Why We Care About Employer Branding (And You Should, Too!)
In an increasingly candidate-led, talent-limited environment, organisations need to take every opportunity to give themselves a competitive advantage. Candidates are increasingly discerning and it’s much more difficult to produce a single, slick piece of marketing that transforms brand positioning. So what should we be aware of when considering our employer brand?
Every customer is a potential candidate…
We have all had good and bad experiences with a brand and dependent on that experience, the more likely it is to affect whether you will be a customer again in future. This has been the case for years, but what has undoubtedly changed is the way in which customers can access insights into a brand. With employer reviews on sites such as Glassdoor and real-time, public communication opportunities on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, it doesn’t take the connected consumer long to have an outline of the company culture and reputation in the marketplace. It’s therefore vital to equally engage with both potential new talent and your existing workforce, as their experience will directly impact your reputation in the marketplace.
You have one chance to make a good impression…
As discussed, consumers now have a multitude of channels to take when looking to review your business, however despite numerous touch points, customers ultimately have just one relationship with a brand. Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, HR, Finance, and Operations may all play a part in communicating your employer brand, but it is recognised that candidates feel a certain way about a company, and that is all-encompassing. Google refer to this as the Zero Moment Of Truth (ZMOT) ‘a revolution in the way consumers search for information online and make decisions about brands.’
Source: Google ZMOT
Therefore, your efforts need to be inclusive. Say for example, you launch a new Marketing campaign and as a result, a candidate approaches HR to discuss joining the business - will their experience match the brand perception based on the Marketing?
Attraction is just the beginning…
OK, so you have successfully targeted the top talent you wanted and they are interested in joining the business based on their experience so far. What happens if they join the organisation and find the reality to be different from their expectations? What effect could that have on staff turnover?
Of course it is important to showcase your brand in the best possible light, but it is also paramount that the perception of the brand will be re-affirmed when candidates join, so it has to be an accurate portrayal. If it isn’t, you will soon hear about it, and so could every potential future candidate when they hop online to review your business.
A 2014 survey by Randstad found that the majority of workers (78 percent) look for an employer that is - first and foremost - honest. Also significant to job hunters is finding an employer that is reliable (71 percent), secure (62 percent) and well-respected (51 percent).
Source: 2014 Employer Branding Study by Randstad Uncovers Top Personality Traits, Job Aspects Today’s Workers Look for in Potential Employer.
In light of this, if there is one recommendation I could make in terms of Employer Branding, it would be to tell it how it is. If there are elements you aren’t proud of, all the more so! It is almost impossible to hide the flaws in company culture and behaviour these days, but if you tackle them head on and are the first to do so, at least you will be at the forefront of the topic. Furthermore, candidates and consumers alike will respond well to the honesty.
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Author: Tilly Hetherington
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