Good quality talent is highly sought after in today’s market and employers are continually competing to win and retain the best candidates. Due to the competitive nature of recruitment, it is no longer enough to rely solely on recruitment advertising. Companies must do more to prove their value – hence, employer branding has had an increased influence in recent years.
Employer branding encompasses the perception of an organisation; the reputation it has as an employer. It begins with a reflection of what employees think and say about an organisation and is built through employee interactions – an employee sharing an organisation’s social media post is more powerful than simply saying they love their job.
Social media has caused companies to be more transparent with the public and as a result, companies are much more vulnerable than ever before. Everyone within an organisation has a responsibility to uphold and promote the organisation’s brand and culture, although some departments have more influence than others.
Studies show that employees are more likely to participate in creating a positive employer brand when the CEO is also actively involved. CEOs can influence employer branding through their leadership style, vision, strategies and communication style.
Employer branding can be a valuable tool in the recruitment process as candidates are more likely to trust the opinion of an employee than an image portrayed in recruitment advertising when researching the cultural fit of a prospective employer. Additionally, human resources can influence an organisation’s employer brand by providing a positive candidate experience and a smooth transition for new and exiting staff. Marketing departments can assist with upholding a company’s image, all consumer facing communications should resonate with employer branding and social media accounts should be managed in accordance with the image the company wishes to project.
Steps involved in creating a strong employer brand include the following:
- Evaluate the company’s current reputation through research including surveying staff and conducting social media research among target audiences.
- Define the desired brand image, based on realistic strengths and use this to create the company’s Employee Value Proposition.
- Be proactive in sharing positive inside stories on social media, highlighting the organisation’s strengths whilst maintaining an authentic and engaging approach.
- Ensure that everyone within the organisation understands their value in upholding employer branding and is aware of the role they play in sustaining consistency of the brand.
In today’s highly competitive recruitment environment, gaining an edge over other organisations is vital and a positive employer brand is an asset. Internal analysis will guide the creation of an employer brand and employee advocacy will be the key to its success. Everyone has a role to play in promoting employer branding but ultimately, the CEO should reflect it through their values and leadership style. In a socially transparent environment, employer branding is key to satisfying long-term recruitment objectives.