How Employers Can Showcase Brand in a Candidate-Driven Market

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Workers are changing jobs in record droves, and the trend isn’t slowing down anytime soon. A new report from McKinsey and Co. found that about 40% of workers are considering quitting their current jobs in the next 3-6 months as they seek new opportunities.  

There’s no doubt that candidates are in the driver’s seat in the talent market, and to compete companies need to offer both tangible benefits and compete on brand and reputation. Nick Bunker, an Indeed economist, told Forbes, “Competition for workers remains fierce as employers have to keep bidding up wages for new hires.” Organizations need to consider how to market their culture to compete with others hiring for similar roles. 

Employer branding is about owning your story and sharing the perception of the employee experience and culture at an organization. According to Glassdoor research, 75% of active job seekers are likely to apply for a job if the employer actively manages its employer brand, and 86% of women and 67% of men in the United States wouldn’t join a company with a bad reputation.

Here are three key strategies for organizations to strengthen their employer brand to attract, retain, and onboard candidates, while also reducing the risk of losing them to other companies.

Give employees a voice 

What does your digital footprint say about your company? Employee experiences can be showcased on social media and professional networking site LinkedIn, as well as through blogs and website testimonials. Sites such as Glassdoor and Indeed provide a transparent forum for employees to share their true thoughts about a company and its management. 

Organizations can harness positive employee experiences and share them through their official channels, and also by encouraging their teams to post about the culture themselves. Employees feel empowered to talk about their organizational experiences and are more likely to share and enhance the brand. Candidates are looking at a company’s reputation and culture as an employer, so hearing it directly and authentically from a current employee makes a difference—candidates trust employees three times more than the company to speak honestly about their experience working there.

Encourage your employees to interact with your company in a way that is visible to their networks—whether it’s reposting new openings on LinkedIn, commenting on posts, or writing a review on Glassdoor or Indeed. Employees can also be organic storytellers for your company—they can share recent successes, stories of team comradery, or even photos with coworkers from company events or meetings. This will give future candidates a fuller picture of your organization, giving them an inside look at your culture.

Offer employee benefits beyond the ordinary

Corporate jobs often include a standard set of benefits for employees in their compensation package – medical and dental insurance coverage and 401(k) packages—so offering unique benefits in addition to the basics sets a company apart.

According to LinkedIn, the most desired employee benefits that go beyond the traditional offerings include a flexible schedule, mental health support, wellness support, financial training, and more paid time off for pursuing not just vacation but volunteering or family leave. Flexibility has especially jumped to the top of the list, with one survey finding that nearly a third of working professionals say they will quit their jobs if they aren’t allowed to continue working remotely.

Many of today’s candidates also want to see what your organization is doing for others. If you have volunteer programs, community outreach, or diversity and inclusion efforts (e.g., Business Resource Groups, or BRGs), highlight those on your site and mention them to candidates. Many employees want to be part of something bigger than themselves and speaking about what your company does in these areas may play a key role in a candidate deciding to join your organization.

Be consistent and intentional with your employer brand

Employer branding doesn’t start or end with the hiring process. It should be consistent throughout the company—both in parts that are visible to candidates and those that are not. Employer brand is your organization’s story—it encompasses everything from the mission statement to social media channels and websites, to culture and beyond.

Prepared candidates will likely look up your organization online, so verify that all social media channels and websites are unified and professional in their branding. They should also highlight the work, goals, and values of the company. Leverage employee advocacy to showcase authentic experiences about working at your company. Spotlight employees on your blog or gather testimonials for your website to highlight employee experiences throughout your site.

When thinking about your hiring process, ensure the language in every job description is reflective of the role’s responsibilities and the company culture. How are you showcasing your company in the position description? Is your language in accordance with the company or office atmosphere? Any interaction between someone at the company and an outsider should speak to the company’s values. It may be beneficial to host workshops or lunch and learns to teach all employees about the importance of showcasing your brand to help them understand their role and to help them speak confidently to candidates, customers, and others.

For organizations, it pays to invest in employer brand, since it improves recruitment and retention. That’s why 86% of HR professionals indicated recruitment is becoming more like marketing, according to a Glassdoor survey

At Addison Group, we work with clients to understand their mission, culture, and values to find qualified candidates that are a perfect match for their organizations. Looking for your next great hire? Reach out to us today!

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