We’ve talked about why your employer brand is important to the success of your organization. We noted that recruitment advertising has evolved; it’s being overshadowed by your employer brand. In today’s marketplace, potential employees give more credence to what your employees say about your organization than what your marketing material does. That means your employer brand depends heavily on current employee engagement.
In a whitepaper entitled Why Your Employer Brand Matters, LinkedIn reported that potential candidates are twice as likely to be attracted to a company with a strong employer brand than they are to that organization’s company brand. The LinkedIn survey showed that a strong employer brand is especially critical in attracting young, junior employees as well as candidates from other countries. That goes a long way to identifying your target audience, especially when it’s as mobile, connected and unfettered by geography as today’s employee pool. And your success depends on your ability to attract and retain talented professionals.
Recently, Randstad completed extensive research in preparation for the Randstad Award. The Randstad Award gets people’s attention because it really is the ‘People’s Choice’ award for best, most attractive employer. We survey 9,500 respondents per country between the ages of 18 and 65. That’s over 200,000 workers and job seekers worldwide. The results of our research were telling. They enabled us to focus our attention on four key areas organizations need to develop in order to build and enhance their employer brand.
1. measure what you offer against what your employees really want.
Poll your current employees to determine if you and your employees are on the same page about how you perform as an employer regarding benefits, advantages, environment, culture, opportunities, etc. Build a measurable survey that identifies employee wants, needs and nice-to-haves against what you currently offer, and keep in mind your employee pool is – or should be – a diverse community.
2. create a robust employee value proposition (EVP)
An EVP is comprised of the key benefits you offer; if it’s effective, it will help you attract, retain and engage talent. Begin by making sure you have a clear understanding of your corporate values and culture, and what drives and motivates your workforce. Building an EVP is challenging because it has to appeal to a diverse employee population whose needs differ based on a variety of factors like gender, ethnicity, function, experience, age and education level. Begin by understanding what your stakeholders really want by investing in internal and external feedback. There are tools out there to help you create surveys that address your unique environment and interpret results in productive, effective ways you can act on. Be clear about who’s responsible (HR? CEO? Marketing?) for your EVP; while there should be one captain at the helm, the responsibility for managing the employee experience belongs to everyone in the organization.
3. communicate thoroughly and often.
Make sure your internal and external communications support each other. The new workplace is transparent and word travels fast; consistency of messaging will build credibility and trust, something that gets the attention of clients and employees. If you haven’t done so already, develop a social media program that is visible and innovative, and assign resources to keep it fresh, current and responsive.
4. look ahead.
Employer branding is a long-term, strategic enterprise, not a one-off task. Think in terms of one, five and ten-year plans. Keep monitoring and measuring your employer brand through social media to ensure it remains authentic, engaging and agile, especially during those times when economies and talent availability fluctuate.
Your employer brand, like your corporate brand, is a promise you make. To make good on that promise, it’s imperative that every function and level within your organization understands the value of an effective, successful employer brand and that each member of your organizational community plays an important role in that success. Make sure you have a clearly articulated mission and vision and share them freely and often with your employees. Attracting, engaging and retaining talent pays off in tangible ways. It’s everyone’s job; you lead the way.