What is employer branding?
Your employer brand is the image and reputation of your organization as an employer for candidates, employees, and other key stakeholders. It's the value you provide to your employees and job seekers.
Technically speaking, it is not a new concept; all employers have an employer brand, even if they are unaware of it. It is essential to understand what your employer brand is and then attempt to improve and manage it to ensure job seekers and employees have a positive experience with your organization.
Employer branding is the strategy and process to develop your employer brand. Just like marketing and branding activities target customers to create a “product brand,” employer branding activities target job seekers and current employees to influence their thoughts about the organization.
Why is employer branding important?
It is getting more and more difficult to find and retain the right talent. Candidates are also becoming more selective, evaluating organizations on several parameters like work-life balance, culture, and compensation before accepting offers. Additionally, reliance on talent agencies or headhunters to fill long open roles shoots up the budget. It makes the job of a recruiter increasingly tricky.
It can then be considered the silver lining that 79% of job seekers use social media in their job search, and 75% of the candidates believe the organization’s employer brand before applying for roles.
A strong employer brand and social media presence can attract relevant talented candidates without spending a dollar on agencies, giving you an advantage over competitors who are all eyeing the same applicants.
It also helps improve your offer acceptance rates as your employer perception is positive, which is even more important for employees looking for longer stints. Conversely, having a negative or weak employer brand can be detrimental, as potential employees might deprioritize your organization in their preference list.
Lastly, since the employer brand reflects the value and care your employees feel from their employer, working on a positive employer brand will improve employee retention. Therefore it is critical for employers to actively enhance and manage their employer brand on their journey to become the “best place to work”.
How to create a successful employer branding strategy?
Before jumping into how to build a successful employer brand, let’s understand what factors will be vital through this example. When ordering a product, you check for several aspects, like the product quality rating, the store to purchase from, reviews from other buyers, ads or any promotions from the store to know about the product, and more.
Similarly, many factors affect a candidate’s impression of your organization. Still, it is essential first to get the fundamentals right.
1. Employee happiness: Happy employees will naturally talk about their employer and contribute to the employer brand by becoming employee advocates. You need to identify parameters that matter to your employees and resolve concerns to ensure they feel valued and are happy with their work, organizational culture, and overall experience with the organization.
2. Candidate experience: As companies interview candidates for open positions, there are often lapses in the process or communication gaps that leave a wrong impression on the candidates who don’t qualify for the role.
From the application stage to the final offer roll-out, recruiting teams need to ensure they keep the candidate informed, treat them fairly and resolve concerns or complaints actively. As candidates actively share these experiences on social media and review channels, brands must be cautious about handling candidates and communication to ensure a smooth process for job seekers.
Employer branding and social media marketing without getting the fundamentals right might be more detrimental than beneficial. As your organization works to ensure its employees and candidates are satisfied, you can also leverage this to create an employer branding strategy to attract job seekers.
1. Evaluate your current employer's brand sentiment
To upgrade your employer brand, you first need to be aware of the starting point of the journey. Candidates and employees are talking about your organization on social media, review sites, and job portals, rating their experience interviewing or working with your company and giving feedback on several factors that affect the perception of other potential candidates about your organization.
Organizations need a unified view of their current employer brand, with candidate sentiment on factors like compensation, culture, D&I initiatives, work-life balance, management practices, etc. to identify areas of strength and weakness and plan a course of action. With these insights, organizations can take systematic corrective action to improve their employee and candidate experience.
2. Know your candidates better
Just like any branding and marketing strategy, knowing who your target candidates are is the first step to creating an effective employer branding strategy. While most organizations are aware of the talent segment which fits their needs to an extent, there are many gaps in this understanding.
For example, which age groups and social backgrounds do they come from, what kind of content do they consume, who do they follow or are influenced by, what are their goals and motivations, which channels do they find easiest to connect on, what do they look for in a job and so on.
As an employer, knowing your candidate makes it easier to run targeted campaigns to not only improve your employer brand but also recruit more suited candidates faster.
3. Define the objective of your employer branding campaign
Before creating employer branding campaigns, organizations should clearly outline the goal(s) of the campaign to direct the resources properly. It could be attracting more candidates, improving organizational diversity, creating more awareness among candidates for the future, improving candidate engagement to build trust, or getting more employee referrals.
4. Reach on channels your audience prefers
Knowing your candidate will answer this question for you. Out of a variety of channels like social media, job portals, college events, webinars, employee referrals, talent agencies etc. you should identify channels where your target candidates are most active and rely heavily on to search for job opportunities. Nearly 90% of candidates follow brands they want to work at on social media, so social media channels provide easy access to interested candidates.
5. Use content that resonates best with your audience
Content is one of the most important aspects behind successful employer branding campaigns. Identifying the motivation and frustration of your target candidates, along with knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your organization’s employer brand, can help you draft content that resonates with your audience.
Moreover, this can help attract passive candidates who are not actively looking for a job switch but get pulled by your content. Organizations should constantly analyze their content’s performance to realign it with audience preferences and goals. Knowing the correct content format, themes, stage of the candidate's journey it fits for, and other such aspects of your content can lead to a successful campaign.
6. Nurture happy employees as employee advocates
Leveraging happy and satisfied employees to advocate for your organization not only creates a better brand perception but is also more authentic and trustworthy as compared to branded content and campaigns.
Empowering your employees with the right content and tools to talk on your behalf can attract high-quality talent from their social media network at almost zero cost and creates a positive sentiment about your organizational culture, industry leadership, inclusivity, management practices, etc.
Moreover, you can nurture happy employee advocates to share their experience on portals like Linkedin, Glassdoor etc. which can positively affect the employer brand.
Employer branding best practices
1. Define your brand’s value proposition
Candidates are driven toward the purpose of your organization and how its products and services solve problems faced by people. Communicating a clearly defined value proposition and the organization’s goals can motivate potential employees in favor of your organization.
2. Monitor your employer brand sentiment regularly
Regularly checking employer brand sentiment can help evaluate if your employer branding activities are working or not. Moreover, as organizations are constantly looking for candidates, they need to be aware of any unforeseen dips in employer brand sentiment as it might affect their recruitment plans. It can happen due to several internal and external reasons, and thus is vital to keep tabs and take immediate action.
3. Identify your employee value proposition
Knowing what attracts candidates to your organization can significantly improve your chances of recruiting talent faster. It outlines what your brand has to offer to talented individuals in return for their contribution to your organization.
4. Manage and respond to candidate and employee reviews
Most job seekers that read reviews on Glassdoor say their perception of a company improves after seeing an employer respond to a review. Ensure you are prompt and courteous while responding to reviews and try to solve the problem faced by the employee/candidate to improve the experience going forward.
5. Regularly share approved content and open positions with employee advocates
Content shared by employee advocates can reach up to 8 times more people than brand content. You should consistently provide fresh, approved content on your employee advocacy tool, which employee advocates can share with their social media network. You can segregate job-related posts from other organizational content to get referrals via employee advocates.
6. Engage with potential candidates on social media regularly
Your target candidates follow your company on social media. Keeping them engaged with content around your company culture, employee stories and events, product launches, initiatives, or simply sharing exciting news about the brand can help attract them faster when hiring for open positions. It can also help attract passive job seekers who find your organization more suitable than their current employer.
Why Sprinklr for employer branding?
Sprinklr can help you learn your employer-brand sentiment by listening to sources like social media channels, job portals, review sites, surveys, etc., and identify critical business insights in real-time to take action.
With Sprinklr, organizations can holistically plan employer branding campaigns by analyzing their audience, creating the right content with AI-driven content insights, creating paid and organic campaigns across channels, and running an integrated employee advocacy program. With a unified platform built for marketers, Sprinklr makes it easy for recruiters to undertake employer branding initiatives.
Employer Branding FAQs
1. What are the elements of an employer brand?
Your organization’s brand image depends on factors like compensation, culture, diversity and inclusion, job satisfaction, leadership, career path, work-life balance, etc.
2. What factors affect employer branding?
Once you know the objective of your employer branding campaign, identifying the suitable candidates and their preferences, the proper channels to reach them, and the right content which resonates with them are the most critical factors that affect the success of your campaign.
3. How do you create an employer brand?
All organizations have an employer brand, even if they are unaware. To improve their employer brand, organizations must understand their employees' and candidates' concerns and issues and resolve them. Then they can use social media and other channels to run paid and organic campaigns or leverage employee advocates to reach out to active and passive job seekers with content to influence their perception of the organization.
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