5 Employer Branding Tactics for the Short-Term…That Lead To Long-Term Success
Building a strong employer brand is a process that can start easily and quickly if you want it to, but from there it typically then goes on to unfold and mature over years.
And because there are definitely some larger employer branding tactics out there that do indeed require some patience and long-term investment, many corporate leaders push off making any real decisions about their company’s employer brand strategy because they feel paralyzed by the thought of it being this enormous time (and budget!) – consuming process.
While bigger employer branding tactics do exist and can really drive an employer brand forward – like overhauling all of your recruiting materials, launching new perks and benefit-based programs for your employees, getting featured in local press, just to name a few – that doesn’t mean your employer branding strategy is an all-or-nothing decision. There are actually quite a number of short-term tweaks that you can make to your employer brand that can have lasting positive impact.
From our perspective, here are 5 employer branding tactics that are worth getting started in the short-term, so that you can benefit in the long-term:
1. Elevate Your Candidate Experience
When someone applies to your company, you want them to view the position with a more serious mentality than one that’s like: “I’m just going to go to work, do some stuff, receive paycheck.”
Simple changes to your candidate experience go a long way to help them take your company and the role you’re offering more seriously. For example, do you notify all candidates — even those who never received an interview — when a position is filled? Candidates who are not informed about their application status are 3.5 times less likely to apply to the same company again, meaning that you have robbed yourself of a potential pool of talent.
Improving communication at every step of the application process builds trust among candidates, too. Consider actions like writing clearer job descriptions, outlining the recruitment process on your career page, informing candidates what to expect at an interview, following up with a thank you, and providing feedback on the interview. These tactics require a relatively small amount of effort on your part but have a big payoff in the long-run for your recruitment and employer brand.
2. Perform a Company Review Check-Up
Just as you visit the doctor regularly for a routine physical, your employer brand health benefits from frequent check ups. An estimated 90% of job seekers have researched jobs online, meaning that most potential hires have sifted through plenty of information about your brand before they ever apply, whether through your website, your social media accounts, a third-party job posting aggregator, or online review sites.
If you don’t know what these sites portray about your company, you are at a disadvantage. Take a few moments to Google “[your company] + employee reviews” to see what comes up. Being proactive about your reputation on review sites such as kununu ensures that you know what’s out there and can address any criticisms.
3. Encourage Brand Advocacy
It may come as a surprise in this digital age, but nothing beats good old-fashioned word-of-mouth when it comes to recruiting top talent. Approximately 92% of people trust word-of-mouth recommendations, making this an excellent (and free!) way to improve your employer brand. The key to this short-term tactic is to directly and openly encourage your employees to be brand advocates by talking about their positive experiences with your organization – whether on their own social media or on your company’s.
Remember too that perks such as flexible schedules, recognition for hard work, and small incentives make employees feel valued, which translates into better brand advocacy. It also helps to keep your employees informed about opportunities within the company so that they can share job postings with friends and family.
4. Ask for Honest Feedback
You’ll never know what your employees think of your organization unless you ask. Consider conducting a pulse survey or running focus groups to determine what aspects of company policy your employees like and where they think you could improve. Then, make sure you actually use the feedback to enact change! Look for small, impactful short-term changes that will immediately improve your employees’ experiences at work, whether that means adding more of a certain requested snack or beverage in the kitchen, taking another look at your work-from-home policy, planning a health and wellness-related event, or whatever else your employees might suggest. Asking for and acting on your employees’ honest feedback will result in a better overall internal company climate, which translates into a stronger employer brand as they go on to share their experience on review sites and with their own networks.
5. Use Social Media Strategically
If you don’t have a separate set of accounts for your employer brand versus your general corporate brand, it’s time seriously consider it (think “Microsoft Life” or “Marriott Careers” as opposed to the general brand pages for those companies). The great thing about this is that it gives your HR and talent acquisition teams their own outlet on social media to highlight company culture the way they think best for your employer brand.
Some more tips to get you started on social media as an employer branding tactic: You could make “day in the life” posts that highlight what a normal day at your company is like. Or, you can brag about employee accomplishments to show how employee-centric you are. Some companies even let select employees do a social media “takeover”, where they get to post on the company’s social media accounts from their perspective on that given day. The result: your audience gets an even more unique and authentic flavor of your workforce because it’s being told by different people who are living and breathing it. All in all, given that 67% of employers think they would have higher retention if new employees understood what to expect at the company, using social media to build your employer brand can pay big dividends while also being completely free and easy to use.
Don’t let inertia prevent you from elevating your employer brand. Small, low-cost changes can make a big impact in how prospective employees view your organization.
For more best practices on employer branding and attracting talent into your organization, check out our free resources that we’ve made specifically for company leaders, HR and talent acquisition teams.