Why go in search of quality candidates when you could have them lining up at the door to work with you? How, you may be wondering, do you make that happen?
Honing in on your employer brand can help you do just that. Develop a cracking one and you'll be flooded with top talent looking to get a foot in your door.
What is the image your company projects as an employer? Are the most talented candidates coming to you, or do they politely avoid your calls? Have you given any thought to your employee value proposition?
In today’s fiercely-competitive job market, establishing and maintaining a consistent employer brand is a crucial tool for attracting and retaining the right kind of talent. A compelling employer brand makes it easier to recruit the very best candidates. It also enhances the loyalty of current and prospective employees.
Whether you’re starting out with your strategy, or you’ve reached a bit of a halt in taking your existing one to the next level, consider these few steps to help you develop your employer brand.
1. get buy-in from the leadership team
Before you can get into the nitty gritty, your leadership team will need to determine mission values and a desired culture. This will ensure your employer brand sits well with your existing strategy. And as with every major HR initiative, chances of success are far greater when the leadership team supports the program.
2. figure out where you are and where you want to be
Define a starting point against which to measure progress. The key at this stage is to be aspirational while ensuring goals are attainable – developing an employer brand should be made realistic and true to who you are. Consider quantitative and qualitative research that looks at what attracts and deters people. Include staff, suppliers, people leaving the business and candidates.
Ask recent hires whether the promise measured up to the reality. All of this information forms your baseline. Additionally, the Standing Out publication would be a good place to start - here you can learn a series of best practices from organizations renowned for their strong employer brand.
Decide how you would like to be viewed in the market. This quality should be at the heart of any marketing efforts aimed at attracting candidates, and should also be promoted internally to shape corporate values. Your employer brand will be present in everything you do – so make it count.
3. identify the gap between where you are and where you want to be
So you’ve figured out where your employer brand currently sits, and where you want it to once developed – now you need to identify the gap. Sometimes a chasm is identified that some businesses consider too large to cross. But actually the awareness of the chasm is often a positive launching pad.
It is usually something you can work on gradually based on the feedback and insights you gather when figuring out where your employer brand currently sits. You can’t opt out of having an employer brand - you can only opt out of actively managing it.
At Randstad, not only do we provide worldwide employer brand services, we pride ourselves on having our own distinct one too. We can’t emphasize enough the importance of knowing and understanding what brand values you own and live by in order to develop your strategy.
In the form of Simon Sinek you should always start with why, then work your way through what and how. As you define these credentials a set of tangible brand values that make-up your business will start to manifest.
Once established, these guiding principles and values will hopefully identify the gap between where you are and where you want to be.
4. bridge the gaps
Encourage employees to voice their opinions and play an active role in resolving brand discrepancies. Some changes will be simple and others will become projects in their own right. Having gathered the insights you will now be better placed to understand where the gaps are, in order to devise a solution to resolve them.
Having identified the true answer to ‘why’ - these values will allow you to form a bridge between the gaps to build an honest and truthful employee value proposition.
Patience is a virtue and some gaps may turn out to be bigger than others – as will your solutions to resolve them. Creating an environment that inspires belief and enables action in support of your employer brand won’t happen overnight – but change will soon be noticeable, as long as you follow your core values and plan your journey process.
It’s wise to map your core values, focus, and employer value proposition so that these are always your guiding principles. Make a note of your goals and potential obstacles then ensure that any you come across are determined, examined and resolved.
No matter where along your journey you are, your employer brand is constantly evolving and getting stronger. Whether you’re just starting out, or you have already established one, identifying obstacles is always wise and will work to sustain your platform.
5. take the employer brand to market
Appoint employer brand ambassadors and encourage employees to spread the word through their online and social media profiles. Share authentic stories that will resonate with your audience and your shared values. Encourage engagement and interaction with events across all media by reposting and sharing content to drive viral discussion.
For those who have an existing employer brand, and are looking to amplify and leverage it among your candidate personas - becoming an influencer in your space can be really effective.
To become an influencer you must be seen and recognized as a thought leader in your space - having great knowledge and experience in what you do. With that comes respect among your peers, audience and prospective audiences.
Essentially becoming an influencer in your sector will help enhance your employer brand and will appeal to and attract your candidate personas. Inevitably, candidates who share your values and are interested in your sphere will be drawn towards you should you become an influencer.
Having an influential employer brand will bring different benefits, some will be great for amplifying your content online, and others will be more beneficial for creating real-life relationships with candidates. Either way, these benefits are all positive in creating and maintaining a cracking employer brand.