When looking to attract talent one of the first areas to address is your company’s reputation and branding. Employer branding is an essential tool in attracting top talent to your organisation, and it is the vehicle that communicates your company’s culture and values to the marketplace. Whether you realise it or not your company already has a brand – it is your reputation and the public’s perception of your company culture.
Your employer brand is at its most powerful when wielded in the recruitment process, and should reflect the image of your company that you want potential employees to see. For example, tag lines like GE’s ‘imagination at work’ brand and Microsoft’s ‘Your potential. Our passion’ both send strong messages to prospective employees that they are innovative and dynamic places to work.
Building your employer brand
When it comes to developing your own employer brand you need to:
- Identify your default employer brand and then the emotions and attributes you want to have associated with your company.
- Build a list of key words and themes you want people to be thinking and saying about your business. Some popular employer brands are:
- Work / Life Balance
- Innovative Company / Technology
- Family / Community Oriented
- Fun Work Environment
- Attractive Salary & Benefits Packages
- Training & Personal Development
- Green / Environmentally Conscious
- Career Growth / Opportunity
- Encourage collaboration between your HR and marketing teams to develop appropriate material and messages for carrying your brand into the public domain.
- Make sure that these messages compliment the company’s overall product/service marketing strategy.
- Involve your employees in every aspect of the employer branding process. It is pointless trying to develop your image if there is a conflict between the message and what your people are actually doing.
- You need to live and breathe the image that’s promoted and ensure it’s taken up across the entire organisation.
Remember: the aim is to distinguish your company in the eyes of your target audience. As your employer brand grows you will its impact on the success of your recruitment campaigns.
Strengthening your employer branding
When you’ve got top talent applying to your company you begin the next phase in strengthening your employer brand – the recruitment process.
In today’s world candidates have high expectations of employers. There are a number of key areas of the recruitment process to address in order to uphold and strengthen your employer brand.
1. Managing the application process
One of the most common complaints candidates have when applying for a vacancy is that they hear nothing back for several weeks, or sometimes not at all. Mismanagement of applicant responses is guaranteed to have a negative impact on your employer brand, and your ability to attract talent.
It is important to ensure all applicants receive a response within a reasonable timeframe that acknowledges their application and advises applicants when and how they will be contacted regarding their application.
2. Managing the interview process
When applicants are shortlisted for interview they should receive ample notice. The first point of contact should always be by phone. However, always make sure you follow up by confirming the interview in writing.
3. Managing unsuccessful applications
For every successful applicant there will be several who are not, and they need to be notified accordingly. Notices to unsuccessful applicants need to be handled with due consideration for the candidate. After all, their hopes of new and gainful employment rest with your organisation.
A professional and courteous letter advising applicants they were unsuccessful can help maintain goodwill and goes further to enhance your company’s positive reputation in the market.
Remember: by acting in an ethical and efficient manner your employer brand will be further enhanced, and you will continue to attract top talent.