Building your employer brand
Building your employer brand
The days of drab help wanted ads are long gone. You need to promote your SME’s personality—your employer brand—to potential job candidates. Get the lowdown in three easy steps!
Job candidates are no longer content to read boring descriptions of responsibilities and the salary for a job listing—what interests them is the whole package your company has to offer. An employer brand is based on many aspects and workers consider when assessing their current or potential status within an organization. Workers might give more importance to personal development within your SME and to the values you have in common than the dollar amount on their paycheque. That means it’s time for a little soul-searching!
1. Define your value proposition
First you need to do some thinking. Begin by clearly defining your company’s mission, vision and values. Get back to basics—to the DNA of your company culture. What distinguishes you as an employer in comparison with others? And what makes you an interesting choice for a potential candidate? And try to identify the reason your employees remain faithful over the years.
This first step aims to define your value proposition, which should be different from your competitors and align with the needs of your employees. It encompasses everything you have to offer potential candidates: practical advantages (like favourable geographic location and an office that boasts leading-edge technology), economic advantages (competitive salary and performance bonus) and emotional advantages (pride in being part of the organization and its reputation).
2. Deploy your chosen strategy
To deploy an effective strategy, you need to really understand your target. Who are your potential candidates? The employees you’re looking for must have certain common characteristics in terms of expertise or personality. Next, choose the communication channels that best suit your target. The goal is to advertise your value proposition!
There are several tools available to help you with your strategy. Your website, social media accounts, a video profile of your company, local newspapers and industry event sponsorships highlight your employer brand. But your best ambassadors are likely your own employees: Happy to contribute to your company mission, they’re not only agents of change but also recruiters for your business.
Don’t hesitate to refine your recruiting practices. Make sure candidates who knock on your door leave with a memorable experience. A notable job posting, an exciting description of responsibilities, a thank you email to a top candidate and an interview follow-up are just some of the gestures that speak to the quality of your employer brand. And why not have them visit your office so they can get a taste of what to expect?
The success of your employer brand depends on having a complete internal and external communication plan. Your message needs to be clear and precise, with no ambiguity. Don’t skimp when it comes to assigning human and financial resources to your social networks—it’s often a crucial avenue for reaching Gen X, Y and Z.
3. Measure your results
Building your employer brand is a lengthy process. But over time you’ll notice that your efforts pay off in many ways.
To correctly evaluate your results, conduct an employee survey before launching your strategy (step 2). A few months after, once your well-defined value proposition and communication plan have been in play, redo the same internal survey to see how your initiatives are progressing. This will enable you to see whether your employees’ perception of your SME has improved. Other performance indicators might also be useful—in particular, the number of applications received each month and the time it takes to fill a position. Has the change been positive?
In short, the quality of your employer brand relies on your ability to juggle several priorities—attracting new talent and earning the loyalty of your current employees will set you apart from the competition and contribute to building your reputation. Are you ready to rise to the challenge?