Attracting and retaining top talent in business has become more challenging than ever. With the eventual exit of the Baby Boomer generation from the workforce, the number of younger people entering won’t be enough to fill in the positions of those who left.
This latest trend is perhaps one of the reasons behind the increasing popularity of talent management rather than just plain hiring and recruiting. Smart companies have become more conscientious about their efforts in attracting the best people. They know the importance hiring and retaining the right employees, and that it’ll take more than simple “We’re Hiring” sign to make talented people want to join their company.
And there are companies that this to heart and execute it right.
Think Google, Microsoft, and Virgin. What do they have that make the best want to work for them? What makes them extra special in the eyes of applicants?
An Original and Positive Employer Brand
Employer brand is a company’s overall personality and character as perceived by the its employees and potential candidates. An original employer brand is necessary for a company that wants the best of the best – reason why employer branding must be a part of the total HR strategic effort.
When it comes to hiring, having a positive and known brand lessens expenses, improves retention, and reduces turnover. With a successful brand, you don’t go looking for people, they come to you.
Is It Worth Your Time and Money?
Yes. It is.
According to a LinkedIn survey of more than 4,700 talent acquisition professionals, companies with a strong employer brand save up to 50% per hire. That’s more money you can save or put into strategic use for your business.
Small to medium-sized businesses usually can’t compete with Fortune 500 companies when it comes to recruitment. This is where a strong employer brand can help even the odds. A unique employer brand makes you a more attractive employer to job seekers who would otherwise be more drawn to bigger companies.
Getting Started on Employer Branding
It’ll take time, a lot of research and planning, and effort to find out what is and how to market your employer brand. But here are some pretty good places to start.
1. Know who you are as a company.
The most important detail in planning and carrying out your employer branding strategy is to know who you are as a company. Job seekers ignore generic and abstract promises in job ads and promotional material, so it is best to be authentic. Be totally honest and describe your current brand and culture – not what you want to be.
A great way to find out is to ask your current and former employees and even candidates. Ask questions and let them share stories about your brand or their experience with it. Be objective and try to understand their views and opinions. Once you figure this out, you can start thinking about how to best market yourself.
2. Leverage social media and company website
Your company website and social media presence are perfect channels to promote your employer brand. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, SlideShare, and Pinterest are just a few social media networks you can utilize to increase awareness of your brand online.
Be careful though. It’s best to choose and maintain one or two social media profiles at the beginning. Remember to only build a presence that you can maintain. And while you’re at it, don’t just focus on promoting your business and attracting talent. Socialize and reach out to your followers as well.
3. Offer unique perks to your employees
While your business may not be able to provide cool office spaces like Google, you can offer unique perks to your employees. Find out what matters most to them when it comes to, say, benefits or work-life balance. Find something that will make them happy because happy employees are more than willing to help promote your brand and tout your business.
Whether you’re a small to medium-sized business or a startup, building and maintaining a good employer brand early on can help your business in the long run. Honesty coupled with careful planning can help start your branding strategy on the right foot.