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No matter what the industry, an employer’s brand is a vital component in their ability to effectively attract, acquire and retain staff.
Since the emergence of the candidate-driven market brought upon by the flow-on effects of the pandemic, an employer’s brand has taken on even greater significance in the recruitment and retention landscape.
Recruiting the perfect candidate is now harder than ever and represents a worry for 73% of Australian business owners in 2022 according to a study done by the Ai Group.
So, what exactly is an employer’s brand and why is it so important?
In a recent Forbes article, 69% of talent leaders said that employer branding is the top component they’ll be investing their budgets in this year.
Employer branding is the reputation an employer possesses as a place to work at. It’s a mix of:
Employer branding should be the foundation for a positive recruitment and retention strategy. Intelligent businesses should be considering their employer brands at all times, not just in a candidate-driven market like the present.
In a survey by Forbes, one employer said, “Candidates have the power now. Convincing people to work for us is key. Pay, culture, word of mouth, benefits [and] work-life balance will all be critical. We need to prove how we’re better to work for than any other company even though we can’t always offer the highest pay. Non-monetary perks will be more important than ever.”
With the goal posts shifted towards them, employees are also taking more interest in company reviews in the marketplace and with plenty of options available for them on the job front, they’re making informed decisions based on these reviews.
According to a recent survey conducted by Glassdoor, 86% of job seekers are now likely to research company reviews and ratings when deciding where to apply for a job.
Thus, the importance of an employer’s brand.
When thinking about how to bring your employer brand to life, first consider the why. If your organiation is able to pinpoint the benefits that they want to achieve out of enhancing employer brand, then it will be easier to implement strategies to achieve your goals. Here are five benefits of a strong employer brand that can contribute to your ‘why’.
After clearly defining your employer brand, it’s time to work on addressing and optimising the three tenets of employer branding:
In a recent webinar conducted by Xref, the VP of Business Development / Head of Sales at Careerbeacon, Serge Boudreau, emphasised the importance of real stories in attracting top candidates.
Most candidates are inundated with corporate jargon and cliched marketing that is ultimately ineffective. Authentic stories from real people cut through far more effectively.
“What candidates are telling us in the market is that they’re wanting real stories,” Boudreau said. “They want to know what the corporation is actually like, and they don’t want corporate values or anything like that. Basically, what they’re saying is that if you’re telling me - ‘It’s a great place for parents to work’ - show me the receipt!
“My number one advice is that if candidates are telling us they want real stories from real people, please put them out there. Provide stories about what it’s like to work at your company.
“You’re no longer competing with the company across the street…you’re pretty much competing with every company in the world, so how you go to market, how you tell your stories, and how you difference yourself are absolutely critical.”
Ask your current employees, ‘what makes a good employer?’ Some will talk about the work environment, and others will speak of flexibility or compensation. A mixture of all of these is most likely. Make sure you communicate how your company addresses each of these on your careers page and further afield when recruiting.
This has proven effective at Fujitsu as Oceania Communications Manager Simon McGuinness explains:
“We started a story-telling project, aptly titled ‘Fujitsu Stories’, which aimed to shine a spotlight on our employee’s milestones and accomplishments,” McGuinness said.
“We have many long-term employees who have reached 30, 20, 10-year anniversaries and to me that is something worth celebrating. We would sit down with the individual and put together a video package to help them celebrate their milestone.
“Most of the individuals in question don’t chase the spotlight for their accomplishments so it was nice to go out of our way to recognise them.
“Initially, the project was just designed for internal content streams. They were very well received, and it boosted staff morale.
“But eventually, the content was requested to be used on our external channels also because they’re a great advertisement for working at Fujitsu. Someone who has stayed at the one company for 30 years obviously loves what they do, and they all spoke glowingly of their time here.
“It wasn’t designed as an advertisement for job seekers, but it has resulted in that way due to the beautiful authenticity of the content. Existing employees really are your best advocates for attracting new talent.”
One of the best ways to gauge your company's reputation is to speak to employees and if it’s positive, promote that to job seekers.
Interestingly, 96% of companies believe employer brand and reputation can positively or negatively impact revenue, but less than half (44%) monitor that impact.
Whilst it’s important to remember that an employer’s brand image is never permanently negative, it is also not permanently positive.
Companies should always track their brand’s performance as well as that of their competitors to remain at the top of their game in the battle for talent.