Guest blog with Nicole Davidson graphic
Q&A Series
4
min read

How to Build A Successful Employer Brand Strategy?

Xref

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Nicole Davidson, CEO and Founder of Beacon HR, leads an incredible team of talent acquisition pros who works alongside clients in a flexible and easily scalable way. Nicole explains why employer brand is key for recruitment.

Employer brand is the key to attract and hire the right people

Since launching Beacon HR last year, Nicole noticed that growing companies all have the exact same people problems. Recruiters are facing the challenge of finding ways to attract and hire enough of the right people for their organisation.

Being extra aware of employer brand is a key element to solve this problem. 

We make sure to use every single candidate touchpoint to showcase the employer brand and give transparency into what being an employee would look, sound, and feel like. 

Nicole talks about employer branding and provides practical recommendations to set up successful practices for employment branding.

What is employer branding?

Employer brand answers the questions following questions to candidates:

  • Why should I work here instead of at another company?
  • What’s in it for me?

Your reputation as an employer both outside and inside the organisation makes it a great place to work.

Your employer brand sets the stage for attracting, hiring, and retaining top talent. 

In today’s world, social media plays a key role in your company’s reputation.

Things you need to do before launching an employer branding strategy

Launching an employer branding practice is crucial for attracting and retaining the right candidates. These 3 points should assist you in defining your employer value proposition.

  1. Look at the entire recruitment funnel and come in hot with an outbound recruitment campaign AND employer branding strategy. 
  2. Define the immediate hiring needs.
  3. It is essential that you understand how immediate needs are going to get better results while driving down recruitment costs in the future.

What makes a successful employer brand?

A successful hiring process is well organised, with expertly prepared and aligned hiring managers. 

To attract top talent you need to be transparent and honest. 

A positive employer brand echoes the candidate's main motivators or drivers to the role. 

A good recruiter needs to build excitement in the candidate as it progresses. And all of this has to be done fast!

A strong employer brand helps recruiters show candidates the benefits of the company culture.

Things you can do to improve your employer brand

75 % of job seekers consider an employer’s brand before even applying for a job - LinkedIn

Nicole recommends the following 10 actions to activate your employer brand internally and externally:

1. Review your core values

Make sure you follow your core values. Are they still relevant? Show them on your website and career sites when applicable.

2. Ensure candidate experience is positive

During the application and hiring process, job candidates should be able to experience your values, culture and employer brand. Are you respecting your candidates, communicating to them and living your values?

3. Make sure the onboarding experience is welcoming and genuine

The onboarding experience is a deal-breaker when it comes to living company culture and employer brand. It is this period of time when the employee is fresh to assimilate the values that staff lives for.

4. Develop key messaging and brand guidelines around how to communicate externally

Make sure your values are communicated in a way that respects your principles. At Xref, we follow our branding principles and we follow our values. We provide guidelines for external communications.

5. Conduct employee engagement surveys

Feel the pulse of your organisation. Regular employment surveys show the key points that your employees love and those areas that require attention. Take action on those areas of improvement.

6. Consider creating an employee ambassador program

Adobe was one of the first to implement an employee advocacy program, around 2013. Recognising the importance of employees for the success of the brand. An employee advocacy program or ambassador program does not need to start big. Starting small is key to scale up. 

7. Get your leadership team to amplify stories, both internally and externally

Sharing your company story is really important, PR and marketing efforts are the most popular methods of story amplification. 

Internal communication can play an important role in generating the appropriate conditions to drive employee advocacy behaviour. 

8. Create an employee referral program

Employee referral programs save time and money. Employee referrals also add value through improved employee engagement. Using employee referrals to hire candidates builds a robust corporate culture.  Tapping current employees for qualified candidate referrals is a great way to source great candidates. 

9. Take advantage of exit interviews

Exit interviews are a great opportunity to find reasons for leaving. These surveys also identify insights on any areas that require attention that may affect employer’s branding.

10. Encourage your team to share reviews

Existing staff is great for sharing compelling stories on sites like Glassdoor and on social channels.

Things HR professionals can do to improve employer branding

When it comes to tips for HR professionals, these are 3 the recommendations that Nicole shared with us:

1. Learn

Go to conferences, attend workshops, courses and webinars outside of HR too. It's vital we understand many areas of a business and not just HR.

2. Contribute

Whether it's writing, podcasting, vlogging, or anything in between, figure out what medium resonates with you most and start sharing your opinion with the community. This is great for your personal brand, it's fun, and you will learn so much being part of the conversation instead of just an observer.

3. Build relationships

Our business is people-driven. Go geek out with other professionals and lean into the conversations you have - talk about your challenges, learnings and trends.

Building employer branding every day

59%of recruiting leaders worldwide are investing more in employer brand. - LinkedIn

Building your employer brand should not be seen as a task that human resources teams need to build for recruitment marketing processes. 

Senior leadership should prioritise their own employee value proposition and live to the standards. 

Having a great company culture is what will really encourage employees to become ambassadors of the brand.

Create a great team culture and you will have on every single employee a professional employer brand manager that will speak highly to all job seekers.

 

About Nicole

As CEO & Founder of Beacon HR, Nicole leads an incredible team of talent acquisition pros who partner with purpose-driven companies to help them attract, hire, and engage great people for their teams. 


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