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How to Weave DEI and Employer Branding

Organizations know the importance of branding when it comes to attracting business. Maintaining a good reputation in the community is needed to foster goodwill among consumers so they will become loyal customers of your products and services. What some organizations may not realize is that their branding work doesn’t end with customers—creating a strong employer brand that appeals to workers is also important.

An employer brand is the impression you convey about what it's like to work for your company. This is needed to attract new employees, as well has retain the ones you have. No one wants to work for a company that has a bad reputation as an employer, so it's imperative to take steps that create a positive image among current, future, and even past employees. This can be done in numerous ways, such as offering competitive salaries and benefits, creating a work environment that allows employees to thrive and grow, and making work-life balance a priority.

Another area that needs to be a priority in your company to have a solid employer brand is diversity, equity, and inclusion. By making this a part of your employer branding, you can increase positive public perception on several fronts—from current employees to potential hires to the community at large. Here are some reasons why:

Attracting high-quality hires. People simply are not willing to accept any job they’re offered anymore—even if they’re unemployed. In fact, MRINetwork reports that 69 percent of unemployed job hunters will reject an offer from a company that doesn’t have a good employer brand. And one thing that is sure to turn talent off is a lack of diversity and inclusion in a workplace. More and more people value diversity in their communities, so they want to work for organizations that share their values. As a result, 76 percent of job seekers cite diversity in a workplace as a top factor they think about when considering job offers. 

Increasing employee satisfaction. Good employer branding does not end with the employees you’re recruiting—it’s also needed to boost current employee satisfaction. When it comes to D&I, showing that you’re making diversity, equity, and inclusion a priority will make your current employees happy. Research shows that 57 percent of all talent believes the companies they work for should do more toward increasing diversity, so this is simply not an issue you can ignore if you want to retain workers.

Boosting your overall reputation. A company's employer brand does not only affect current and potential employees. Having a strong commitment to D&I in your workplace will boost your reputation in the larger community—which can affect your ability to attract consumers to you. Just as people want to work in organizations that value diversity, people also want to do business with companies that have diverse workforces. This is so important, they're willing to put their money where their mouth is: 42 percent of consumers will actually pay more for products sold by companies that demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion, according to Russell Reynolds Associates.

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How to Weave DEI and Employer Branding

To take advantage of these employer branding benefits, it’s not enough to just say you value DEI; you need to weave it into your employer branding strategies. The following are five ways to do it.

1. Create a Diversity Careers Site

If you don't already have a career site dedicated to diversity and inclusion, you need to make building one a priority. It may even make sense to build specific sites with information for different untapped groups you're targeting. Be sure to feature the benefits you offer specifically to talent from underrepresented communities, such as mentoring, employee resource groups, and policies designed to protect people from discrimination in the workplace.

2. Rethink Job Descriptions

Although you may not realize it, the way you word your job descriptions can telegraph to potential talent whether or not your company values D&I. For example, if you use a lot of industry jargon in your job postings, you may actually turn off people from underrepresented backgrounds because they may feel alienated by the language used. To remedy this, use tools that analyze the text of your job posts to determine how inclusive they really are.

3. Showcase Leadership

One way you can demonstrate to the public that your organization cares about diversity and inclusion is by showcasing the leaders who are from underserved communities. People from different backgrounds want to know that they’ll have an equal chance to grow at your company, so by telling the success stories of leaders from underrepresented groups, you show prospective employees that there are indeed pathways for advancement in your organization.

4. Take Advantage of Social Media

Using your social media accounts is an excellent way to tell your company’s story and show people how you’re handling D&I. You can post pictures of company events, videos of employees giving testimonials about what it’s like to work there, and updates on the company’s D&I goals.This way, your organization can prove that it walks the walk of diversity, not just talks the talk. And if you don’t currently have a super diverse company, use your social media to express your desire to attract employees from historically overlooked communities.

5. Promote Your Employer Brand Internally

You have no better brand ambassadors than your current employees, so your employer branding strategy should include them. Educate workers about the D&I strategies you’ve implemented through newsletters and other communications, and get input from them about what untapped communities want and need from their workplaces. But don’t forget to keep your employees happy, so they can vouch for your employer brand among their friends and family members. They’re going to talk anyway—so you want to make sure the story they tell about your organization is a positive one. 

Your company’s reputation matters—whether you're trying to find new customers or hire new employees. Incorporating strong D&I strategies into your employer branding efforts will go a long way toward attracting both. These tips are a great start to help you weave D&I into your messaging so the community knows where you stand and what you're doing to increase diversity and inclusion in your organization.

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