How a strong employer brand can be used to attract, engage, and retain the best talent
In nature, peacocks use their vibrant feathers and striking dancing rituals to stand out from the competition to attract a mate, with the most appealing peacocks gaining the most attention.
It’s a familiar story in recruitment, the more attractive a company is to work for, the more people will want to work for that company, and the more likely the company will be successful.
In this competitive, candidate-driven market, this is especially important as modern candidates now have the choice of which company to work for; organisations, as a result, have to do more to persuade the best candidates to come and work for them.
Unlike peacocks, organisations cannot rely on looks alone to attract quality talent; they have to demonstrate to their potential candidates why their organisation is the employer of choice and the better place to work.
However, for lots of organisations, attracting the best talent is not easy, with many failing to sell themselves as a great place to work and, consequently, miss out on the best talent.
Are you meeting candidate expectations?
Before applying for a job; a candidate has to have assurances that the company they are applying for is the right company for them.
This has led to an increasing number of candidates researching companies before proceeding any further with an opportunity, with 64% of candidates listing the careers sites as one of the main sources for this.
Modern candidates are looking for more than just a salary, they want a job that meets their values and expectations, one that gives them purpose, and one where they can thrive and grow.
If a candidate finds that a company does not meet these expectations or offers little or no benefits, they will more than likely drop out of the application process and move on to a more appealing opportunity, instead.
It's not just candidates that an organisation could be failing to entice; if a current employee feels like their organisation is not making good on the promises made to them during the recruitment process, then they could become disengaged and dissatisfied with their work.
If an organisation is not meeting an employee’s expectations, then there is very little reason for that employee to stay, especially when there are thousands of other exciting opportunities waiting for them with a simple Google search.
An organisation could, therefore, be at risk of increased employee turnover which could have a damaging impact on their bottom line, especially from all the recruitment fees that hiring teams have incurred from constantly having to find replacements, let alone the turnover lost from lack of productivity and low staff morale.
Not only could your disengaged employees begin to look elsewhere, but they could also be tempted to dissuade others from working at your company with their negative experiences, consequently leaving your organisation with a bad reputation that could put off the best candidates from wanting to work for you.
With 78% of candidates looking at company reputation before applying for a job, you could also be at risk of losing out on the lesser quality candidates, too.
Importance of a strong employer brand
To be competitive, and acquire the best talent, an organisation has to have a strong employer brand.
From company values and culture to benefits and opportunities; an employer brand can give prospective candidates an insight into what it’s like to work for an organisation.
An employer brand is what makes a company unique, and what makes it attractive to prospective candidates, and with 58.1% considering a strong employer brand to be important when job hunting it can be the difference in whether a candidate applies to an organisation or not.
Building a strong employer brand
To demonstrate to candidates that you’re a fantastic company to work for, you must make sure that your current employees think just that.
For this to happen, a company must make sure that their current employees are satisfied, with company culture, values, and career progression being at the heart of keeping them loyal to the organisation.
Employer engagement is key to meeting these expectations; by listening to employees, not only will they feel like that their voice matters, but the company will have valuable information on what needs to be improved within the organisation to keep employees happy and wanting to there.
Your employees, if unsatisfied, could be your biggest critics, but if they are satisfied they could be your biggest ambassadors. If everyone enjoys working for your company you will have a strong company reputation as being a great place to work.
Showcasing your employer brand
Your employer brand can be leveraged to attract the best candidates, so it is vital that you are showcasing it to your prospective employees. Here are three ways that you can get your message across.
Attract candidates with your careers sites
As mentioned earlier, careers sites are one of the biggest resources that candidates look to when researching a company before applying for an opportunity. Therefore, it is the perfect place to showcase your employer brand and tell your candidates what it’s like to work at your company.
Your careers site is like your company shop window for prospective candidates, where you can entice people with your company culture, values, and employee benefits.
From videos and testimonials from employees talking about career development and company benefits to images from the latest social or charitable function, your careers page can give a bigger picture of what your company is like to work for, and it can be a significant way of persuading like-minded quality candidates to apply for a job. For more information on the importance of an effective careers page click here
It's not just the content on your careers page that’s important; your organisation must also make sure that your careers page is in line with the rest of your company website brand, as well as being optimised so that your candidates can gain access to it easily via their mobile phones or tablet devices.
If your potential candidates see that your careers site is unattractive, hard to navigate, or difficult to access, they will more then likely move onto the next enticing opportunity instead.
Employer branding through social media
Gone are the days of prioritising newspapers job adverts to attract talent, companies are now having to embrace digital methods to get their opportunities across to prospective candidates.
You won't find many professionals these days without access to a smartphone or a social media account. Having a social media presence, as a result, has become a powerful way of getting exposure for your job opportunities, especially for passive candidates who are not necessarily looking for a new job at that moment in time.
Without a social media presence, you could be missing out on a free and effective way to attract lots of viable candidates to your company.
To find out how to use social media can be used to attract the best talent, click here
Employees as brand advocates
It's not just company careers sites and social media pages that candidates are using to find out about an organisation, more people are turning to existing and former employees to get an accurate insight into what it’s like to work at a company.
It has led to the rise of company review sites such as Glassdoor, where employers are given the platform to give their feedback on different working aspects of an organisation.
If an organisation has a poor company culture as well as dissatisfied and disengaged employees, this feedback will likely be negative and could have a damaging impact on an organisation's candidate attraction.
However, by having a strong employer brand and a company full of satisfied employees, you will have a team of brand advocates who will be willing and ready to shout out to prospective candidates why they should be working at your company over others.
You can encourage your team to share positive brand messages on your careers site, as well as company reviews sites and social media pages, to build up a trust with your prospective candidates and highlight to them what it's like to be an employee at your organisation.
For more information on the benefits of employee reviews click here
By building up a strong employer brand and by demonstrating to your prospective candidates how great your company is to work for, your organisation can maximise the chances of attracting and retaining the best talent.
Just like a peacock's vibrant feathers, your employer brand can be key to making sure you stand out as an employer of choice, ahead of your competition.
To learn more about demonstrating a fantastic employer brand, click here