Your Employer Brand is Awful! (and its Keeping Your Applicants Away)
A buzzword we hear floating around HR circles a lot is "employer branding", but what does that even mean? With branding in there it honestly sounds more like something marketing should be concerned with rather than HR. So, what exactly is employer branding and why does HR need to be concerned about it?
Video: Your Employer Branding Is Awfull!
Your employer brand is a long-term strategy.
Speaking as a marketer, my whole team will tell you that one of the number one ways to trigger me is to bring up branding. In my eyes, branding is what I tend to focus on marketing that generates either a result or an action. However, branding is this bigger long-term strategy that really doesn't have to do a response. But when it comes to employer branding there actually is a way to make some changes that will trigger a response for your organization.
What does a Google search say about your company?
A quick Google search will tell you that employer branding is an employer's reputation as a place to work, and today's world reputation is just about everything. As consumers we are taught to investigate, or research things before we buy. More specifically we've been trained to investigate things before we will even contact a company.
Before you book a hotel, you're going to hop on Expedia and read the reviews, when you're looking for somewhere to eat, you're going to pull open your Yelp app and see what's popular and ranked well in the area. Even on Amazon, you want to make sure you broom has 5 stars before you're willing to spend that $11.99. We want to know what independent sources (preferably regular people like you and me) are saying about these places, restaurants, and products. Then we are going to make judgements and decisions on those companies, based on what we read.
Look through your job seekers lens to view your employer brand.
Employer branding is no different. We're not asking you to create some big character or mystique when you brand. Instead we just want you to take some time to really evaluate what judgements job seekers are making about your organization based on your current employee brand. To find out what your current employer brand is you're going to want to look at your reviews on Glassdoor, get a pulse from what your employees are doing and saying on social media, what your job ads look like, and even what your company's apply process looks like.
4 Qualities Job Seekers Look for in a Potential Employer
When I approach my employer brand, I like to take a look at four main things that people will judge you on.
Your job seekers (and potentially your customers!) are going to judge whether you really believe in your values or not by your employer brand. Your brand is made up of the way your employees act, the way you interact with people, the type of people you hire, and a huge one, what it's like to go through the hiring process with your company. If you say that you value people, but you really treat them like crap, job seekers are going to judge you and think "You must not really believe in that value."
If you treat job seekers like they're not important, they're going to assume that you'll treat them like that when they work for you. This is one of the most important ones to look at. If you're asking job seekers to jump through a lot of unnecessary hoops and wasting their time by dragging your feet or not calling them back promptly they are not going to want to finish the application process let alone work for your company.
Will you do what you say you do? This one really ties in number one and number two from above. If you say you value your employees but your Glassdoor feedback doesn't say that, then they're going to wonder what else you're lying about. They'll start to worry that you're dressing up a really bad position with a really cheerful colorful job ad.
This is huge when it comes to your application process in particular. If your job ad is saying that the company is on the cutting edge of technology, but you're asking the job seeker to fax in a resume they're going to have some questions. Most of the time inadequate or outdated technology means that there will be unnecessary busy work for your employees to manually handle, and that's just not an appealing look for a job.
Begin improving your employer brand today.
Now that you know what an employer brand consists of, how do you go about impacting it? Go through your hiring process, take a good long look at your job ads from a job seeker's perspective and ask what its saying about your company. Go one step further and look up what is being said about your company on sites like Glassdoor, twitter, and Facebook. If your current employer brand isn't looking so good take the necessary steps to change it. Remember, if your company doesn't look like a good place to work from the outside, the highly qualified job seeker is probably not going to apply.
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Learn what 4 qualities job seekers look for in a potential employer and how to use internet searches and brand ratings to better understand your own employer brand.