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Building an Employer Brand Strategy 

Employer branding is a critical component of any organization's talent attraction strategy. With our current economic climate, the competition for top talent is fierce. To attract the best candidates, organizations need to differentiate themselves from their competitors and communicate a compelling value proposition that resonates with their target candidates. Employer branding helps to achieve this by showcasing an organization's unique culture, values, and employee experience. It helps candidates evaluate whether an organization is a good fit for them and whether they would be proud to work there. By investing in employer branding, organizations can improve their ability to attract and retain top talent, which can lead to better business outcomes and a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

With all of that being said, there are still some organizations that overlook employer branding. Not investing in employer branding can be a big mistake for organizations looking to attract top talent, particularly among Gen Z job seekers. As a digitally-savvy generation, Gen Z places a high value on workplace culture and is likely to research a company's reputation and online presence before considering a job offer. Without a strong employer brand, organizations risk losing out on this valuable pool of talent and may struggle to compete with companies that prioritize and invest in their employer branding efforts. In order to avoid this from happening, here is your employer branding guide with five strategies your team will surely want to implement. 

1. Think Long-Term

Employer branding requires a sustained effort and there is no one-size-fits-all solution for it. A single bold statement about your employer brand followed by inaction will not benefit your company. To avoid this mistake, develop a long-term employer branding solution and consistently leverage all available platforms to showcase your employer brand. Examples include sharing DEIB successes on your recruitment page and giving employees a voice on social media. By promoting your positive employee experience, you can attract top talent and retain employees. To ensure a long-term approach, utilize employer branding metrics to guide your strategy. Consider tracking the number of applicants, employee referrals, diversity of applicants, and hiring manager satisfaction to pinpoint what's working and what's not.

What is the best way to build a successful long-term employer branding plan?

  • Gain an understanding of what your organization has to offer: This involves assessing your brand's public perception and employee satisfaction. To evaluate your strengths and areas for improvement, conduct surveys of current employees, job candidates, and consumers. Additionally, analyzing social media and employee review sites can provide valuable insights into your reputation. By taking a comprehensive approach to understanding what people think of your company, you can tailor your employer branding efforts to address weaknesses and build on your strengths. This sets a strong foundation for a successful long-term plan that attracts and retains top talent.
  • Assess employer branding progress: Regularly evaluating the effectiveness of your employer branding strategy is essential for success. Review metrics such as the number of applicants per job, time-to-hire, cost per hire, and your company's reputation both inside and outside of the organization since implementing your branding plan. This allows you to adjust your strategy in real time and build on areas of success. A strong employer brand strategy not only generates positive sentiment among consumers but also earns the goodwill of the talent you seek to hire. By prioritizing your employer branding efforts, you can establish a positive reputation among job seekers and attract high-quality candidates that align with your company's values and goals.
  • Gain visibility in your community: To enhance your employer branding, engage with other businesses in your community by attending Chamber of Commerce meetings or local networking groups. Encourage your employees to participate in events and support local causes, as this increases your visibility and strengthens your reputation as a socially responsible company. By giving back to your community, you can attract early talent candidates and expand your network. Additionally, being visible in your industry through participation in trade associations, conferences, and special events can also build your employer brand and attract well-qualified job seekers.

2. Get Input From Current Employees

Building an employer brand strategy is not only about attracting new talent but also retaining your current employees. Your employees are your biggest brand ambassadors, and their opinions can have a significant impact on your ability to attract and retain top talent. To prevent negative feedback from spreading, conduct regular anonymous surveys to gauge employee satisfaction and act on their suggestions. By taking employee feedback seriously and addressing their concerns, you can create a positive workplace culture that not only retains top talent but also attracts new talent to your organization.

Beyond the onboarding process, it's essential to keep employees happy and engaged throughout their tenure at your organization.

Providing opportunities for career development and learning can increase employee satisfaction and loyalty, which helps to decrease turnover. By investing in your employees' growth, you demonstrate your commitment to their success and well-being. This can foster a sense of pride and belonging among employees, which can strengthen your employer brand and make your company more attractive to potential employees. By prioritizing employee feedback and development, you can create a workplace culture that encourages employees to stay and grow with your organization.

3. Listen To Constructive Criticism 

One mistake companies make in their employer branding is ignoring constructive criticism. Whether it's former employees leaving negative reviews or current employees providing feedback, potential candidates and customers read third-party reviews. It's crucial to take an honest look at the feedback and address any problems mentioned. Don't be defensive or hostile in your responses, as this can harm your employer brand. Instead, take the feedback as an opportunity to show that your company values employee input and is committed to making improvements.

Your current workforce can be your biggest asset in employer branding. Encourage your employees to share their experiences on social media, create videos, and spread the word about job openings. By showcasing employee testimonials, you can build trust with potential candidates and highlight the positive aspects of working at your company. Remember, your employees can be your best brand ambassadors, so leverage their experiences to attract top talent and build a positive employer brand.

Online reviews are also critical to attracting top talent. Candidates frequently check reviews to learn about your company's culture and work environment. Don't miss out on this employer branding strategy. Encourage employees to leave positive reviews on popular sites such as Glassdoor, Indeed, and LinkedIn. By highlighting your company's strengths and positive experiences, you can increase your visibility to potential candidates and build a positive employer brand that attracts the best and brightest talent.

The Ultimate Guide To Employer Branding

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4. Have A Positive Candidate Experience

A positive candidate experience can leave a lasting impression, making it essential to streamline your hiring process and avoid ghosting candidates. Not only can candidates tell stories about negative experiences with your organization, but they may also spread the word to others. Get feedback from candidates and make changes that align with your desired employer brand. Simplify the application process, as research shows that a lengthy process may drive away highly-qualified candidates. 

Onboarding is also a critical experience for new hires, as it is the first impression they have of your company as an employee. A positive onboarding experience can increase retention and prevent negative word-of-mouth. Make sure that new hires feel welcomed and valued from day one by providing a comprehensive orientation, introducing them to their team and colleagues, and offering opportunities for professional development and growth. By making onboarding a positive experience, you can set the stage for a productive and engaged workforce that supports your employer brand.

When it comes to attracting top talent, highlighting your company's benefits can make a significant difference. By emphasizing your unique benefits and perks, you can create a positive employer brand that stands out in a crowded job market and attracts the top talent your organization needs to succeed.

Differentiate your employer brand and attract top talent by offering well-rounded benefits. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Salary and benefits: Be transparent about compensation, benefits, and retirement plans.
  • Work-life balance: Highlight any flex-time, work-from-home, or other arrangements that can help employees maintain a work-life balance.
  • Wellness and health: Offer access to wellness and mental health programs. 
  • Professional development: Provide opportunities for paid training, continuing education, and career growth.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion: Demonstrate your commitment to DEI by outlining your policies, programs, and initiatives.
  • Sustainability and social responsibility: Showcase your company's commitment to sustainability, social responsibility, and community involvement, which can be especially appealing to environmentally conscious Gen Zers.
  • Technology and innovation: Highlight the cutting-edge tools and technologies you use and encourage employees to stay on the cutting edge of their fields.
  • Culture and values: Emphasize your company's culture, values, and mission statement, and show how your values align with those of Gen Z talent.
  • Purpose and impact: Explain how your company is making a positive impact on the world and show how employees can contribute to that impact.

5. Be Authentic

When it comes to employer branding, authenticity is key. Candidates are quick to spot a disingenuous image, so it's important to be transparent about your company's values and actions. Instead of portraying a false impression, highlight your company's genuine mission statement, culture, and vision across various platforms such as your website, social media, and recruiting materials. Showcase your involvement in your community, support for charities, and bigger goals or purposes beyond simply running a profitable business. This will attract like-minded candidates who align with your values.

It's also important to create shareable opportunities to build your employer brand and reputation. Hosting an event, presenting an award, participating in a conference or event, or donating to a cause are all examples of opportunities that can be shared on social media, your blog, or your website. These strategies can help you reach more potential candidates while building relationships with your current employees.

To make your employer branding more authentic, acknowledge areas where you're working to improve. For example, if you're actively trying to improve diversity and inclusion, be honest about it and let candidates know that you're making progress. This level of transparency and honesty will be more impressive to candidates than presenting a perfect image that doesn't reflect reality. By leveraging these strategies, you can create a strong employer brand that attracts top talent and supports your organization's success.

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