'Your brand is what others say about you when you are not in the room.' - Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com
Employer branding has gained traction in the last few years. There was early skepticism about its relevance and efficacy in hiring. However, surveys have shown the positive impact a strong employer brand has on hiring. They also highlight its importance in how potential job seekers perceive a company.
Glassdoor found that 69% of active job seekers believe they are more likely to apply for a position if the employer “actively manages its employer brand”. This includes replying to reviews, updating profiles, sharing updates shedding light on the culture and work environment of that organization (Glassdoor 2016). At the other end of the spectrum, in a survey, Deloitte found that 82% of leaders believe company culture" gives them a competitive advantage. (Deloitte 2015 Human Capital Trends)
'...an enduring employer brand has to be authentic - a co-creation effort by both management and staff'
So what is employer branding?
A corporate brand speaks to the consumers of the business, product or service and usually conveys its tangible attributes. A strong employer brand conveys beliefs, values and purpose of the organisation that appeals to the employee and job seeker. While the differences are not so subtle, corporate and employer branding cannot be divorced. One will invariably affect the other.
What makes a good employer brand?
Firstly, an enduring employer brand has to be authentic - a co-creation effort by both management and staff. Beliefs, values and purpose have to be lived, not manufactured. It must convey what it means to be part of the organisation.
Secondly, a good employer brand has to be aligned to the brand persona a company portrays externally. Internal and external messaging must be consistent. A good measure of that would be to determine if the messaging would still remain relevant for the different audiences.
Thirdly, employer branding strategies have to be reviewed to keep up with evolving trends. While beliefs, values and purpose have greater longevity than a business attribute, they too evolve with societal expectations.
Why employer branding matters more today?
Not too long ago when your job opening was carried mainly by the print media, your competition for talent is limited by the circulation, the number of publications and amount of ad space allotted by the editor. Today, no matter how well crafted your job ad is, it will be drowned in the infinite sea of job boards and social media postings. A strong employer brand that resonates with job seekers will rise above the noise.
In this Glassdoor and Facebook era, employer branding needs to be actively managed. A well managed employer brand will attract quality candidates and instill a sense of pride and purpose in current employees leading to better retention.
66% of people who changed jobs recently were aware of the existence of the company before hearing about the job opportunity - LinkedIn
In fact, 66% of people who changed jobs recently were aware of the existence of the company before hearing about the job opportunity (Linkedin). Companies with strong employer brand also sees 50% more qualified applicants (LinkedIn). It is a definite competitive advantage getting qualified applicants who already buy into what you stand for, and that lowers the cost of talent acquisition.
Take small steps today in developing your employer brand. Start by speaking to your employees to get an essence of what it means to be working in your organisation and find out the company values that resonates most with them and why. You will be surprised by some of the responses.