Employer branding, or your employer value proposition, is one of the multitude of challenges that CEOs grapple with. In the dynamic landscape of modern business, your focus certainly must include all aspects of operational efficiency and financial management. However, one employee retention tool that requires their utmost attention yet often remains underemphasized is recruitment marketing. This concept is only partly about the company’s reputation being projected to its potential hires. It is also the essence of its identity, company news, and values, as perceived by current employees and the market at large.
Understanding Employer Branding Strategy
What is Employer Branding?
Fundamentally, job seekers have a perception of your company as an employer. It encompasses the values, culture, and opportunities your company offers. It’s not just what you say about yourself as an employer but also what your existing employees and past employees are saying.
Why CEOs Should Care
The CEO’s Role in Attracting Job Seekers
As the driving force of a company, the CEO plays a pivotal role in shaping and endorsing the employer brand. The perception of a company’s leadership directly impacts its employer brand. A CEO’s involvement in branding initiatives sends a powerful message about the company’s commitment to its workforce.
The Impact of An Intentional Employer Branding Strategy
Attracting Top Talent
In a competitive job market, strong brand health helps attract the best talent during the hiring process. Potential employees are more inclined to work for a company that is perceived positively, particularly in terms of engaging company values, growth opportunities, and employee satisfaction.
Enhancing Employee Engagement
A well-crafted employee value proposition can significantly boost employee morale and engagement. When employees take pride in their organization, it reflects in their productivity and loyalty.
Building Company Reputation
Your internal communications greatly influence your overall corporate reputation. Satisfied employees will enhance your business reputation, attracting not only talent but also customers and investors. What are your employees saying that reflects on the employer employee relationship? What do you project on your LinkedIn company page?
Strategies for Effective Employer Branding
Aligning Brand with Corporate Values
Ensure that your employer brand is a true reflection of your company value proposition and culture. Authenticity in branding is crucial to build trust and credibility. Regular attention to this alignment will ensure your organization remains in a positive light.
Leveraging Employee Advocacy
Encourage your employees to share their experiences and stories. Employee testimonials can be a powerful tool in authenticating your employer brand. Capturing videos that highlight aspects of your employees experiences can be repurposed in many useful ways.
Utilizing Social Media
Social media platforms are powerful channels for messaging to job seekers. Regularly showcasing positive employee feedback, events, and employee achievements can enhance your brand visibility.
Employer Branding in Practice
Highlighting successful examples of ways that senior management has mastered employee experience can provide valuable insights. These three real-world case studies reveal practices and strategies that have proven effective in building a strong employer brand.
- Lever: Lever’s employer branding strategy, led by CMO Leela Srinivasan, addressed their unique challenge of acute hiring needs, rapid growth, and a workforce predominantly composed of introverts. The company recognized the need to create a comfortable environment for employees to share their stories. Lever utilized Brand Amper (now BrandBuilder) to provide employees with foundational brand statements for their professional narratives. This initiative resulted in 80% of Lever’s workforce sharing their stories on LinkedIn, thereby enhancing Lever’s social visibility and iterating their employer brand in real-time. [READ MORE HERE]
- Hootsuite: The #FollowTheSun campaign by Hootsuite was an innovative employer branding initiative using Periscope to showcase their offices across four continents. Despite the novelty of Periscope and the employees’ unfamiliarity with the app, Hootsuite managed to train its staff and collaborated with marketing for enhanced engagement. Moreover, Hootsuite developed an employer branding asset library as part of their global scaling strategy. This approach led to a more unified brand communication and a 50% increase in qualified applicants per job, with 43% of them stating that the employer brand influenced their application decision. [READ MORE HERE]
- Dell: Under the leadership of Jennifer Newbill, Director of Global Employer Brand, Dell’s talent acquisition team partnered with Dell Blue, their internal agency, to launch the “Bring Everything” campaign. This campaign was a concerted effort to integrate talent acquisition with marketing. The campaign’s objective was to enhance Dell’s position as a market leader in commercial monitors, targeting IT and business decision-makers and influential end-users. The campaign included Sponsored Content and Video Ads on LinkedIn, emphasizing the product line with a highly visual approach. This campaign surpassed internal targets, achieving a click-through rate of 0.52%, almost double the industry benchmarks. It significantly impacted Dell’s revenue pipeline for digitally engaged audiences. [READ MORE HERE]
These examples illustrate how innovative and inclusive strategies can not only enhance a company’s external image but also actively engage and involve employees in the branding process, leading to increased visibility and attractiveness to potential candidates.
Challenges in Employer Branding
Consistency Across Channels
Maintaining a consistent employer brand across various platforms and channels can be challenging but is essential for a cohesive brand image that makes sense to job seekers.
Quantifying the impact using employee surveys makes sense. It can be complex but it is necessary for realizing ROI for your company brand and for future strategy formulation.
Conducting Employee Surveys:
- Pre-Strategy Baseline Survey: Before implementing the new employer branding initiatives, conduct a comprehensive employee survey. This baseline survey might assess various aspects such as job satisfaction, understanding of company values, and perceptions of workplace culture.
- Post-Strategy Follow-up Surveys: After implementing the work life initiatives, conduct follow-up surveys at regular intervals (e.g., every six months). These surveys are the first step to evaluating changes in employee attitudes, satisfaction levels, and their perception of the company’s employer brand.
Measuring the Impact:
- Comparative Analysis: Analyze the results of the follow-up surveys against the baseline data. Key metrics like employee satisfaction scores, retention rates, and employee advocacy levels should be compared to assess the impact.
- Specific Metrics Evaluation: Pay special attention to specific areas of improvement due to your hard work. For instance, if a diversity initiative was introduced, evaluate how employees’ perceptions of inclusivity and diversity in the workplace changed over time.
- Qualitative Feedback: Alongside quantitative data, qualitative feedback from open-ended survey questions provides insights into employee sentiments and the perceived value of the new initiatives.
Results and Adjustments:
- Tangible Improvements: Your upper management will notice a significant increase in employee satisfaction scores and a decrease in turnover rates within a year of implementing the strategy. You’ll find employees report feeling more valued and engaged at work simply from implementing the surveys.
- Adjusting Strategies Based on Feedback: Where feedback indicates areas for improvement, be quick to adjust your strategies. For instance, if employees felt certain aspects of the diversity program were lacking, do the work to enhance those areas.
- Continuous Improvement: The employee surveys should be a regular part of your strategy which will ensure your company is a great place to work.
Corporate brand is not just a HR concern; it’s a strategic imperative that CEOs cannot afford to overlook. In an age where talent acquisition and retention are paramount, having a strong employer brand can be the decisive factor that sets a company apart. If you are considering designing strategies to constructively handle negative feedback or turn around a bad reputation by setting specific and measurable organizational goals which promote a rich work culture, contact us and we would be glad to help make sense of people management.
FAQs on Employer Branding
- What is the primary benefit of strong employer brands?
A strong employer brand helps in attracting and retaining top talent, which is crucial for a company’s success.
- How can CEOs influence employer branding?
CEOs can influence this process through their leadership, communication, and by embedding the brand values into the company culture.
- Can employer branding impact customer perception?
Yes, a positive employer brand can enhance overall corporate reputation, positively influencing customer perception.
- How important is social media in developing an employer brand?
Social media is a vital tool for developing a robust employer brand, offering a platform to showcase company culture and values.
- Is employer branding a one-time effort?
Employer branding is an ongoing process that evolves with the company’s growth and market changes.