The nature of employer branding will often differ depending on the industry and what potential employees value as important but, in any case, it is essential in attracting the right kind of person to the right kind of job.
Employers should reflect on the current state of their company in order to figure out what they are doing right and what still needs improvement. Are their employees happy? Is the company cultivating a healthy company culture? How can they attract new talent? How to retain current employees? The work that they put into rebranding now could still have a positive impact in the future.
This article will help to break down what employer branding is as well as how it can be improved, through things like employer value propositions.
What is employer branding?
Employer branding is an employer’s reputation as a place of work. It is how your past and present employees speak about what it is like to work for you when explaining what they do to their family and friends. Another thing to consider is the image that you portray on your company’s Instagram. The rumoured, or accurate, associations that spring to mind when someone mentions that they work for a particular company could also play an important role.
All organizations will have their own employer brand whether they plan to or not however, a business does have the power to control how their organization is perceived in the outside world by improving their branding strategy.
However, in this age of online sharing, social media and Google reviews, satisfied employees are often a company’s best chance at having a good reputation. This means that organizations, first and foremost, should treat their employees well and instil their company’s core values from day one if they want their own employer branding to be genuinely successful.
How important is employer branding?
The bottom line is that employer branding is very important. A company is able to stand out from other similar organizations if their employer branding strategy is strong. It also gives businesses a unique advantage when it comes s a solid branding strategy will encourage more candidates to apply. After all, everyone wants to work somewhere that they have heard treats their employees well or that comes with cool perks instead of somewhere that does nothing to help their employees.
Along with helping to recruit new candidates, employer branding is important as it can help to create a stronger company culture, and can even improve productivity among current employees. The good news is that employer branding strategy can always be improved upon so any business does have the potential to attract and hold onto the best people.
What is an Employer Value Proposition (EVP)
An Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is the balance of the rewards and benefits that are received by employees in return for their performance at work. It should also represent an organization’s mission, core values and work culture. Ultimately, it gives employees a reason to want to work for you and, if communicated effectively, can help to improve your company’s overall employer branding strategy.
A strong EVP can not only attract the best people; it can also help to prioritize goals company-wide, help to motivate a healthy corporate culture, and even reduce hiring costs in the future.
Ultimately, employees will be doing most of this branding work for a company, by giving your company a (good or bad) reputation, so it is important to make sure they are genuinely happy. This means that an employer that truly cares about the wellbeing and satisfaction of its employees should think carefully about what it is that the organization stands for when constructing its own EVP.
They should consider what their current employees value and how they can help to make the organization somewhere that their employees are proud to work. They might ask their current employees what swayed them to accept their job offer or consider what would be important to them if they were in a potential candidate’s shoes.
Some of these benefits might include:
- Strong core values and fun work culture
- Convenient office location(s) and accessible facilities or a remote work option
- Flexible working hours and space
- Management style
- Potential for career development and promotions
- Well-regarded company in the industry/marketplace
- Encourages a healthy work-life balance
- Offers job benefits i.e. health or dental insurance and vacation days
- Job perks i.e. catered lunch, gym access, childcare, pet care, etc.
- Environmental policy
- Corporate social responsibility/charity work
- Company growth rate
- Technology and digital infrastructure
- Opportunities for travel and to build a network
- Job security
These rewards will largely differ depending on the type of organization. However, they will be relevant for any employer to consider when thinking about their reputation and branding strategy.
What does strong employer branding look like?
One of the most important aspects of employer branding is engagement and communication with both past, present and future employees. For example, a strong employer branding strategy might include keeping a company’s audience updated about interesting industry insights via a weekly newspaper or through the company’s social media pages.
Where relevant, organizations should always be posting online content that reflects the company’s ethos, values and culture. An outsider looking in should be able to get a good sense of what it is like to work somewhere based on what they are posting online. Also, when applying for a new job, social media channels are often an individual’s first interaction with a brand so it is important that these online portals accurately, and positively, reflect what a company stands for.
Furthermore, employers should always encourage applications whether there are open job roles or not. This will mean that a company will continue to receive interesting profiles and connect with candidates for openings in the future. Many potential employees would be more than happy to have a short phone call and be listened to by a future employer – as you never know what something could lead to!
A good reputation, when it comes to employer branding, will also include candidates that are unsuccessful with their job applications. Most people will be able to respect an employer more, even if the answer is no, if they follow up with a short email explaining their decision as well as providing feedback on how they could improve their application for the future.
After all, there is nothing worse than giving an application and interview so much of time and effort to receive absolutely nothing back in return. The smallest thing really can make the world of difference when it comes to how someone perceives your business in the future and will help give an organization’s hiring process a better reputation in general.
How can you develop an employer brand?
Given the crucial role branding plays in recruitment and retention, building a positive employer brand is an essential part of business. Here are some ways you can achieve this.
Make employees feel safe
According to The AlertMedia 2022 State of Employee Safety Report, 90% of workers expressed it’s important that their company keeps them safe at work. Employees need to feel valued, understood and heard. This, however, does not matter unless there are provided a certain degree of safety.
Generally, there are two types of safety. There is physical health, which could mean having security at the entrance of a building for example. And there is psychological safety, meaning employees feel comfortable talking about their personal issues and concerns with the HR department.
More concretely, in The Netherlands, there are a series of laws and regulations set in place by the government in order for employers to keep their employees safe at the workplace.
Provide support for remote work
After the pandemic, a lot of companies have adopted a hybrid way of working for their employees. Hybrid policies can range from only having select days working from home to offering co-working spaces all over the world and having no mandatory office days.
Employers should also support their employees working remotely so they feel less anxious and can be more productive at home. This may include providing extra technical support or, pointing out individuals’ achievements, successes and spreading messages of encouragement in a regular email chain or externally via relevant online channels.
Remote work is growing more and more popular, and it may be a useful tool for businesses looking to reduce costs or hire workers from other countries. To make sure you’re maximizing the benefits of remote work without causing any additional issues, just keep the recommendations given above in mind.
Encourage team spirit
Having a high team spirit is essential for an employer’s branding strategy due to the fact that it brings a series of benefits: an increase in productivity and engagement levels, a sense of trust and respect within the workplace, or a boost in morale are just a few of them.
Good communication and leadership are key factors to take into account when it comes to bringing people together. For the sake of creating a healthy work balance, employers should organize regular bonding activities.
These activities could look like taking the team out for lunch and social events every now and then, appreciating employee’s work or even mentoring them! When it comes to remote workers, having a Zoom lunch together or taking 15 minutes to hop in a call for a coffee break could have a great positive impact on their morale.
Ask employees for feedback
Your employees are the most important brand advocates for your business. What they have to say about your organization has a much greater impact than what any senior executive could possibly say or do. Encourage regular feedback between employees and their managers and ensure that your team’s needs and values are addressed.
Having your employees promote your business on social media will demonstrate that they are invested and care about your company and mission. Events, projects, and other activities that highlight your workforce and corporate culture will provide you with the necessary content for creating an appealing employer brand. So document everything, take pictures, call out employees by name, and, most importantly, urge them to share this information with their networks.
Do you need help with setting up the right team or finding the perfect match for the existing one? Schedule a free consultation call!