No matter how big your company is or what industry you’re in, your success has a lot to do with the quality of the team that you have working for you. As such, it’s important to pay as much attention to your employer branding as to the rest of your branding.
Good employer branding helps you attract the sort of candidates that will fit in well with your current team and be in line with your vision for your company. And employer branding is especially important if you’re in field where potential new employees are spoiled for choice – you want to stand out as not just a good job, but as the best job for them.
Your employer branding expresses itself in numerous ways, from job postings to interviews to casual mentions of it in magazine profiles. Google is a prime example of this. I think we’ve all known someone (or been that someone…) who has day dreamed about working in one of Google's offices. But companies of all sizes can build a reputation for their work environment and how they treat their employees.
So think about what makes you stand out from other employers in your field and geographical area. If you’re not sure what your employer brand is, ask your employees! What do they prize most about working for you? Consider asking them not just what they love about their job, but what their dream job would be like. The answers to these questions can show you what your brand is, and also show you where you could improve.
Once you have a clear sense of your employer brand, get marketing to come up with ways to incorporate it into your job listings. Your job listings should convey a sense of your branding both in how you describe the job, and how you describe your an ideal candidate. As an example, a large used bookstore in my old hometown was hiring a customer relations manager and they expressed their brand pretty well when they said that the ideal candidate should love working with animals and children and be able to “geek out”. They made it abundantly clear that this was not a stodgy office job. They needed a fun person who could express their fun business culture.
It’s important that your branding is an accurate reflection of your company, rather than what you would like it to be. Your vision may be that you’re a fun, laid-back environment, but if the reality is that you work with a lot of tight deadlines and last-minute changes, your job listings should describe a fast-paced, challenging position to attract applicants who thrive in that sort of climate.
You can make sure that you’re living up to your brand image by engaging your workforce through your HR team, employee programs, and internal communications. All of these should work together to not only enforce your branding, but also to give your employees the opportunity to let you know if they’re not feeling engaged or incorporated into the corporate culture.
Although it may take a little time to develop your brand as an employer, in the long run it will save you time by attracting the right people for the job.