The recruitment process is a two-way street, not only are you trying to find the right candidate, that candidate is also assessing your organisation to see if you’re going to be a place they want to work. As the labor market becomes more competitive and the importance of having good people delivering your products and services continues to be a defining factor for success, it’s even more important to get your employer branding in check.
So how are you going to authentically communicate what sits at the heart of your organisation to attract the right candidates?
What is employer branding?
First things first, you need to understand what employer branding is. Your employer brand is a critical element when it comes to establishing a competitive advantage in attracting talent. Employer branding is the sum-total of what current and potential employees think of you as an employer and the goal is to create differentiation and preference in the minds of both of these types of employees.
The first step is developing a strategy that sits at the heart of your proposition, it should be clear, authentic and compelling for your target audience. Once you have this it should permeate through every part of the recruitment process to deliver consistent messaging.
Employer branding touchpoints
Let’s look at they key recruitment touch points to see how you can authentically communicate your employer brand proposition.
- Job Ads
Job ads shouldn’t just be about what you’re looking for in a candidate and the roles and responsibilities you are looking for. While this is an important part it is only one half of the story. You need to include what you’re offering and what it’s like to work at your organisation.
- Write the copy with your brand personality traits in mind, you want to convey this through the tone of your copy.
- Describe what values are important to your organisation and this role.
- Keep in mind your communicating with a human, so word your job ad like a human with “you” instead of “ideal candidate”.
- Give an insight into what it’s like to work at your organisation and an insight into the culture.
- Dedicated Career Site
Having a dedicated career site allows you to curate information to help re-inforce your employer proposition. It can show a complete picture of your company and provide evidence to support your proposition. It might be a candidate’s first impression of your company so it’s important that it’s well thought through and provides meaningful content.
One of the most powerful tools in this environment is video. It is the quickest way to create a feeling and evoke emotion and it’s easy to see when it’s authentic. Interview real people about what it’s like to work for your organisation, even better have a video of someone who is in the team talking about the role. The key here is that it MUST be authentic, candidates will see right past scripted responses.
Get some inspiration from these sites:
Some great employer brand videos:
If you want to know what not to do, then check out this cringe worth video for Australia Department of Finance……eek!!
- Social Media
Candidates want to know what it’s really like to work for an organsiation, they want a glimpse into the day-day happenings of the workplace. A great way to show this is through a curated employer brand Instagram feed as it allows you to focus on employer branding without clogging up your brand feed which may have a different purpose and audience.
Think about how you can visually show your employer proposition, what do you want to portray, how can you show the human side?
Get some inspiration with these great examples:
The tech companies seem to be leading the charge in this space as they are growing rapidly and forced to compete for the best talent to help them achieve their growth and high-quality standards.
- Application and Interview Process
Email communication: Think about the wording of your communication to candidates. Do they receive a confirmation email, does it sound like a human wrote it? How to you keep them updated about the progress of the process. What is the tone of voice and how does this support your proposition? How do you want them to feel about the process?
In the interview: Just like a candidate thinks about putting their best self forward you need to ensure that you land key points that support your employer brand proposition. Think about the key points you want candidates to understand about working for your organisation and make sure these are communicated.
Don’t over promise: If you have limited budget for training and development, be honest about this. Employees will only become frustrated if they discover they were told something different to the reality.
The first few weeks are incredibly important to the entire process, this is where employees see if you are going to deliver all you promised. What are you going to do to ensure that your proposition is a reality?
- What can you give new hirees before their first day so that it’s not so over whelming. Anything you can give them in advance will help to prepare them, as long as you don’t go overboard.
- Send an electronic welcome pack with key information about the company and some information on FAQs.
- Match the new employee with a peer buddy that can help show them around and answer any questions they have.
- The important thing to remember is creating an on-boarding program that aligns with your proposition, think about how you want new recruits to feel and then put in place activities and tools to help with this. Make sure it is a structured process so that nothing is left out and everyone has a consistent experience.
- Ongoing engagement
What activities and rituals do you have in place to re-inforce your employer branding? How to you celebrate and recognise staff? What does living your values look like? Remember these are the people who are shaping and adding to the proposition on a daily basis so it’s important that they are engaged.
Keep your finger on the pulse with testing and measuring the engagement of employees and understanding what is important to them. A great way to do this is with survey tools such as Culture Amp which allow you to look at 360 degree feedback.
When you employees decide it’s time to move on, this is a crucial touchpoint for your proposition. What will their last impression be? Remember they are going to be out there talking to other people about what it’s like to work for your organisation.
This is the perfect opportunity to gather some insights and feedback from their experience and to see how they experienced your employer brand.
Marketing and Human Resources together at last
This approach requires a synergy between the marketing and human resources team for it to be effective. Marketing can help to form the proposition and strategies to communicate it and Human Resources plays an important role in shaping policies and procedures that re-inforce the proposition to ensure it is authentic.
Be honest and keep it real people!!
The most important thing to remember with any of these channels is the message and proposition must be authentic. Candidates will quickly see past any smoke and mirrors and you’ll end up back in the same position recruiting for the ‘right’ candidate all over again.
Gemma works on our client service team to help clients reach their business objectives through strategic branding and marketing. She has a particular interest in helping brands to create authentic propositions that have a positive impact on people, planet and organisations. A bit of a #peoplegeek she is interested in using branding to positively influence the way we experience and enjoy our working lives to improve overall happiness and wellbeing.