Are you in love with your employer brand? Are your employees? How about your candidates or even passive job seekers?
With 75% of job seekers considering an employer’s brand before applying for a job, this is an important question you should be asking, and not in the “He loves me. She loves me not” type of way.
Examine the data—the cost per hire, candidate quality, company brand reputation, talent pool development, number of open positions, employee engagement, time to fill positions, and more—to discover whether your employer brand is attracting candidates or having them search for a connection elsewhere. Not sure what the health of your employer brand is? Evaluate your employer brand’s ROI.
If you find the attraction waning, the interest fading, you may need to breathe some life back into your relationship. How? Build an irresistible employer brand with these 12 strategies.
12 Strategies to Make Your Employer Brand Irresistible
1. Don't Rely on Your Consumer Brand
To some, this may seem obvious. To others, they may not even realize they’re doing it. But, it truly is worth repeating: your employer brand should not be defined by your consumer brand. This doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be aligned with it or influenced by it, but your employer brand should stand apart from the corporate side. Otherwise, it may indicate a weak voice and shallow messaging. If you’re unsure if yours stands on its own or not, you may want to learn more about the difference between an employer brand and a consumer brand.
2. Use Values Unique to Your Company
While a ‘collaborative’, ‘fun’, ‘supportive’, and ‘great’ company culture may sound like an engaging company at first, candidates soon realize that these words can describe any decent company that employees enjoy working for. Ask yourself: if you remove the name and logo from a review, job ad, social post, or website copy, are you still able to tell which company is being talked about? If the answer is no, grab a thesaurus, do some research into your company culture, talk with your employees, maybe send out a few surveys, and create a list of words and phrases that truly describe what it’s like to work there.
3. Go Beyond Blanket Statements
Most companies describe themselves as an equal opportunity employer. Most say they volunteer, give back, have a great work-life balance, and offer enticing benefits. These are statements candidates expect to see. Go beyond expectation and elaborate on what you do to fulfill these promises. What volunteer work do your employees do? How do you address diversity in your talent pipeline? What types of benefits do you offer? Do you offer remote work, half-days in the summer, or flexible work hours? The more details, the better job seekers will understand your company, and the more candidates you’ll attract.
4. Engagement is in the Details
“The number one obstacle candidates experience when searching for a job is not knowing what it’s like to work at an organization.” Broad statements, general descriptions, and brief details can leave your candidates in the dark about life at your company and could have them applying to other companies with more information. Keep their attention with strategies, such as creating a social campaign featuring projects employees work on, showcasing different offices through photos and videos, and highlighting team members that candidates could be working with. The more you show candidates what they could be a part of, the more confident they’ll feel about applying.
5. Reflect Your Company Culture In Your Photos
Another way candidates catch a glimpse into your company’s culture is through photos. With the right images, you can help your candidates see themselves working at your company, so make sure your photos capture diverse genders, cultures, and ages so all candidates can envision a culture fit.
Also, capture photos that reflect your values. If you wish your company to be known for its team-oriented environment, show employees collaborating and supporting each other. Or, if you value a relaxed atmosphere, capture employees in casual dress working away from their desks and meeting in unique spaces. These photos may be the first impression many job seekers have when they visit your career page, social accounts, or company profiles, so make sure the images hook them into learning more.
6. Avoid Scripted Videos and Corporate Talk
Candidates can sense authenticity (and inauthenticity) a mile away. While it can be tempting to have a branded video with all the right keywords that describe your values, it’s better to let your employees tell their perspectives, experiences, and opinions of your company first hand. The video will not only be more engaging and attractive to candidates, but your employees will be more willing to participate in future projects. It’s still recommended to have a general outline of what you want discussed in the video (e.g. career growth, company culture, specific teams, etc) or pre-planned questions to prompt employees with, but employees’ own words will reinforce a positive, authentic company culture more than a scripted video ever could.
7. Attract Candidates with Shared Interests
Dive deeper into your company culture by looking beyond how employees work or what matters to them in the workplace, and examining their shared interests, hobbies, activities, and lifestyles. If your employees have a mutual love of music, outdoor adventure, dogs, or good food, incorporate these passions into your social media campaigns. It will attract candidates with similar interests, reinforce your company culture, and make candidates and employees feel valued and seen as human beings, not just workers.
8. Tell Your Employees’ Stories Through a Blog (or Vlog!)
Long-form content gives candidates a more in-depth look into what it would be like to work at your company. Use a blog (or vlog) to shine the spotlight on your employees’ experiences. Just like with videos, make sure not to add any “corporate language” and instead ask your employees questions, such as “How long have you worked here?”, “How would you describe the company culture in one word?”, and “Tell us about your career growth.” Encourage your employees to be as authentic and detailed in their responses as possible.
9. Showcase Diversity through Your Employer Brand
“86% of female and 87% of male millennials consider a company’s D&I policy when deciding their employer of choice.” Diversity and inclusion matters to today’s talent more than ever, and using your employer brand to tell your D&I story is a great way to get the message out and add more layers of positive company culture.
How can you incorporate it? Add diverse images, videos, and employee spotlights throughout your career site. Top it off with demographic data and your commitment to diversity and inclusion. In your social media, discuss awareness months, employee resource groups, and how you support minority groups. Also, be sure to include gender-neutral language (tool: free gender decoder) and avoid cultural bias throughout your copy (and especially job ads!). Check out this article on how diversity and employer brand go hand-in-hand to learn more.
10. Customize Content to Engage Different Audiences
Sales professionals are going to have very different content needs than engineers. Be sure to customize your content across social channels, career sites, and company pages to speak to the various audiences you’re trying to attract. Use photos, videos, and graphics to provide valuable information about different teams and career paths. On your careers site, include sections for teams with information on what that team does, what it’s like to work on that team, and why candidates would want to work on that team.
Even break out possible career paths to give job seekers as much information as possible. Remember, engagement is in the details. LinkedIn’s paid company profile also has life tab custom modules where you can include details on different teams as well. Learn more about employer branding best practices for company profiles.
11. Create Candidate Personas
Candidate personas can be used to better understand your audience and attract more candidates through targeted messaging and branding. What is a candidate persona? It’s “a semi-fictional representation of your ideal job candidate.” A candidate persona will help with creating strategies for all of the tips we have discussed. It will give you insights into what shared interests you should be attracting candidates with, how best to customize your content, what details your candidates will find important, and what values will resonate with them the most. Begin creating yours today with this beginner's guide to candidate personas.
12. Encourage Employee Evangelists
Last, but very much not least, are employee advocacy programs. An employer’s brand is ultimately not defined by what the company thinks it is, but by what the employees say it is. Employee reviews, testimonials, referrals, and content are extremely valuable. A staggering “84% of consumers value recommendations from friends and family above all forms of advertising.”, and according to LinkedIn, referrals are the number one way people discover a new job. By establishing an employee advocacy program and encouraging employees to share and generate content, your employer brand will be filled with content about your company culture that candidates trust and value. Discover why you should try employee-generated video.
Now that you know how to create an attractive and memorable employer brand, go on out there and start creating an experience that is irresistible to candidates and employees.
Have any questions about employer brand audits or messaging? We’d love to connect with you!