“The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavour to be what you desire to appear”
Employer Branding refers to the company’s reputation and image as an employer and its value proposition to its employees and job seekers. It is different from the brand reputation among customers.
Employer branding encompasses an organization’s mission, values, culture, and the benefits it offers to its employees.
Manpower is one of the most important pillars of the company besides the product or service it sells. Richard Branson said, “Take care of your employees and they will take care of your business”.
A satisfied employee will reach their full potential. This does not exclusively depend on company intrinsic handling of course. Private and social aspects do have an impact too. However, one factor influences the other, there is reciprocity, and interrelationship to some extent.
The reputation and image of a company as an employer depend directly on the level of overall satisfaction of the employee.
CSR, Corporate Social Responsibility refers to sustainability strategies businesses employ to ensure that the company is carried out ethically. ESG, Environmental, Social, and Governance are criteria used to measure the company’s overall sustainability. Both include the social factor, employees in the company.
While the product or service to be sold used to be the most important factor in a company, we now consider the well-being and overall satisfaction of employees and with it the company’s reputation in regard to employer branding.
There are several measures the company can apply for the physical and psychological well-being of its employees. The categories include the work environment and organization, the possibilities to develop and rise, health and leisure time, advantages and benefits, culture, and communication.
A good employer branding has positive consequences:
1. Attract top talent
In times of scarcity of skilled people and a war for talents to attract top people is a major challenge
2. Reduce hiring costs
With a strong brand, there is less need for expensive recruitment methods. People come to you, not the other way round
3. Higher retention
People staying long-term have several advantages. Apart from costs, continuous work and follow up is rather qualitative than several changes which need onboarding and training periods
4. Increased engagement
Employees are more engaged when the reputation of the company is positive. This leads to more productivity
5. Positive word of mouth
Satisfied employees can become brand ambassadors
6. Enhanced performance
A strong employer brand – and brand generally – can lead to increased motivation and thus overall productivity
7. Competitive advantage
Companies with a strong employer brand can edge out competitors in the talent market
8. Risk management
Negative reviews or bad word of mouth for the employer brand can be damaging to the overall reputation of the company and its product or services
Employer branding plays a vital role in how a company is perceived by its existing or potential employees and by others, even clients. Think of examples like McDonald's. When their reputation for exploiting employees was so bad, did you still go to get a hamburger? I did not.
Investing in a strong employer brand will have significant benefits, both in terms of talent acquisition and overall company performance.
How can I build a strong employer brand?
Building a strong employer brand is a strategic process that requires commitment and consistent effort.
There are four areas to work on:
- Define your culture
- Focus on your employees
- Invest in programs that attract the right candidates
- Get social
Building an employer brand means being present on social media. Talents and Job seekers search for information and reviews of companies and potential future colleagues.
Employer branding means to create the brand as an employer, to show consistently and authentically the values of the company, the company culture, and why it is attractive as an employer.
Potential candidates want to know about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). They want to know about their opportunities to grow and possibilities for further education, about payment and salaries, about administrational processes and options to work remotely or hybrid, about the work environment, work-life balance, and sustainability.
Potential candidates want to hear the success stories of employees in the company. They want to participate emotionally and live a positive candidate experience.
They want to apply easily. They want to get all possible information without having to search for it.
Potential employees trust actual employees. When employees share job ads, they are more likely to be seen, noted, and applied to. “Employer Advocacy” is the part of employer branding where actual employees are involved in social media activities that benefit the company. Needless to say, these activities must be authentic.
It is important to be in constant communication and to be reachable 24/7. A lot of companies therefore work with chatbots, communication is always ‘on’, even if these chatbots answer rather simple standard questions. Humans will carry out more sophisticated communication.
Depending on the company and its product, expertise content will be part of the employer branding. Imagine a dedicated 3-star chef reading about sophisticated recipes and ingredients they have not yet encountered. Or an aeronautic engineer reading about pioneering developments at Airbus or SpaceX. They will be eager to work for these companies. An employer branding strategy is as individual as the company's single employees.
The base of all employer branding is to know your edge and to be honest and transparent about it. The best advocates are always the happy employees of the company and their true stories.
How can I measure the results of my employer branding, the attracting, retaining, and engaging of top talent?
1. Talent Acquisition metrics:
a) Time to hire - A strong employer brand will fill vacancies faster
b) Cost per hire - Good branding leads to more direct applicants
c) Quality of hire - Assess performance, retention rate, and cultural fit of new hires
d) Source of hire - Track where hires come from, referral or direct applicants with a strong employer brand
2. Employee engagement and satisfaction:
a) Employee Net Promoter Score (NPS) - This metric asks employees how likely they are to recommend the company as a place to work
b) Retention rate - A strong employer brand will boost loyalty and decrease turnover
c) Employee surveys - Surveys to gauge employees' perception of the company and reputation
3. Employer branding specific metrics:
a) Brand awareness - Use surveys how well potential job candidates know your brand
b) Employer brand differentiators - Determine the USP of your company in the eyes of potential and current employees
c) Reputation score - Platforms like Glassdoor and Indeed offer ratings that provide insights into the reputation of an employer. Check reviews on Kununu
4. Candidate experience:
a) Candidate Drop-off rates - Monitor at what stages candidates drop out of the recruitment process
b) Candidate surveys - Post-interview surveys give insights into candidate experience during the process
5. Engagement with employer brand content
a) Track engagement as likes, shares, and comments on social media platforms
b) Monitor website traffic to career-related pages
6. Offer acceptance rate
What percentage does accept job offers
7. Onboarding feedback
New employees can provide feedback and new perspectives before and after joining
8. External recognition
Check external recognition on ranking entities like “best places to work”
9. Talent pool growth
Monitor your database, your talent community
These metrics have to be seen in the broader context of your organization’s specific goals and industry trends. Considering these metrics you can adapt your employer branding strategy when necessary.
The solid base of your employer branding on social media channels is the facts and actions behind it.
“You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do”
- Henry Ford
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