Whether you know it or not, whether you like it or not, your company has an employer brand. Your reputation as a place to work is your employer brand. And chances are that it is being influenced by people who don’t even work for you. Or even really know you.
It’s great to be talked about. It fills you full of pride and confidence. You’re a peacock. Unless it is for the wrong reasons. When it will simply suck all of the life out of you. Leaving you sad, silent and withdrawn. Like a duck. Quack. Don’t be a duck. Be a peacock.
Because while it remains true that employer brands cannot be created or destroyed, they can be influenced. By championing the good, addressing the bad and ensuring that everything that you say is grounded in fact … a duck can quickly become a peacock. And there the avian references stop.
But it’s all very well talking ducks and peacocks, but how do we make it relevant to those who control the purse strings? Hopefully, this short article will help you build your business case for investing time and resource into finding out what people are saying about you and then using that insight as a platform to attract and retain great talent.
The elevator pitch …
“Our employer brand is effectively our reputation as an employer. Whether candidates decide to join us – or someone else – is often down to their view of us and what it’s like to work here. So, building a more attractive employee proposition will help us bring in more of the right people – and help us keep the great people we already have.”
But the devil is in the detail …
Here’s hoping that the chat in the lift went well. But I suspect that they’ll need a little more convincing. So here are some of the positive ways that a strong employer brand can support your business.
1. It will help us meet candidate’s expectations of culture and values
Candidates are increasingly looking for employers with a purpose and set of values they can identify with, especially those who are just entering the employment market. A strong and authentic employer brand can showcase this. Purpose and values are often a deciding factor in joining so, if they can’t find what they’re looking for, or they don’t sit well with them, they’ll pass.
2. It will differentiate us from our competitors
Candidates are looking for that point of difference. There are things that already make you attractive to those that work for you – maybe these are things that no one else can offer. It could be work-life balance or a particular project. If you can uncover what makes you different, you could have a unique and powerful story to tell.
3. It will allow us to compete on more than just pay
The things that differentiate you as an employer are often more important to candidates and employees than compensation. So, communicating this well through your employer brand will help you attract the right people – and for more engaging reasons that financial reward.
4. It will reduce costs and time to hire
A strong employer brand will encourage more direct applications – so it should reduce your dependency on recruitment agencies and what you might spend on recruitment advertising. What’s more, many of the things that go into sharing that brand can cost very little. These might include your employer blog or social media activity. All of which you can own and manage yourself.
5. It will improve our candidate and on-boarding experience
Candidates are increasingly behaving like customers – and we all know how much customers like to share their experiences, good and bad. A good candidate experience – whether successful or unsuccessful – is an important part of the employer brand and a great opportunity to enhance your reputation.
6. It will encourage stronger employee engagement and retention
The benefits of a strong employer brand aren’t just about recruitment. No one wants to see good people leave – and there’s evidence to suggest that a trusted employer brand positively impacts the enjoyment of work. And retention is a natural by-product of good employer branding which, as it will attract candidates who are a better fit, they’ll be more likely to enjoy (and stay) working for you.
7. There will be a halo effect on our wider brand awareness
Candidates and employees with a positive view of your employer brand are also more likely to relate to your products or services in the same way. This ‘halo effect’ can lead to increased sales through employee and customer loyalty, and therefore sustained revenue. As Richard Branson says, “If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple.”
So there you go. A little help in positioning the value of a strong employer brand. Later this month we’ll look at different ways you can measure the impact of your work and demonstrate the return on your investment. In the meantime, why not start the discussion around your employer brand? It may be as simple as deciding whether your business is a duck or a peacock.
If you need any help building your business case for employer branding, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org.