You are a car dealer and you are selling Mercedes cars. You’ve learned your friend Eddie wants to buy a new luxury car tomorrow. Yes, he wants to make the purchase tomorrow.
Would it be smart to advertise to Eddie today, a day before he wanted to buy a luxury car?
The short answer?
No, it wouldn’t be smart to advertise a day before Eddie makes one the biggest purchasing decisions of his life.
If you are a business selling luxury cars, you need to have built that relationship with Eddie over decades so that when he makes one of the biggest purchasing decision of his life, he thinks Mercedes-Benz.
The same principle applies to recruiting. The day to engage with a candidate for a role in your firm, or your client’s firm, shouldn’t be the day that candidate first becomes aware of you.
In marketing parlance, we call this branding. Or in this case, employer branding.
But what is an employer brand? Content Marketing Institute defines “employer brand” as “the way your organization’s prospective applicants, candidates, and employees perceive you as an employer.” In other words, it answers the basic questions:
- What are you like as an employer?
- Are you a great company to work for?
- Why should candidates apply for your jobs and not somewhere else?
A brand is a promise. Your employer brand is your promise to your current and future workers. And in today’s tough recruiting market, your employer brand isn’t something that you can afford to ignore.A brand is a promise. Your employer brand is your promise to your current and future workers. Click To Tweet
In this article, we will share with you 10 simple steps to jumpstart your brand and create a compelling employer image.
1. Embrace the new Consumer-Centric Age.
You have to understand that the world is different now. What has once made a big impact yesterday, might not have the same impact today. We are in a consumer-centric age, which means your employer brand must go hand-in-hand with customer experience.
Align your strategies at an organizational level and make it a priority to create a culture centered on optimizing customer experience for your HR processes, systems, and policies to make an impact.
2. Embrace the Age of Social Media.
Social media plays a prominent role in our everyday lives. Astonishingly, the average person will spend nearly two hours (approximately 116 minutes) on social media every day, which translates to a total of 5 years and 4 months spent over a lifetime.
Even more, time spent on social is only expected to increase as platforms develop, and is expected to eat further into traditional media – most notably TV.
Thus, when it comes to employer branding, a company’s social media presence is indispensable. Therefore, utilize your social media accounts as tools for relationship building and engagement. Use these social media channels to broadcast your company culture and company message. Tell your story where most people are.
3. Establish a clear brand message.
Your employer brand message is your response to the basic questions every candidate asks. What are you like as an employer? Are you a great company to work for? Why should candidates apply for your jobs and not somewhere else?
Define your culture – your vision, your mission, and your value system. This is your message. This is your brand. This is your promise. Then, broadcast these promise across all channels and methods of recruiting to effectively lure the kind of talent the organization needs and desires.
P.S. Clearly defining your culture will most likely attract candidates who, most likely, share your culture. You are, in the process, saving yourself from hiring candidates who won’t fit in.
4. Put branding in you key content marketing goals.
A 2011 study by AOL/Nielsen showed that 27 million pieces of content were shared every day. In other words, you are in a battlefield where everyone seeks attention.
In marketing parlance, you are in an “attention economy” and putting simply putting content online will not help you get your message across to where you want it to resonate.
You need to strategically plan what content to make, how to make them, and where and when to put them. You need a good content marketing strategy. In the words of Arjun Basu, “Without strategy, content is just stuff, and the world has enough stuff.”Click To Tweet
Remember that when branding yourself as an employer of choice, your key goal is to show everyone what the organization is like and convince them that yours is a great place to grow their careers.
You might consider producing a full vertical set of content – from written blog posts, ebooks, testimonials, videos, infographics, interactive content and many more. Different forms of content require different channels as well. For example, videos work well on YouTube and FaceBook. Slides are usually great on LinkedIn SlideShare.
5. Think mobile first.
Sixty percent of all social media activities are done on mobile devices. Therefore, mobile devices will be the most probable touch points you have with your target audience (i.e. your prospective candidates. You have to be where they are.
Unfortunately, according to an Employer Brand International research, only 21% of organizations are utilizing mobile-optimized sites to communicate their employer brand. Touche!
If you want to be seen, be recognized, and be positioned as an employer of choice, think mobile first. Adopt a content management system or digital platform that can broadcast on multichannel, multidevice, and it necessary, multilingual media.
6. Grow and nurture your network.
Remember that there is no such thing as “too many” when it comes to growing your network. Your aim it to maintain a growth rate in terms of connections, fan base, or followers.
As digital platforms change, you will need to continue learning and connecting with professionals and industry leaders from various backgrounds. It is not enough that you acquire these followers, connections, or fans, it is imperative that you establish a relationship with them.
7. Enhance and simplify your internal branding communication.
Who’s in charge of building and broadcasting your employer brand or corporate image?
The short answer? Everyone.
As a matter of fact, the cheapest and most useful way to build a good corporate image is through an open communication between the management and the employees. What does that mean?
It means everyone should be on the same page. It entails enhancing internal branding communications by maintaining an open line of communication between marketing executives and the rest of the organization. For example, you can provide incentives for referrals. You can run marketing campaigns that would require everyone’s participation.
8. Encourage your current employees to engage with the company online.
One of the proofs of a positive employer brand is seeing current employees completely engaged and happy with their jobs.
Aside from company events or gathering, you can also treat your employees as brand ambassadors. You can feature their stories, allow them to engage with discussions online, have them like and share your online contents, or enable them to establish their own personal brands through your corporate profiles.
By doing these, you are, in essence, telling your prospective candidates that they are allowed to create similar stories to that of your current employees.
9. Measure and quantify your branding initiatives.
Measure your branding efforts so you know how well or bad you are doing. Keep track of all your employer brand-related efforts and performances.
You may start with how many likes, shares, and comments you have earned on various social media sites. You may also track how many visitors your blog gets per week, which content gets the most attention, and observe career website conversions.
Use these platforms appropriately and you’ll be able to see the value of your initiatives.
Bringing It All Together
Employer branding takes time and a lot of effort. And since no two organizations are exactly alike, branding strategies may vary. The point is that it is imperative that firms think like a brand when it comes to recruiting.
Greg Savage, the founder of leading recruitment companies Firebrand Talent Search, People2People and Recruitment Solutions, is constantly saying that the agencies who are going to survive and thrive in the future are those that have recruitment is marketing as their mantra. These are films that think like brands, firms that broadcast a clear promise and nurture enduring relationship with their audience.
LinkedIn recognizes Systems Generators Philippines, Inc. (Sysgen), the premier IT staffing and IT recruitment provider in the Philippines, as one of the Top 25 Most Socially Engaged Medium-Sized Staffing Firms in Asia.
Kolar, Carrie. 2017. “RPOA Weekly: Crafting Your Compelling Brand”. Blog.Rpoassociation.Org. Accessed February 7 2017. http://blog.rpoassociation.org/blog/rpoa-weekly-crafting-your-compelling-brand?utm_content=41342191&utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedin.
Average numbers of hours per day spent social media users on all social media channels as of 4th quarter 2015, country. 2017. “Social Media: Daily Usage In Selected Countries 2015 | Statistic”. Statista. Accessed February 7 2017. https://www.statista.com/statistics/270229/usage-duration-of-social-networks-by-country/.
“96 Amazing Social Media Statistics And Facts”. 2016. Brandwatch. Accessed February 7 2017. https://www.brandwatch.com/blog/96-amazing-social-media-statistics-and-facts-for-2016/.
“How Much Time Do People Spend On Social Media? [Infographic]”. 2017. Social Media Today. Accessed February 7 2017. http://www.socialmediatoday.com/marketing/how-much-time-do-people-spend-social-media-infographic.