Employment Branding

One of the most frequent questions I hear from organizations of all sizes is, “How do I attract great applicants to be interested in working for my company?”

As an organization, they feel like they are doing everything right. They have a great career page relaying what it’s like to work for the organization, the benefits they offer, etc. Every job description is written to “stellar” perfection and is shared on their career site and all of their social media channels. They have used tools like ZipRecruiter to send that “stellar” description out all over the Web to the most popular job sites. Despite all of this work, they simply aren’t seeing the qualified funnel of great potential hires that they are seeking and they don’t understand why.

The first reason is that times have changed. Top professionals have long ago abandoned using job boards as their primary vehicle to look for what’s next in their career. Less than 10% of jobs are filled today by job boards, while more than 75% of jobs are filled through networking and referrals (I’ve seen as high as 85%). Corporate job postings, according to Glassdoor, receive on average 250 applications. Who has got time for that!

What can you do to improve employer brand and start to generate some of these positive outcomes?

The second reason is that people want to discover information and learn very differently than they did just five or 10 years ago. Gone are the days of Boolean searching and text-based learning. People look for engaging pictures, videos and content. Step back for a second and visualize sites like Amazon, Zillow and Pandora in your mind. They save people time while capturing their attention.

The third and most important reason is that organizations are approaching hiring backwards, putting the cart before the horse. If your company is serious about attracting the best and brightest into your organization, you must first start by creating a culture and an employment brand, the experience of working for your company, which embraces and retains the great talent you already employ.

According to Wikipedia, your employer brand “describes your reputation as an employer, and your value proposition to employees, as opposed to your more general corporate brand reputation and value proposition to customers.”

Why should you focus on your employer brand?

• According to LinkedIn, companies with a strong employment brand experience 2.4x revenue growth and 1.8x profit margins over those that do not.

• They also fill positions two times faster, with 50% lower turnover and a 28% lower cost per hire.

In other words – your employment brand has a massive impact on not just your employees, but on your entire business.

What can you do to improve employer brand and start to generate some of these positive outcomes? Here are a few simple steps to get started.

1) Focus on the “Why” of your company, starting with your current employees. What is your mission, vision and values as a company? Do you truly live them, and hold your entire company accountable to them? If you’ve never seen it, go to Youtube and search for “Simon Sinek Why” and watch it.

2) Give your employees a chance to REALLY make an impact – both in their work, as well as in their personal life. Let them work on projects that make a difference to the company and play to their strengths. Encourage them to give back to organizations by giving them time off or flex time to volunteer. As a company, support meaningful local, national and global initiatives whenever possible. As an example, supporting the communities ravaged by recent natural disasters is a great start.

3) Whenever possible, offer your team flexibility and autonomy. Flexible start and end times and the ability to work from home are two ways you can start to grow a culture that people want to grow with rather than run away from.

4) Offer benefits like career advancement and paid maternity/paternity which encourage professional development and work-life balance. Whether it’s something as simple as paid time off for professional development or a stipend for degree assistance, investing in your employees can go a long way. Also, as employees are looking to start families of their own, knowing that they have the support of their employer to do so can lead to a significant increase in their tenure as employees.

Start building a strong and impactful employment brand by creating a culture that embraces and supports your current team and the goals of your business. Without this, what I’m going to share with you in the next edition of TEQ in Part two will not be nearly as effective.

In that issue, I’ll give you some of the keys to creating and promoting a strong employment brand to attract and engage potential talent into your organization.

By Eric Harvey, ImagineCareers