How to own your employer brand
When your organisation’s name is mentioned, what sort of reaction do you get from others? Admiring glances? A rolling of the eyes? A grimace or an appreciative eyebrow raise? The way we think of brands continues to evolve. No longer is it just linked to a product or service under the umbrella of a particular name, but brands now apply to employers and individuals.
An employer brand represents the organisation’s beliefs, visions, values and practices as an employer, and a strong employer brand is becoming increasingly important in attracting and retaining the best employees. It’s not just important for current employees, but it can also be a deciding factor in business and commercial relationships, and it’s what attracts potential employees before they even submit their application for a role.
A recent study conducted by SEEK reveals that 72% of New Zealanders start researching potential employers in the very early stages of their job search, demonstrating just how important reputation and communication around employer brand is. An employer brand shouldn’t be hidden and internally facing, it should be a proud statement to all about who your business is and what they stand for. An employer brand is vital in attracting the right talent.
It’s imperative that an organisation has taken the time to develop its employer brand, with clear articulation that aligns with the company’s goals, culture, mission and values. For example, there’s no point in promoting ‘bold’ and ‘innovative’ as key selling points, when the company is actually more ‘reliable’ and ‘precise’. An employer brand has to be backed up by actions.
4 ways to communicate your employer brand
The promotion of an employer brand should start from the inside-out. Vision and values shared and brought to life with staff is the start of an employer brand journey. When employees see the brand in action, it becomes very easy for them to confirm and articulate, and promote the brand via word-of-mouth, an important channel of promotion.
In addition to staff being advocates of the employer brand, more structured communication should be considered, including:
- Creating engaging video content – video that showcases your organisation’s mission, position and priorities in an engaging manner can be a powerful promotional tool.
- Review your website – does it showcase the heart of the company, not just your products and services?
- Have an active social strategy – utilise less formal communication channels to communicate messages that relate to more of the informal parts of your business.
- Make the most of online employment review sites – this is where the conversations around employer brands are held. Participate in your organisation’s reviews and see every review as an opportunity.
It’s no longer enough for employees just to like their job, they want to like the company they work for too. This means candidates actively seek out employers whose vision and values match their own.
It’s important for organisations to make sure the right employer brand information is available when candidates go looking, because ultimately they will.