In an earlier post, we discussed how to get started creating an employer brand as well as the importance of a positive candidate experience to attract and hire top talent. Let’s take the conversation a step further and discuss specific tactics you can use to bring your employer brand to life and make your company a more appealing place to work for both current and prospective employees.
One of the first steps in creating an employer brand is to first assess your current situation and get a good idea of what’s working and what isn’t. Once complete, it’s time to pull a plan together. And the first step to any plan is to outline goals and objectives. Looking for greater engagement from your existing team? Or to increase the amount of applicants you get each quarter? Depending on your goals, your tactics will vary. For instance, to increase employee engagement, you might choose to implement an internal social media network. To increase the number of applicants, you might choose to advertise job openings on Glassdoor or Indeed instead.
Once your goals are finalized, think through who might be involved in helping to activate it. If you’re a smaller or family-owned business, then the owner or founder will likely be involved along with key business managers. At larger companies, employer brand will likely stretch across the HR department, marketing and communications teams, as well as the executive team.
When it’s time to put your plan into action, consider key elements such as messaging, your careers page, social media, and more. Where you focus most of your energy, however, depends on the type of candidate you’re looking to attract as well as the number of resources you have at your disposal.
Let’s take a look at a few tips on how to bring these key elements to life.
Start small, and take a look at your job descriptions. Not only should you clearly state job titles and responsibilities, but use this opportunity to describe your company culture. Help the candidate envision themselves working at your company by showcasing your differentiators, whether that’s unique voluntary benefits, a focus on family care, or more. When listing skills, make sure to include both “soft skills” (like communication, self-motivation, problem solving, or teamwork) as well as “hard skills” (for example, proficient in a foreign language, a specific certification, or expertise in a program). List exactly what you’re looking for, and the perfect candidate will apply with confidence.
Once your job descriptions have been updated, turn to your social media channels. A quarter of all job seekers use social media as their primary tool for job searching, but this number is only going to increase as more Millennials and Gen Zers enter the workforce. Add photos and videos of current employees and recent company events to your company profile pages, respond to reviews, and make sure your employee value proposition (EVP) is highlighted on each network. As a reminder, your EVP is a strategic statement that defines how you want to be perceived by your employees. It should not only convey your organizational values and ideals, but what it’s like to work at your company and what is expected of your employees.
Another way to highlight your unique company culture is through the use of rich media, such as high-quality videos and photos. Make sure to break out your smartphone during company outings and snap a few photos of the fun in action so you can publish them to your website and social media networks. Also, consider asking employees to participate in video Q&As where they expand on how they came to work for your company, what they love most about the culture, and what their day-to-day role involves. Feature a compilation of these Q&As prominently on your careers page.
Learning and development programs have proven to be effective in reducing employee turnover and increasing retention. Additionally, by investing in the growth of your employees, you send a signal to them and prospective candidates that you value their skills and want to help them plan for their future. A nice side effect in return could appear in the form of a positive review on Glassdoor, further making your company more attractive to future candidates.
While there are many other tactics to pursue to elevate your employer brand, our final suggestion, especially for those who might have limited resources, is to make current employees your brand ambassadors. Don’t wait for a positive review to magically appear on your Glassdoor profile. Instead, encourage your employees to publish reviews if they enjoy working for your company. Advise them of current job openings so that they can share them within their own personal networks, and ask whether any employees would be interested in being involved in a job fair or your onboarding process, whether it’s leading a training or sharing a bit about company culture for new recruits.
Regardless of the tactics you choose to pursue, paying any attention at all to your employer brand will significantly improve your ability to hire and retain employees.