A Fall 2019 Gartner article highlights that more than half of HR leaders say they are having more trouble attracting candidates with the exact skill sets required by hiring managers than they did five years ago. Additionally, Gartner’s intel shows that in 2018, 90% of S&P 100 companies were competing for talent to fill the same 39 roles. The struggle to capture the best talent is still going strong! What can organizations do to gain an upper hand? Thoroughly examining and enhancing your organization’s employer brand is an essential step.
SHRM defines employer brand as “an important part of the employee value proposition and is essentially what the organization communicates as its identity to both potential and current employees. It encompasses an organization’s mission, values, culture and personality.” Recruitment of new employees, as well as retention and engagement of current talent, depend on the strength of your employer brand. Will Stanley, Glassdoor’s former Head of Global Recruiting, emphasized in 2014 that “Everything a candidate has ever heard, read or witnessed about your company will enter into the decision of whether to work with your company.” Furthermore, a strong employer brand means current employees will become advocates, giving your organization an invaluable marketing tool: word-of-mouth.
How does an organization develop its employment brand? SHRM suggests the following steps:
- Know the organization’s business, vision, mission, values, and culture.
- Conduct internal research to understand how the organization is perceived by its current employees, and its target candidate group(s), and what these individuals want from the organization.
- Conduct external research to learn how the organization is positioned in relation to the competition.
- Define an employee value proposition (EVP) that clearly communicates the value of the organization’s employer brand.
- Develop an employee marketing strategy.
- Align the employer brand with the overall organization brand.
- Ensure that people and management practices support the organization’s employer brand.
- Develop and use metrics to assess and track the success of the employer brand.
Never underestimate the power of personal touch. In a Forbes article on employer branding and the job candidate experience, Meghan M. Biro, CEO of TalentCulture, explains “People want to deal with people.” When handling candidates there is no excuse to not communicate or give feedback in today’s tech-savvy world. She elaborates, “If a candidate comes to your career site, acknowledge the visit with an email explaining your hiring process. Technology is available now to make these steps easy; there’s no reason not to do it, unless you want to damage your brand.” Treat your job candidates as you would customers. Glassdoor has noticed that candidates today treat job searching “like an online shopping experience.” They examine everything, from an organization’s social media presence to reviews given by previous employees and customers alike.
Your employer brand is strong if those on the outside can understand your organization’s purpose, vision, and culture. Those within the organization should feel like they are confidently keeping up with those expectations. If that’s not the case, it’s time to get to work.
What steps has your organization taken to strengthen or create its employer brand? Please share in the comment section below!