How Can You Tell If Your Employer Brand Attracts or Repels Candidates?
The hiring climate is dramatically evolving, with waves of Boomers leaving the workforce and tons of Millennials joining (some refer to this as the “generation handoff”). Add to that the fact that employees in between these generations who stayed put during the recession may now have the wandering eye, seeking greener pastures during the current economic upswing.
What this all really means for employers is that talent acquisition is very different than it once was, and it will continue to undergo massive changes in upcoming years.
To attract top talent today, organizations can’t just rely on salaries, benefits and ample vacation time. And actually, even offering new standards of company benefits like telecommuting opportunities, casual Fridays, and pinball machines in the break room isn’t always enough.
What also really matters among today’s job candidates, especially the most sought-after, is your employer brand – the external expression of who you are as a company.
Another great way to think about your employer brand is:
(see some great examples of employer branding done right, here)
This perception plays a key role in recruiting and hiring A players.
Having said that, how does your company’s employer brand stack up when wooing top tier performers? If you aren’t sure, or not thrilled with the answer, here are a handful of questions to ask yourself to better understand if your employer brand attracts or repels candidates.
How much do you value your employer brand?
Measure the effort your company puts into the message you convey to job candidates with your social media, job postings, recruiting efforts, interviewing, and onboarding. If there’s not much effort, you’re probably not reaping many rewards in terms of attracting top job prospects.
Appeals: A cohesive, solid message across all channels gives your top talent applicants a solid feel for your brand, and attracts them.
Repels: Multiple or, YIKES, conflicting messages confuse job candidates, and shake their trust in your organization.
Is your branding authentic?
Even if your organization isn’t perfect, resorting to stretching or exaggerating the truth isn’t necessary. Over time, A players will realize the truth, and feel duped.
Appeals: All employer branding is truthful and honest. Focusing on the best qualities is a great strategy and will connect with job seekers. Authenticity will be rewarded with high-quality hires.
Repels: Making claims that are not true alienates job applicants and employees eventually. This is self-sabotage at its finest.
How strong is your company culture?
Company culture is increasingly important in recruiting top talent, because of the growing preference of work/life integration (as opposed to work/life balance). An organization should be able to share their vision, their mission statement, AND give examples of how their employees fit in it all.
Appeals: A strong, definitive company culture helps candidates decide whether or not they are a good fit. Someone who doesn’t fit in will most likely leave, causing turnover. It’s better to showcase the company’s culture up front to drive the best people into your positions.
Repels: A company without culture lacks personality, and does little to distinguish itself against its competition. A bland or negative culture turns off job candidates, especially Millennials.
Do you ask for feedback from current employees?
Businesses that fail to measure employee satisfaction, preferences, and opinions are most likely missing the mark in successfully using their employer brand for recruiting, because is would just be guesswork! Knowing what current staff says about the company is integral to building an authentic employer brand.
Attracts: People want to work in an environment where they and their co-workers are appreciated and engaged. Nailing your employer brand is more likely to sway top talent to join forces with you.
Repels: Leaders who don’t invest in their employees’ engagement and needs won’t be able to adequately create a powerful, compelling employer brand. This will show, and recruiting efforts will suffer.
How do you promote your employer brand?
Just like your company brand, it needs to be shared across multiple channels. Social media, referrals, recruiters, and advertising should represent a complete, cohesive message. In addition to words, add company photos and videos, and share more than just product and service announcements. Give applicants a robust glimpse of what working at your company is like.
Attracts: Fun, interesting words, photos, and videos that are easy to find will draw an A player’s interest in your company.
Repels: Thinking that employer brand promotion is too expensive, takes too much time, or just isn’t necessary leaves you at the back of the recruiting pack.
With your organization’s long-term success literally hanging in the balance, it’s vital to stake stock of and put effort into a powerful employer brand. Answering these questions honestly is the first step toward committing to a cohesive, authentic brand that can be shared across social media and beyond. Putting the effort into building such a brand will pay off in a bigger, more talented applicant pool.