How to Protect and Build Your Employer Brand
As most great leaders will be aware of, people are a business’ most important asset and often determine whether a firm will be successful or not. That’s why it’s crucial that companies focus on developing and creating an excellent employer brand in order to attract and retain top talent. If this part of the business is not given conscious effort, the company will still have an ‘employer brand’, however it won’t be one that they’re in control of. Here’s everything you need to know about protecting your employer brand.
What is an employer brand?
First of all, let’s define what an employer brand is. Essentially, it is a combination of the attributes, values and culture, which differentiates a business as an employer from other hirers. It’s the overall ‘feeling’ which gives a gravitational pull to potential employees. It’s the overarching perception of your company as an employer, and your promise or employee value proposition to employees in exchange for their experience, talents, contacts, or skills. This is created by not only what you offer your people, but also how you treat them.
Why protecting your employer brand matters
Much like how a business’ overall brand helps attract loyal customers and advocates of the company, an employer brand also has the same effect at finding the best employees. In fact, according to research by the Corporate Leadership Council, a well-designed and executed employee value proposition (EVP) can help to improve new hires’ commitment by up to 29%, and increase the likelihood of staff acting as advocates by 23 percentage points.
This is particularly important at a time of extreme skill shortages across various sectors. The current hiring climate has been described as a ‘war for talent’ due to the fierce competition for skilled professionals. A well-known and respected employer brand can help you stand out amongst other businesses in the early stages, and also keep hold of top talent going forward.
Protecting your employer brand so that it is seen in a positive light and offers value can also help you tap into passive talent pools. With active candidates only making up 30% of the global workforce, it’s vital that businesses can still get their opportunities in front of the people who aren’t seeking work. This can be made possible by building your presence on social media or being featured in sector-specific media.
At a time when people are sharing their experiences online, whether that be restaurants, holidays or employers, businesses can’t afford to overlook employees’ outlooks. Glassdoor, which has roughly 60 million users per month – and social media reviews in general – now play a huge part in candidates’ decisions of where to work. To protect your employer brand, you must carefully handle employees not only during the recruitment process, but also throughout their time at the company and beyond.
How employer brand co-exists with wider brand
Protecting your employer brand is not only important for talent acquisition purposes, but for the wellbeing of your wider brand. Nowadays, with many consumers supporting businesses for their ethics, messaging and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), essentially becoming ‘fans’ of the company, it’s no surprise the many customers also decide to become employees. Therefore, harming your employer brand may also have a knock-on effect on your turnover.
The infamous Virgin Media example perfectly sums this up. The company discovered that 18% of rejected candidates were also Virgin Media customers, and later found that 6% of these unhappy jobseekers cancelled their monthly subscriptions. Overall, a poor recruitment experience ended up costing the company £4.4 million per year.
Why the recruitment processes is key to building a favourable brand
Despite the name, employer branding begins way before individuals are onboarded at a company, and extends to how applicants are handled. The recruitment process is often the first touch point people have with a company, and also a crucial step in the perception of a firm’s employer brand.
If this step is handled correctly, you increase your chances of unsuccessful applicants reapplying in the future, or sharing positive news about your company. However, if candidates have a bad experience, the result may be more akin to the Virgin example.
To protect your employer brand during the recruitment process, be sure to stay authentic, have an engaging candidate attraction strategy and succinctly share your EVP.
By prioritising employer branding, you can get ahead of the competition and win the best talent. To find out more, get in touch today.
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