Employer branding is part of a company’s identity. Positive employer branding helps attract and retain quality employees, who are crucial to the success and growth of the business. According to the TalentNow survey, when making a decision on where to apply for a job, 84 percent of job seekers say a company’s reputation as an employer is important. Meanwhile, half of the respondents (50 percent) say they would not work for a company with a bad reputation – even for a pay increase.
Employer brands not only define who you are as a corporation but also what and how you treat your stakeholders, so it is crucial for leaders to watch out red flags when trying to improve their employer branding strategy.
Your employer brand embodies your employees, your culture, your vision, and your values. These points are impossible to fake. For example, if you’re a fast-paced company with an entrepreneurial culture, then don’t market yourself as a laid-back environment with unlimited vacation days.
As an example, you could look at the careers site for oil industry company, BP. In 2010, there was an oil spill that shocked everyone. Several months later, the company still looked the same as before the spill. Due to this accident, eco-minded individuals affected by the disaster might hesitate before joining the company. Yet, there was only one acknowledgement of the situation – a tiny text link on the sidebar that asked “Why is it a good time to join BP?” From this situation, it can be concluded that the disaster could bring BP to a positive branding as the company reacts positively and is always authentic with their steps to not only succeed the company itself but also to respond timely to problems.
You can find a lot of products or services with common features. For example, Doritos is not the only flavoured tortilla chips around America. There are other chips brands which might taste better than Doritos. But how does Doritos stand out? By having an attitude, coming in crazy flavors with cool names and bright packaging. In the same way, your employer brand has to be distinctive. Avoid bland themes like “Grow your career with us” or “We offer work-life balance.” Almost any job can become a career and almost every job lets its employees go home at night.
So many career websites begin with, “Company X was founded in 1950 and now operates out of 75 offices in 12 countries.” Does that year mean the company is old-fashioned? Do those 12 countries mean employees get to see the world? Do the 75 offices mean employees can be transferred against their will?
Stand-alone facts like those can be both boring and confusing, a deadly combination for anyone looking to top motivate talent. You’re trying to create an emotional connection, so facts and numbers can only get you so far. Instead, talk about how your company helps people’s lives. Let employees share their stories. Show your workplace. Highlight employee events, rewards, volunteer work. Never be boring.
Be authentic and differentiated, and add an interesting and emotional component to your recruitment messaging. If you can’t always leave them laughing, at least leave them hungry to learn more.