Employer branding should be an essential focus at every company and an integral part of any company’s overall marketing strategy. The employer brand represents a company’s identity and should encompass a strategically-crafted blend of its vision, mission, culture, and character geared toward attracting potential employees and retaining current ones. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), “Employer brand affects recruitment of new employees, retention and engagement of current employees, and the overall perception of the organization in the market.”
Considering the sweeping changes that have taken place and the significant disruption in the recruiting and hiring market, it’s become even more important for companies in warehousing and logistics to make employer branding a top priority.
With so much competition in the marketplace, it may be necessary to provide clarity to the warehouse and logistics industry itself, or to change candidates' perspectives about getting a job in the industry. Many job seekers aren’t aware of the benefits of these jobs, and some have preconceived notions about the industry that are simply inaccurate. As such, now is a great time for these companies to revamp their recruitment marketing strategies to showcase their employer brands.
With the current unemployment rate for transportation and warehousing being 4.3%, companies need to prioritize employer branding with an eye toward attracting different groups in the workforce and showcase how beneficial jobs with their companies can be, thereby affording them far wider access to the talent pool.
Employer Branding And Missed Opportunities
A strong employer brand is helpful not only in recruiting top talent, but for employee engagement and company loyalty as well. Unfortunately, according to Forbes, employer branding remains a missed opportunity for many companies that look at recruiting as strictly a numbers game. “In today’s talent-driven marketplace,” they say, “a company’s reputation – its employer brand – speaks volumes to potential hires in a way that a salary offer can’t.”
In keeping with strategies offered recently in this space, Forbes advises that instead of convincing job seekers to work for them, companies “flip the script” and cultivate a strong reputation as a desirable place to work instead. Having achieved this, job seekers will more often actively scout those companies in their search for open positions.
Even though the focus here is employer branding, there’s certainly no harm in playing up the overall benefits of working in the warehouse and logistics industry, since these can factor into crafting the employer brand itself, and can be leveraged into enhancing the company’s employer brand. They can also provide insights into how to appeal to different groups in the talent pool with targeted recruitment advertising and other messaging that will reach candidates organically.
There are over 2,025,059 warehouse employees currently employed in the United States, and with 709,000 more people going into warehousing jobs since February 2020, it shows how the industry is growing. Some of the overall benefits of working in the warehouse and logistics industry include:
It’s a high-demand industry. This means that, more often than not, there will be jobs available in warehousing/logistics.
Low investment. What does this mean? Many warehouse/logistics jobs, particularly entry-level ones, do not require a college degree. Thus, candidates won’t have to amass a lot of student debt to get in the door.
Opportunities for advancement. This relates to the “low investment” above. Rather than having innumerable qualifications for positions that candidates find hard to meet, most companies in warehouse and logistics rely on acquired skills, soft skills, and on-the-job training. This means that there is a lot of room for advancement in most roles and within organizations (many candidates want to grow with a company, so if afforded opportunities for advancement/growth, they will stay).
Tip: Including the benefits of working in the industry and the specifics that will make the organization stand out in the eyes of candidates can be far more effective than addressing each of these areas singly.
Authenticity Is Essential
According to LinkedIn, many employers fall prey to the allure of “fad marketing." Meaning, they tailor their employer brand (and hence, their recruitment advertising) to what looks slick, or what bells and whistles their competition or those in other industries are offering. This is not authentic, and in these days of ultra-savvy job seekers, it simply isn’t going to serve the organization in its recruitment efforts.
Particularly in the case of Gen Z candidates, employers want to ensure that the employer brand represents the organization authentically. This is because Gen Z represents the largest group of workers coming into the workforce. One pertinent characteristic of this group is that they research companies they want to work for deeply.
Adapted from LinkedIn’s recommendations, a few basic points for crafting an authentic employer brand include:
Walk the talk. Ensure that the story the organization is telling online mirrors the actual employee experience. Feedback from current employees and leadership will provide insights into how well the company is doing in this area.
Be proactive. This speaks to proactively managing the company’s reputation and employer brand, owning mistakes, and being publicly transparent and accountable.
Engage current employees. Fulfilled employees can be a company’s best brand advocates. They should be empowered to share their experiences and can be highlighted in recruitment marketing and on social channels.
Tip: Lean into the company’s brand ambassadors to create authentic content showcasing the perks from the employee’s viewpoint.
Stay relevant. This means continually monitoring the quality of the company’s brand recognition from internal and external sources and engaging the right media to reach the right audiences with the right messaging.
Updating strategies on an ongoing basis to reflect who the organization currently is – not who they were or who they’re trying to be – is essential to maintaining a viable and compelling employer brand. Some companies may need to go back to basics with their employer value proposition/employer brand and start from the ground up. This will involve some work, but it will be worth it in the long term.
Differentiation Is King
Employers and recruitment marketing professionals should realize that their potential audience is huge, and encompasses many demographics, age groups, backgrounds, and skill levels. They should also bear in mind that companies in warehouse/logistics are all competing for the same talent. This industry is ever-growing and always in need of employees year-round. This means that the company’s employer value proposition (EVP) and employer brand (EB) need to stand out, and that the company that wants to excel in their recruiting efforts absolutely needs to differentiate themselves from their competitors.
A lot of companies in the warehouse/logistics space do the same thing. The first question to ask is, “What makes this organization different?” Answering this question can provide information on how the company is set apart from others in the industry. Determining this will provide insights into how to showcase the company’s unique culture. The information gleaned can then be refined to create messaging for the diverse audiences the company will target. Finally, differentiation and keeping the employer brand current can help attract those who are job searching but don’t necessarily know the company.
For warehouse/logistics companies, this can include showcasing flexible working hours, safety and security practices, job security, better technology, training opportunities, schooling reimbursement, growth opportunities, and a supportive team. If a company can showcase their benefits in their employer branding, then potential candidates can select a company that best fits their needs.
Showcase the Opportunity!
With a solid employer brand and employer value proposition, employers and recruitment marketing professionals can move into crafting recruitment advertising. In keeping with the “flip the script” strategy mentioned above, here’s where the company will showcase how the job is a great opportunity for the job seeker, detailing how they can benefit from working for the company.
Recruiters should remember that some candidates may be coming to the industry “cold” – they may not know that the company is a viable option to work for, so the employer brand needs to be widely showcased and on as many channels as possible. The EVP should be woven into the messaging, which will be tailored to different audiences across different channels (e.g., LinkedIn versus TikTok).
Targeted ads can help in this effort, as these drill down to reach specific segments of the talent pool (e.g., diverse audiences, veterans, retirees, high school graduates).
Tip: Gen Z job seekers prefer to work for companies that are authentic, transparent, and support causes. If this is your organization, showcase it!
Areas where a company’s newly-refined and compelling EVP/EB messaging might be showcased can include:
Other vendors (i.e. Indeed, LinkedIn, etc.)
Hiring professionals should add the benefits of warehousing/logistics and highlights of their employer branding into their marketing and advertising materials. Getting this information out to active and passive talent can make a difference when seeking quality talent.
Sometimes it can help to engage an outsider’s vision in evaluating a company’s EVP/EB and recruitment marketing. Employers and recruitment marketing professionals can get help creating their messaging and crafting their EVP/EB withRecruitics, which has the data to back up the strategies discussed here, and many others. Hiring in the warehouse/logistics space requires specific methods, and since it’s a unique industry, showcasing how unique an organization is can supercharge its recruitment marketing efforts.