Is employer branding a central part of your recruitment strategy? If not, why not, and what can you do about it? What does employer branding mean and why should you care?
Employer branding is where recruitment and marketing meet, and in our increasingly candidate-driven market, you need to adopt a marketing mindset in order to attract the right talent.
In a nutshell, your employer brand is your reputation as a great place to work - or a ‘bad’ place to work in the minds of employees past, present and potential future. It should be a business-wide strategy that supports long-term growth, future proofs your talent pipeline and improves employee retention, as well as building upon the overall company brand.
Why? Research tells us employer brand is key to recruitment success and employee retention. Our recruitment survey in 2016 revealed that an overwhelming 90% of jobseekers would take an employer’s brand into consideration when applying for jobs, and 40% of passive jobseekers would apply for a job if it was to work for an amazing brand.
A plethora of other research supports the importance of employer brand. For example, research by our job board provider, Madgex, reveals job seekers spend up to two hours per week researching potential employers. They want to understand the culture of a company and get a real feel for what it’s like to work there before filling in an application form.
Every touchpoint is important, from your company website to the application process and beyond. The job interview itself could give candidates the right or wrong impression, and whether or not you offer them the job, your reputation matters.
However, there is a gap between candidates’ expectations and reality, as LinkedIn research showed recruiters fail to communicate the values of the hiring company in 55% of cases. Employer brand is clearly important, but this isn’t always appreciated by employers wondering why they’re struggling to hire and retain the best talent.
A dream employer for one person might not be another’s, so whilst there is no one-size-fits-all solution, our user feedback survey in September 2017 gave us some insights into what people describe as ‘a great place to work’. The most popular responses were ‘flexible working’, ‘good leadership’, ‘training opportunities’ and ‘salary’. Other less typical responses included ‘autonomy’, ‘intrinsically rewarding work’, ‘an open and collaborative culture’, ‘career development’,’ trust-based working hours’, ‘generous annual leave’, and ‘the people’. So it makes sense to consider soft perks as well as the usual salary and benefits package. As an employer, what sort of working environment and culture do you offer and are you communicating that to the outside world as well as within your organisation? Why not ask your current and potential employees what they think about your employer brand and what is important to them in a workplace?
One thing’s for sure, investment in training and upskilling will continue to increase in importance with the ageing population and shortage of skills, and this will be key to employee retention, as well as your overall employer brand. More on that in our next roundup.