When it comes to the term ‘branding’, we probably all generally think more about the marketing side; such as company logo, brand messaging and how a company might be perceived by consumers. While those tend to be the branding, we often neglect or do not discuss the value of employer branding.
We have seen an increased demand for employers to illustrate and improve their employer brand to successfully recruit in this candidate-driven market.
What is employer branding?
Employer branding is an employer’s reputation as a place to work and the value it brings to their employees. It's how organisations differentiate themselves in the labour market, enabling them to recruit, retain and engage the right talent. Employer branding is simply how a company markets themselves to desired job seekers.
Encompassed within employer branding is a company’s employer value proposition (EVP). An employer value proposition incorporates a business’ mission, values and culture and gives employees a powerful reason to work for them. It’s everything a company can offer as an employer in exchange for all the skills and experience employees bring to the table.
The content used to broadcast an employer’s brand and value proposition shouldn’t just be a list of the perks and benefits they offer. An EVP is considered an employee-centered approach because it’s a proposition that’s been discovered, defined and tested by existing employees. Before a company crafts their EVP, a company’s benefits should be well-established, well-defined and a proven hit with their current employees.
Why is it important?
In today’s competitive market for talent, a compelling employer brand is crucial to attract the best candidates. Over the next year, we can expect to see a big emphasis placed on employers ensuring their personal brand is accessible, attractive and engaging to ensure they have a competitive advantage in this candidate-driven market. Companies with great employer brands receive 50% more qualified applicants and see a 50% reduction in cost-per-hire, according to LinkedIn research. With 75% of jobseekers considering an employer’s brand before even applying, an attractive brand may be the difference between finding the perfect person for the role – or losing them to a competitor.
We’ve found the below factors are influential for a candidate when choosing between job offers:
- Company’s values and culture
- Managers and management style
- Team calibre and quality of work
- Employee retention
- Career development opportunities
- Job security
- Location and facilities (accessibility and convenience)
- Opportunities for travel
- Overall remuneration & benefits (e.g. Holiday entitlement and flexible working)
- Work-life balance
Employer branding done right
For businesses, social media represents free advertising. It costs nothing to engage with potential candidates via platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and can start a new relationship off on the right foot. Online employer branding tactics can also be strengthened by simply ensuring that career information is accurate and easy to find on company websites.
Companies such as Glassdoor endorses the perspective that candidates treat a job search similar to the way they treat online shopping. As part of their research, job seekers want to know about a company’s expectations, work style and interview process. They may also leave reviews about their candidate experience and thus it’s important to provide a positive, consistent, fair and engaging journey with transparent and frequent communication.
Much like candidates who review the recruitment process they experienced, existing employees also have the power and capability of contributing to a company’s employer branding. Thanks to technology and social media, marketing is no longer the guardian of the brand. Both corporate and employer brand are in the hands of employees; 84% of people trust peer-to-peer recommendations over any other form of advertising. Hence, it’s vital to get everyone who can amplify an employer’s brand on-board, from front-line staff to hiring managers. Employees should be afforded some freedom on social media platforms for them to build their own brand by sharing elements of their working lives with others.
While interview processes can be determined by an organisation’s hiring policies, there are significant benefits to ensuring that the recruitment timescale is kept to a minimum. While the ideal candidate might be considering one company, likely, they are also considering other opportunities elsewhere. Additionally, having multiple screening methods beyond the interview (competency tests, presentations, panel interviews, etc.) can also slow down the process and create more hurdles that can deter candidates. While this may not be wholly relevant for those who are choosing between opportunities, it’s certainly a determining factor when deciding which positions to apply for.
At CMD Recruitment, we have a thorough understanding of employer branding and regularly witness the effects of employer branding on candidates’ decision making. If you need advice on how to best engage with your talent and effectively market your business, then we would be more than happy to assist you. Conversely, if you’re a candidate and you’re not quite sure on which opportunities to pursue, then please get in touch with one of our expert recruitment consultants today.