Should you care about your employer branding strategy?

Since Covid-19 forced people out of the office and into their homes the way we think about work and what we want from the thing we spend the majority of our time doing has changed.

The ‘Great Resignation’ or ‘Great Attrition’ (depending on your preference) is a term many of us are now familiar with. People from across all industries, job levels, and functions are rethinking their working lives and looking for pastures new as they see lockdowns being lifted and economies reopening. 

According to recent research the number of job vacancies in the UK from November 2021 to January 2022 reached a record high of near 1.3M and businesses are struggling to find the talent and skills to fill the gap. 

As people look for new positions they are no longer driven only by the promise of a big cheque (although that might help). Instead, they are looking for businesses that provide more flexible working options, an opportunity to learn, and a culture that reflects their values In fact, company culture is 12x more likely than pay or financial benefits to predict whether an employee will leave.

The question is what can businesses do to retain the great talent that they have and attract the right talent in the future?

It’s time to work on your employee value proposition (EVP) and your employer branding strategy.

Before we dive into more detail, it’s worth noting: 

  • Employer branding brings together your company’s values, culture, and policies in the context of a job role and it starts from within.
  • Review sites like Glassdoor lift the curtain on what it’s like to work at a business, so every organisation has some kind of employer brand whether they realise it or not.
  • 84% of job seekers say a company’s reputation as an employer is important when applying for a job so you want yours to be positive.
  • Getting feedback on your employee experience, what’s working and what needs fixing, is a crucial first step in building an authentic and transparent employer brand that you can really shout about from the rooftops. 

Getting your employee proposition right

At Earnest, we regularly work with clients to define their value proposition – the core benefit that they provide for their customers and the main reason why anyone should choose them over the competition. This is a critical piece of the marketing puzzle and you need one for your employees and prospective talent. 

An EVP is the foundation of an employer brand. Beyond monetary reward, the key ingredients of an EVP and the questions you need to answer are:

  • What is our leadership and management style?
  • How much autonomy do our employees have?
  • What does our training and development program look like?
  • What diversity and inclusion policies and programs do you have in place?
  • How collaborative is the organisation?
  • How challenging is the work and does it offer variety?
  • What are the opportunities for career progression? 
  • What is the culture (and we mean beyond pizza parties and ping pong tables)?

When you have answers to questions like the ones above you can start to formulate your EVP. Then it’s time to test and validate with your employees. Get their view on whether it reflects reality. If it doesn’t, consider what you need to do to get there and put a plan in place to make the change.

Building your employer brand to attract and retain talent

• • •

(Header photo: Ian Schneider on Unsplash)

Once you have a clearly defined EVP you can start building your employer brand. How should it look? How should it sound? How does it keep delivering on the proposition? 

If you are looking to attract new talent everything from the job posting, the application process, the interview and onboarding them are key touchpoints where your employer brand can either be reinforced or fall over.

Before people even consider applying for a job with you, they’ll do a little digging. 91% of candidates seek out at least one resource to evaluate an employer’s brand before applying for a job so how you present yourself to the world is key.

Beyond a great-looking website that clearly articulates your EVP, consider how you might use your greatest asset – your people – within your recruitment marketing.

Research shows that people are more trusting of employees than CEOs and people feel more confident applying for a job when they see people like themselves reflected in the current company’s talent pool. 

As potentially your biggest advocate, your people are the truest reputation of what your company can provide to other candidates. Bring them into the process, get their input and you’ll have a much stronger employer brand for it.

If you need some ideas on how to get started with your employer branding strategy, we created the B2B Brand Reboot Guide to inspire you.

• • •

(Header photo: Ian Schneider on Unsplash)