Employer brand is a phrase that’s been doing the rounds for a number of years now. It’s essentially the way a business communicates its strategy, values and culture to employees and prospective employees.
‘Branding’ is often associated with big business, with familiar logos and strap lines. But employer branding is more subtle than that, and it’s certainly not just about salary and benefits. It’s about philosophy, progression and values, and what a business wants to achieve.
Size really doesn’t matter either. A compelling employer brand isn’t something that just larger businesses can achieve. We work with a number of smaller businesses who are just as attractive to our candidates as the bigger names, purely because they have strong, well communicated values and a reputation for investing and developing their employees.
Understanding an employer’s brand is a key part of the process we follow when we begin working with a new client. For us that’s even more important than finding out what skills and experience are needed for a role. It means that we can make sure we find exactly the right match for the business as a whole, as well as for that particular position.
Here are our recommendations for making sure your brand supports your recruitment strategy:
Communicate your values and culture: Candidates want to know what kind of company they’ll be working for, what the culture is and what their future at the organisation will look like. We work closely with clients to find out where their business is headed, what they want from employees and what they can offer in return, to make sure that we find someone whose values and ambitions match.
First impressions count: 78% of candidates say the overall candidate experience they get is an indication of how a company values its people. There is a risk that the recruitment process becomes very transactional, with all the focus being on the candidate impressing their potential employer. However, in a candidate driven market the key to attracting the right talent is creating a positive experience for prospective employees from the first interview, through to the offer process.
Choose the right person for the business, not the role: We encourage clients to look at the bigger picture and consider candidates who may, on paper, not have all the skills on the job spec. It may mean committing to training and support, but someone whose values and personality match the culture of the business means they are much more likely to remain a motivated and productive employee in the longer term.
Invest in your people: That doesn’t necessarily mean in terms of salary and benefits. Our experience shows that many candidates decide to move on because they are bored and want a new challenge. Offering training and development opportunities will help employees feel valued and stay motivated.
Don’t be complacent: The most vital part of having a great employer brand is making sure existing employees are happy. They are the people who will be out chatting to friends and colleagues in the industry about the place they work. Regular reviews to discuss professional development and what employees like and dislike about the business is really important, and can help make sure they remain committed.
Having a strong employer brand is a useful tool in attracting the right people to your business, particularly when competition for the best candidates is high. Getting it right not only supports your recruitment strategy but will also make sure that current employees remain happy, motivated and productive.