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An employer brand is the way in which a business communicates or markets its business to both internal and external stakeholders, clients, customers, and employees, both existing and potential. All businesses have an employer brand, it is a case of establishing if the perceived brand is attractive and appealing to existing and potential employees as being one that they would be keen to work for. When a company can effectively communicate and facilitate a strong brand identity, it, in turn, gives the business a positive brand image and culture.
Having an engaging and robust employer brand supports businesses in both attracting and retaining talent. A positive employer brand that demonstrates a credible, authentic, and supportive work culture can be highly beneficial in retaining talent, as well as appealing to others who consider working for the company.
It is vital for businesses and senior leadership teams to focus on their employer brand to support business growth, business success and activities, as well as a direct impact on hiring and retention. A strong employer brand increases employee engagement and morale, which also contributes to the overall employee experience. Having engaged, high-calibre talent within your organisation who feel aligned with the employer brand will also have a positive impact on the overall customer experience, journey, and client relations.
Employer branding is a priority for 60% of all companies. (Universum Global Report, 2021)
What is the Employee Value Proposition?
According to CIPD - The employee value proposition ‘EVP’ describes what an organisation stands for, requires and offers as an employer. The psychological contract between employers and workers addresses and sets expectations, beliefs, and obligations of the employment relationship.
To create and define your employee value proposition, the first step is to identify the key elements, benefits, and positive attributes of the brand that your employees highlight. What do your employees value about working for the company? This insight can support hiring managers, marketing, and communications team in attracting and retaining talent through various communications and campaigns. Employers can gain these insights through surveys and focus groups to ensure credibility in statements and employee insights. If your business promotes flexibility, communicate what this specifically means to your employees and how it adds value.
How can employer brand support talent attraction and hiring?
Steps to Take to Build an Attractive and Positive Employer Brand
At CSG Talent, part of the process we take involves supporting clients with their talent attraction and overall hiring strategy, within this, employer brand plays a huge part. As a recruitment partner, we work as an extension of the company brand and in a candidate short market, the employer brand has an important role to play in selling the opportunity and gaining buy-in from the candidate.
Here we share the most crucial factors to consider ensuring your employer brand is positive, engaging, and supports your talent attraction and retention.
Establish the strength of your brand
Before making any changes to your employer brand or establishing ways to increase credibility and appeal, it is important to establish the strength and perception of your employer brand. You can do this by hearing from existing, past and prospective employees.
Conduct engagement surveys with your existing teams to gain insight into their individual experience and thoughts on the employer brand of the business. Questions such as:
Do you feel ‘insert company’ has a strong employer brand?
Do you feel connected to the company brand?
Do you feel the company brand is aligned with the vision and values of the business?
Are you proud to work for the business?
Would you recommend the company to others to work for?
Hearing from an employee who is leaving the business is also a useful exercise, you can obtain this insight through the exit interview process. Like engagement surveys, ask questions that relate to the brand and find out the reasons for leaving, is there more the business/brand could have done? Is it related to the company brand or reasons beyond control?
Throughout the hiring process, it is always beneficial to ask candidates about their perception of the brand and what they know. If they choose to remove themselves from the application process, ensure you delve into reasons why, to establish if this is connected to the brand, culture, or package.
It is also good practice to establish what people are saying about your brand online through google alerts, social media, and review sites such as Glassdoor. Responding to reviews appropriately can be beneficial for the brand, as well as considering what people are saying to help the business make changes or improvements to avoid recurring issues and negative feedback.
Communicating your brand with the right audience
Consider your target audience of employees and who you want your employer brand to appeal to. How you communicate your brand will feed into this, the messaging, the tone, and the content itself.
Think about the channels you can use to reach your ideal audience and increase awareness of your brand. What channels are most appropriate for your business? Where do they spend their time? Consider social media, press, website, careers fairs, and online and offline advertising.
Increase exposure and reach by using social media channels to communicate your brand to a wider audience. Share insights into life at the business, career progression opportunities, team building, reward and recognition and any other areas that demonstrate a positive employer brand and engaging employee experience.
Ensure your website positions your brand effectively and you have up-to-date and comprehensive information on your careers page including real testimonials. Demonstrate your brand in the best way possible to appeal to and engage with your target audience of employees and talent you are keen to attract.
52% of candidates spend time researching an organisation's website and social channels to learn more about their culture before applying (Papirfly)
Your employees are in the best position to be brand advocates, if they can share their own experiences of working for the business and share positive stories about the brand, this will be powerful in engaging potential employees. Increase the credibility of your brand by encouraging your teams to share their own employee experience and use this as part of your marketing strategy from an employer brand perspective.
Create rewarding referral schemes to encourage employees to support internal recruitment campaigns, this will support them in sharing their experiences and encouraging others to consider joining the company. A fantastic way to engage current employees through this approach is to reward them for successful hires because of their referrals. This is something that has proved hugely successful for our team at CSG Talent, and we pride ourselves on the volume of successful referrals we receive and the positive feedback we gain.
The importance of diversity and inclusion
Diversity, inclusion, and belonging are huge factors in maintaining a strong and positive employer brand. Employees want to join a company that has an inclusive culture where opportunities are accessible to all. A sense of belonging is important so that a potential employee can feel connected and valued by an organisation, where all employees are taken into account, given a voice and the opportunity to thrive and develop within a business.
In recent years, there has been an increased focus on D & I, with leaders keen to create a diverse workplace, not only to support employees but to see the benefits a diverse and inclusive workforce can bring to a business. As part of showcasing the employer brand from a D & I perspective, it’s important to consider how your brand is communicated on your website and online presence to show how genuine and authentic your stance on D & I is. Talk about this openly throughout the hiring process, and ensure you have considered this in the interview process, so you are transparent with potential employees.
How can you measure the success of your brand?
To measure the success of your brand, it’s important to review this regularly and make any changes that are necessary or explore ways to communicate your brand more effectively. Here are some ways you can measure the strength and success of your employer brand:
Job offer acceptance
Employee engagement – Surveys, focus groups
Tasha Plumb, Marketing Executive at CSG Talent says: “No matter how well your careers pages and social channels communicate your EVP, word of mouth and employee recommendations will always remain the most important source of information to prospective employees. That’s why employers need to involve their employees in the development of their employer brand and ensure it’s a true reflection of what their teams are thinking and saying. For me, a key indicator of a successful employer brand is for staff to be sharing unprompted UGC (user-generated content). This could be an employee sharing how a benefit has impacted their life or sharing experiences of their work life. Alternatively, referring friends or family members into the business. Both actions show that they truly believe they are working at a great place and want to share this experience with others.”
Having an attractive employer brand and communicating this in the right way is an essential part of an effective hiring strategy and not only will it save time and money, but it will support revenue growth for the business too. Investing time and resources to communicate your brand in a positive and engaging way will increase engagement, and improve talent attraction and retention.
Collaborating with a specialist recruitment and executive search organisation like CSG talent will allow businesses to assess the strength of their brand in comparison to competitors, hear market insights and candidate experiences. A recruiter acts as an extension to the business and represents and sells the brand to candidates, where this would not be possible throughout an in-house application process. In a candidate-driven market, establishing brand strength, and communicating this in the right way should continue to remain a big focus for organisations as part of their hiring strategy. This is an ongoing process and requires consistent efforts to evaluate and enhance the employer brand and employee experience to support business growth.