Several aspects of the recruitment process have changed over the years, for both employers and candidates. In many sectors, one of the biggest changes for candidates has been the increase in choices available to them. This has had a knock on effect for employers.
With so much competition for the best candidates, using traditional recruitment methods is no longer enough, while it also takes more than just a good salary to attract and retain people. Businesses now need to promote themselves in the best possible light to candidates.
This is commonly known as employer branding. By showcasing your culture, benefits and ways of working, you can position yourself as an attractive place to work. The likes of Google and Apple are commonly mentioned as desirable employers, and it’s not just because of their business success, but their Employee Value Proposition (EVP). Meanwhile, data from LinkedIn suggests that companies with a strong employer brand see 50% more qualified applicants.
This makes it a critical part of your recruitment process, and one of the fundamentals of your overall business strategy. You’d do everything you can to build an appealing brand that brings in customers – why not pay the same attention to candidates?
Of course, employer branding isn’t a magic bullet solution for all of your talent acquisition needs, but it certainly plays a big part. Here are just some of the ways it can benefit you.
Attracting top talent
More and more candidates want to work for a company that aligns with their values. By marketing your business in the right way, you will get them coming to you. Think about employer branding in a similar way to storytelling – you have to let people know what you do, what you stand for and what it’s like to work for you.
Authenticity is key – communicate your mission, vision and values in a way that’s real and believable.
A big part of employer branding is using the right channels to tell your story. For example, Millennials and Generation Z make up a big part of the workforce, and will continue to do so. These groups are highly active on social media platforms like Instagram and LinkedIn, so use them to promote your employer brand. Things like employee stories or behind the scenes snapshots of your business always go down well.
Some companies also incorporate these channels into the actual candidate journey. For example, they use social media to build connections and have conversations with potential hires, making it a two way conversation rather than pure promotion.
A strong employer brand will mean a bigger pipeline of talent is available to you, perhaps following you on social media, or having registered on your website. This means you can actually start the process of screening and vetting candidates earlier, and begin interviewing almost as soon as you have a vacancy.
In addition, candidates who you reach out to are likely to respond to hiring managers or recruiters a lot sooner, as they will already be familiar with your brand.
All of this speeds up the recruitment process, reducing your time-to-fill. In such a competitive market, this could be the difference between bringing in a top tier candidate, and losing them to another company.
A quicker process also means you can fill more roles in a short period of time, bringing down your cost per hire – and this isn’t the only financial saving.
Having an attractive employer brand also means you need to spend less money on recruitment marketing and other hiring process. In some cases, you may even be able to get a candidate on a lower salary than expected if they’re eager to join.
After all, research from Talent Now shows that 50% of candidates wouldn’t work for a company with a bad reputation, even for a pay rise. So while your budget may only stretch to a figure that’s lower than a competitor, having a better reputation may just tip the scales in your favour.
Increasing staff retention
The employer brand isn’t just about new candidates and their perception of you. It also incorporates the employee experience – in other words, how your existing staff feel about you.
It’s difficult to position yourself as a desirable employer if people are constantly leaving. That’s why a solid employer brand strategy has to take the employee experience into account. This starts from onboarding – the first 100 days in particular are key. Make sure staff buy into your culture and values and are staying engaged. Attrition can always be a problem for organisations, but if you create a good working environment, this can be prevented.
Don’t forget that existing employees are the ones who offer the most reliable insight into what working for you is actually like. They could be your biggest advocates, but also do the most damage to your employer brand. Social media and dedicated employee review websites such as Glassdoor have made it easier than ever for employees to tell people about your business, so ensure you create a positive experience at all times.
If you get this part of your employer brand right, you will naturally find your staff becoming ambassadors. Not only will they stay with the company, but they’ll recommend you to others – further increasing your pipeline and reducing recruitment costs.
Building trust with customers
Good recruitment leads to good business. There’s a famous Richard Branson quote that’s often used when talking about this subject:
“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”
The reason it’s often used is because it’s true. The success of a business depends on having talent and motivated people working within it. Focusing on your employer brand will help you attract the best people, and keep them engaged. This will translate into a better experience for your customers, and increase your credibility with them.
One common factor which links all of the best employer brands, is a focus on people. The days of being able to attract candidates with just a good salary and pension are gone. Things like work-life balance, company culture and employee wellbeing are big priorities for candidates, and should be for businesses too. This then needs to be communicated to them in the right way, using the right channels.
The employer brand was once seen as a nice-to-have, or an expensive addition to traditional recruitment. But with so many companies fighting for the same talent, and the needs of candidates also changing, it’s now an essential part of your recruitment toolkit.
If you would like to know more about how Carbon60 can help with your employer branding, please get in touch.