Employer branding refers to the marketing of a company in order to build its reputation as a great place to work. In a professional climate characterized by low unemployment, employer branding is imperative to fill important roles with highly qualified candidates so your company can grow and become more profitable. Employer branding also plays a key role in engaging and retaining existing employees to reduce turnover and further build your reputation as a desirable employer.
Two important tools used to develop the employer brand are the company website and social media.
While many job seekers use professional websites like LinkedIn or Indeed to conduct employment searches, they also go directly to the websites of the companies they want to work for to view current openings. To make the most of this opportunity, make sure the employment section of your website is easy to find and user friendly. Job descriptions should be written with care, and thought should be given to communicating not only the requirements for the position but also the desired soft skills and personality traits that match your company culture. If you’re looking for a team player that is very social, for example, include that as part of the description so that candidates have the opportunity to judge whether or not they’re a good fit.
After visiting your company’s website to explore who you are and what you do, the next stop is social media. As mentioned in our earlier blog on getting started with social media, social media outlets are where people go to get a peek behind the curtain and get more of a candid look at what it’s like to work for you. Make sure that your public face is consistent with the values and culture you’re claiming as yours. For instance, if you’ve indicated that community is an important part of your culture, then one would expect to see community reflected in your social media with posts about fundraisers, special events, or similar activities.
Together, your website and social media can paint a positive image of you as an employer and differentiate you from other businesses that are competing for the same talent. If done effectively, these tools can also prequalify candidates by ensuring they align with your company’s values and culture before they even walk in the door. Think about what your company does that makes it a good place to work and then turn those characteristics outward so others can see them. Promotions, awards, work anniversaries, retirements, employee successes—acknowledging these accomplishments will not only tell prospects you care about your employees, it will also boost morale among the employees you already have.
Whatever tools you use to build your employer brand, make sure you’re creating a reputation that is sincere and not just lip service. If you create an image of collaboration and teamwork that’s rewarded by advancement and you don’t deliver on that promise, employees will quickly become disillusioned and leave. They may also take their disgruntled attitudes into their professional communities or social media and undermine the reputation you’ve worked to build. Just like product branding and customers, employer branding must be authentic if you want to retain good employees.