The Growing Importance of Employer Branding
Whether you’ve considered it or not, one thing’s for sure, you already have an employer brand. It grows day by day and is a direct result of both your company’s actions, and your ability to communicate them to the wider world. It is best defined by how your organisation is perceived; and includes everything from the way you do business, to the way you treat your staff.
Across the board, we’re hearing from business leaders struggling for talent. A PwC survey found that 73% of CEOs are concerned about the availability of key skills. If you also consider that a Glassdoor survey found 3 in 4 full-time workers are open to or are looking for a new job, and 84% would consider leaving their current company if another employer with an excellent reputation offered them a job, it’s clear that employers have plenty to worry about. Even with a high number people seeking work, to quote a Deloitte report, “There’s a paradox of scarcity among plenty … today’s high unemployment rate does not mean the talent will be there when you need it.” It’s a brave new world out there. Candidates are more well-informed about employers, and increasingly expect more from their working life. Today’s candidates want to work for an organisation that simultaneously fits in with their values, and makes them feel valued.
Without a good reputation as an employer, it can be impossible to attract the right talent to your organisation. In a labour market where skills are in short supply, and employee loyalty is at an all-time low, employer branding can be a cost effective, yet highly rewarding strategy for attracting, securing, and retaining talent. Unfortunately, the difficulty with implementing employer branding as an organisational strategy, is getting the buy-in from all the relevant stakeholders. Understanding the benefits of employer branding to your business is key. With that in mind, here are some of the key benefits to strategic employer branding.
Candidate attraction becomes easier
Developing a compelling employer brand means communicating why you’re a great employer to work for. Once you’ve done this successfully, you’ll be better positioned to attract the talent you need – whether directly or by working with a recruitment partner. Recruitment time-to-hire may well improve, incurring lower recruitment advertising costs along the way. Moreover, as the talent you attract will be more well-informed about your organisation and its culture, you’ll receive applications from candidates that are likely to be better suited to your company.
A great employer brand can help you compete with the big boys (and their budgets)
In the competition for talent, it’s not uncommon for some employers to throw cash at the problem. Big salaries, bonuses, and fancy perks can be a quick solution to getting talent through the door. However, if you’re struggling to match your competitors’ perks, having a compelling employer brand could be the answer. Today’s candidates are interested in more than just money. By communicating to them your culture and virtues as an employer, you will have a better chance of not being outdone by those with bigger budgets.
Employee retention is enhanced
Employee retention begins before an employee is even hired. Throughout the recruitment process, a strong employer brand will clearly communicate what it’s like to work for you as an employer. Potential candidates will be able to find out what your values are, how employees are supported, and what a typical day is like in the roles they are considering. Honesty and transparency are key, helping candidates to have realistic expectations of what it will be like to start working for you. By doing so, the candidates that you attract will be more likely to believe in what you do, have a better cultural fit, and hence be more likely to remain with you in the coming years.
Brand advocates will boost referral hires
Your employees are your greatest asset. By investing in them, supporting them, and communicating all that you do, you’ll actively produce brand advocates. Employees that speak positively about you as an employer are invaluable. Nothing speaks louder than a positive employee – and what’s more, those positive advocates will often know the right people to become employees for your organisation. They know like-minded people with the right skills and personality to fit in with your organisation. Referral hires can be incredibly successful, potentially cheaper, and more loyal.
The benefits don’t stop there though. The positivity of these employees will spill over into everything else you do. Your recruitment partners will find candidates are more willing to consider careers with your business. They may also find candidates are more willing to recommend others in their network. By supporting employees’ positive stories, investing in their development, and being open and transparent, you’ll be able to build brand advocates that want to talk about your company in a positive light.
If you haven’t done so already, the important question you need to ask is: “what does our employer brand say about our company?” Does it help to attract (and retain) the talent you need to remain competitive? Or, is it hindering your chances of building a vibrant and innovative talent pool?
If your company needs help with attracting and engaging more quality candidates, do get in touch with our team and we’d be delighted to help.