They say that we live in a customer-centric world, but this little bit of wisdom is only partially true – we also live in a world where employees are the heart of each brand’s operations. Yes, candidates are still vetted, tested, and interviewed, but brands go through a similar process before anyone joins their team. No more overeager people to come on board without getting to know your organization properly first. Employees today have options. They can freelance, work for several companies at once, run their own entrepreneurial business, or work for your competitor with better manners and tastier coffee in the lounge area.
It only stands to reason that such a state of the market has pushed brands to evolve into branding themselves for their employees and not just their target customers. These business entities now need to present themselves in the best possible light online and in-person when looking for talented people, because chances are, there’s another job opportunity waiting for them around the corner. So, if you want to make your employer brand stand out and capture leads more than ever, here are your key five steps to add to your strategy.
Build a dedicated employer presence
Does your website have a dedicated Careers page? Do your candidates know exactly what they can expect from your selection process? What about social media, can your followers see what your office is like, and how you interact on a daily basis? Celebrating your brand in the role of an employer should be a legitimate part of your overall digital and brand strategy. Add to that, you need to empower your employees to create content from their own perspective and to give your brand a voice of their own. Whether they share their views from a team-building event, or they post social media stories on conferences, they should definitely play a role in portraying your brand online and offline.
A great way to make your employees your brand ambassadors is to implement a personalized payroll card program and issue branded cards for your employees. Those cards can serve as a kind of a promotional product for your business, as every time your employees use their cards to pay for something, they’ll be flaunting your logo and your brand name around.
Define your unique set of values
Company culture and your brand’s values will heavily impact your brand’s perception from your employees’ and potential workers’ perspective. Nurturing the right culture takes time, but it starts with a comprehensive employer branding strategy that focuses on what makes your business appealing, what you do to make your employees happy, and how you can inspire them to join your brand. That strategy entails everything from learning how your current employees see your brand, to training your employees to represent your brand appropriately when communicating to potential candidates.
Chances are that you’ll find weak links in your current culture and presence, but try to think of them as opportunities to improve and make your current staff feel more appreciated, and recognize them for their contribution. Even more so, you should use your company culture as the foundation for hiring, and a key factor in deciding who should join your team, to benefit all the parties involved.
Claim your presence on review sites
To develop your employer brand, you need to own up to your brand presence across the online realm, including review sites such as Angie’s List where employees go to share their honest opinions on your work environment. Claim your presence on these sites, and you’ll be able to collect yet another pile of useful data on how your employees perceive your business and work your way up from there.
Furthermore, you can refute any negative comments and reviews with clear-cut information on your business, which will make even more of a difference if a potential candidate has any concerns about joining your business. Take charge, and you’ll be the one to keep the reins of creating your brand.
Use data and metrics to measure progress
Just like with any other strategy, you should always use different reporting and analytics tools to check on your employer marketing campaigns and to find opportunities where you can change for the better. Which of your job ads on social media earned the most engagement and responses? How about the different job posting sites – did some outperform the others?
Is there a particular step in your hiring process when most of your candidates fall away and lose interest in the job? All of these and many other details can help you reframe, time, and boost your entire hiring strategy from start to finish, backed by ample information.
Seek employee feedback
Who could ever know better than your employees about all the quirks of the office, setbacks they encounter, and their favorite perks of working along your side? Their voices matter more than any other number or statistic you collect in your research stages. It’s not enough to get their thoughts once in a blue moon – make sure that they have a designated time to share their opinions with you on a regular basis.
This will be an invaluable source of data to help you improve your approach with the new candidates. They can tell you what they didn’t enjoy in the selection process, if they can point you to something you can improve, or if there’s a particular strength in your brand that makes working for you so appealing.
It takes time to develop an employer brand, much like it takes years to build a presence that will appeal to your customers. With that in mind, you need to make sure that you are committed to this process since you will need to stay consistent and use data to tweak your approach on the go.
This will allow you to slowly increase your capacity to attract potential employees and to properly refine your selection process without compromising your brand identity. This is your chance to establish yourself as an employer, and not just a customer-centric entity – so make sure these steps are included in your strategy, and your emerging employer brand will help you build a stellar presence over time.
Author: Jacob Wilson is a business consultant, and an organizational psychologist, based in Brisbane. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for Bizzmark blog.