Employer Branding 101: Importance of Understanding Your Brand
The number one obstacle candidates experience when searching for a job is not knowing what it’s like to work at the organization. In today’s competitive market, which 90% of recruiters believe can be considered a so-called “war on talent”, it is becoming increasingly important for companies to stand out so as to attract the best talent for specific roles.
However, this does not mean outright competition between companies. In fact, a materialistic competition often fails to yield results, especially in areas such as:
- Offering a higher salary
- Having more amenities or office space
- The length the company has been in business
In fact, nearly 77% of millennials surveyed by venture capitalist firm Accel Partners are willing to take a pay cut if it means being in a company with goals that align with their vision, such as offering flexible working hours or having good mentorship opportunities.
Employee branding is able to collate all these factors and become a tool that works for you. It helps you stand out from the crowd by highlighting what makes your company special, why your strategy and vision is beneficial not just to the applicant but to society at large.
The important thing to note about employee branding is that it can be passive. Even right now, you already have an employee brand: it encapsulates different people’s perception of how you are as an employer.
How do your current employees, potential hires, and the public view the way you treat your employees and how you move your company forward?
You might be a little shocked to hear you already have an employee brand. Perhaps you’ve been ignoring it this whole time and you don’t quite know what to do with it. That’s okay! There are many easy ways to start better defining your employee brand and pushing it in the right direction.
The best way to start is to ask your employees, especially if you’re a smaller company. Using an anonymous survey tool like Perkbox or if you prefer to go simple Google Forms can really give you a good insight into what your employees are thinking of your company. A few good questions to ask:
- How would you describe our workplace culture?
- What separates us from other companies?
- What do you like about working here?
f you’re more established, try collecting third-party data. Talk to recruiters or ask personally during recruitment fairs what attendees think of your company. How did they hear about you? Was it positive or negative? What do people think about your company? If your website has a significant amount of visitors, try setting up a small pop-up on the side to a small survey where these questions can also be asked.
Finally, the basic step for any company, no matter what stage you’re at, is to gain a sense of the playing field. Who are your competitors, and what sets you apart from them? Is it the closeness of your team, the autonomy given to employees or the on-site training you can provide?
Ultimately, your employee branding should be about attracting and retaining the talent you want: bringing to the front the qualities and interests that your company needs in both your current employees and potential ones.