According to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, ‘A brand is what other people say about you when you are not in the room.’ It’s powerful, and so is your employer brand. It conveys your culture, values, and what employees and candidates think and feel about you. In a candidate-driven market, positioning yourself as an employer of choice through effective branding is crucial in attracting and retaining the right talent.
Are you an employer of choice?
Being an employer of choice means providing desirable benefits for the type of candidates and employees you want on board. A productive culture, appealing employee engagement activities, and encouraging leadership are all elements that could and should form the foundation of your employer branding.
Building your employer brand
To find out if you are branding yourself as an employer of choice, consider if you have taken the following steps:
· Brand auditing
Auditing your brand helps you discover how it is performing and how you can improve it. With scope for meaningful responses, employee surveys can give valuable insights on how you can make changes or build on what works.
You can evaluate brand messages within your human resources material too, this may include job descriptions, employee handbooks and offer letters. It’s helpful to analyse your onboarding and interview processes, and performance reviews too – does the content and delivery reflect the image you want to communicate? All these findings will feed into your employee brand strategy.
· Working on relevant communication channels
When formulating your strategy, as well as the above, consider other channels your audience will tune into. Ensure that your online career page and internal communication materials align with your company’s vision, values and culture.
Take care to include photography and imagery that are indicative of who you are. Include diverse testimonials, interviews and FAQs that reflect your brand personality. Although you have little control of negative comments on review sites, you can respond by acknowledging the issue, or providing an explanation, both of which will position you in a better light.
· Improving internal processes
Although it may not seem obvious, practical elements of your everyday internal processes can adversely affect your brand. From poor access to training and development programmes or problems booking annual leave, to cumbersome internal software. These minor irritations can be the reason employees communicate negatively about you as an employer when experienced on a frequent basis. Look at the usability of your internal systems and how they may affect your workers.
· Staying authentic
Finally, make sure you are being honest about what you deliver as an employer. For example, if your employer branding says your people have a voice, make sure your leaders are accessible and engage well with their teams, or provide platforms where suggestions are shared.
Developing your brand messaging does not mean you should over-promise in the hope of attracting the right people. Being transparent and authentic gains trust, and is far more effective in building your reputation as an employer of choice.