benefits: it involves good employer branding.
What is employer branding? An employer branding strategy is all about identifying and showcasing your core company values. It’s about setting your company apart based on your mission, your values, and how you treat employees and customers. Sure you can post your jobs for free on some job boards, but the storytelling you do about your company is what will get top candidates excited to join. Just as people research product reviews before making a big purchase, candidates are looking at the holistic view of the company before jumping on board.
Blueboard reports that 73% of companies are struggling to find relevant candidates. LinkedIn reports that 72% of recruiting leaders worldwide agree that employer branding has a significant impact on hiring. Fifty-nine percent of recruiting leaders worldwide are investing more in their employer brand. LinkedIn also has found that a great employer brand leads to 28% reduction in turnover, 50% cost reduction per hire, 50% more qualified applicants, and a hiring time up to two times as fast.
All signs point to employer branding being a key part of your hiring and retention strategy for building a great company. But where do you start? Here are the first steps to building your employer brand so you can attract and retain top talent and build the company you envision.
How to Build Your Employer Brand
1. Define Your Employer Values & Branding Goals
The first step to defining your employer brand, according to Talentlyft, is defining your goals. What are you aiming to achieve through the company branding process? What values would you like to convey in any materials on your website, in company communications, and in a job listings? Sit down with a few colleagues, maybe throw a company pizza party, and ask what is really important to your employees. What do they feel is important to the company? A list of common ideas should emerge. Maybe you really care about changing the world with your product. Maybe your company’s flex time or family leave policies make employees feel that work-life balance and healthy employees are important to your mission. If you’re not where you want to be, identify the gap, and think of ways you might make your company reality match your goals. At the very least, you’ve just identified where you want to be and what’s important to you.
2. Identify Your Ideal Candidate
Whom would you love to hire? Beyond the skill set, what type of person do you envision in that role you’re hiring for? What type of things do you want them to value? Create a list just like you did with your company values, but focus this on a candidate. What can be interesting about this process is that you might find you have different goals for candidates in different departments or roles. Those ideas reflect your values and expectations for your employees.
3. Define Your Employer Value Proposition
It’s not just perks and benefits that keep your employees happy with your company. Enviable Workplace reports that millennials—who are now the majority of the workforce—use purpose and meaning as the number one driving factor in their career decisions, not compensation. If someone stopped you and asked what you love about working for your company, what would you say? What about your colleagues? Those are the valuable aspects of your company that prospective employees might be looking for, too. When you define your employer value proposition, think past perks to purpose. Benefits are important, too, but what you want to convey on a website or in a job listing is what is really important to the people in your company.
4. Get The Word Out
Some company websites just sing when they talk about company culture. How can you convey company values in a way that translates into great hires? If you want your web copy and job listings to properly reflect the mission and values of your company, focus your effort on getting the word out about the mission of your company, and don’t be shy about asking for people who value the same things. If you position yourself as a cheerleader for your customers and support for your employees to make a difference in the world, this can be a good start to help you figure out how your company values translate to prospective hires.
Ways you can get the word out about employer branding include:
Your website “About” page or homepage
Employer storytelling through press releases, news articles and featured stories
Networking events and communications materials
How your employees speak about your company’s latest news
5. Measure Your Employer Branding Results
How do you measure whether this is working? Employee feedback is a good start, and keep an eye on your company reviews online. Employees sometimes check customer reviews to see if prospective employers are offering proper treatment to the end users of a company’s product, because it tells them a lot about how the company might treat employees. Retention rates are a great indicator too. Create a list of metrics to track, such as
Employee turnover going down
Company reviews going up
Employee feedback reflecting company values
Speed of hiring going up
Cost of hiring going down
Are there gaps in the system? Chances are you’ll have areas of strength and areas where you can improve. It’s okay to rework your plan when you discover an area where the employer branding strategy needs some polish. Building out a strategy and toolbox of resources can take time, but don’t worry—you will start seeing better hiring results.
Need a little help building your employer brand? Purpose Jobs works with employers to help share their story and attract top talent. If you want to learn more about how we do it, learn more about becoming a Purpose Jobs member.