Brand strategy generally means the effort which takes place with the consumer side of a company. But it also applies to the workforce of an organization. Employer branding now plays an important role in recruiting and retaining the best candidates.
However, a report from iHire shows businesses are not all the way on board with this concept. More than two thirds or 39.8% don’t know enough about it to come up with an employer brand strategy. Another 59.3% say they don’t have an employer branding strategy or they are not sure of their branding efforts.
In today’s highly competitive labor market, your employer brand plays a big role in attracting the best talent. The CEO of iHire, Steve Flook, shared this very point in the release for the report and eBook.
Flook says, “An extremely competitive job market requires employers to make extra efforts to stand out from the competition if they want to recruit and retain top talent.”
What Exactly is an Employer Brand?
An employer brand the perception of what your current and potential employees have about your company. If you have a strong employer brand, more people are going to want to work for you.
Everything from company culture to mission and core values plays an important role in creating a strong employer brand. The more reasons you give candidates to come work for you, the better your brand will be in attracting them.
According to iHire, your employer brand should communicate the mission of your company at a glance. And this should be very clear, leaving no doubt about where you stand on the principles which you founded your company on.
The iHire 2019 Employer Branding Pulse Survey was carried out with the participation of 688 U.S. employers across 56 industries.
The concept of employer brand strategy is still not widely shared by employers. Only 40.7% say they have a strategy, with 39.1% saying they don’t, and another 20.2% who are unsure.
But those who have a strategy, fully appreciate the value of having one in place. More than half or 51.2% say it supports their broader marketing efforts. Additional benefits include building credibility and trust (41.2), hiring for culture fit (34.9%), improving employee morale/engagement (32.5%) and it is critical in retaining top talent (30.1%).
When it comes to promoting their employer brand, companies use a wide range of platforms to reach their audience. It all starts with social media at 85.7%, which is followed by a company home page (83.3%) and external job postings (69.9%) for the top three. Other platforms include print, email marketing, advertisement, videos, blogs and more.
As to why they don’t have a brand strategy, the top answer is employers don’t know enough about the subject at 39.8%. This is a reasonable answer, but employers also say their size (28%) and budget (22%) are reasons for not having a strategy in place.
However, iHire says virtually any company – regardless of size, budget, resources, and hiring needs – can build an employer brand.
The Low or No-cost Way to Get Started
With the available technology to small businesses, employers can quickly and easily deploy these elements of employee branding. And in most cases, you can do this at no cost. If you start getting positive results, you can implement low-cost solutions to drive your efforts further.
These are the recommendations from iHire:
- Gather employee testimonials describing what makes your company a great place to work and share them on your website.
- Post a video to illustrate “a day in the life” at your workplace.
- Describe your company benefits, perks, and other incentives in your job ads.
- Revamp or launch a “careers” landing page on your website comprising open positions, fun company
- photos, and a list of benefits such as health insurance, paid time off, 401(k) options, volunteer
- opportunities, discounted gym memberships, etc.
- Turn your employees into brand advocates — encourage them to provide positive feedback on employer
- review websites or contribute to your blog.
- Take advantage of job boards that offer free company profiles and add your logo to external job postings
- whenever that is an option.
- Apply for local and/or national awards that recognize workplace excellence (note that some of these
- awards come with an application fee).
- Implement a monthly employee survey to solicit ongoing feedback.
Just like word of mouth is one of the best forms of advertising for the consumer side of a brand, it also applies for employer brand. When your employees say good things about your company, it will attract top candidates. And this works for companies of all sizes. Being a small business doesn’t preclude you from having a strong employer brand strategy.