Achieving a positive employer brand is the sum of the small and large things you do – and setting long-term goals to see through.
What is your employer brand? Put simply, it’s the image of your company as a potential employer. It’s everything from how you conduct yourself in the market to what people think it would be like to work for your organization.
What things should you look at when considering your employer brand? Brand awareness and brand differentiation are key areas to consider. How familiar are people with your brand? How does your brand stand out from the crowd?
Your employer brand is never entirely under your control, and perceptions are shaped by multiple circumstances. However, you can take simple measures to make sure that you are doing your best to create a positive image for your brand.
Keep your employees happy
Happy employees tend to result in a better employer brand for you. There are two reasons for this:
- Lower turnover rate
Engaged and happy employees are less likely to leave. Happy employees will make your company a positive to place to work and also happily represent the brand they work for to the outside. They’ll also refer others to apply for your company.
- Positive word of mouth
Engaged employees will share their happiness to their social networks. This type of word of mouth is golden marketing material for the brand, with the majority of prospects already present on some social media channel. “A person like yourself” is considered to be the most credible spokesperson, Edelman Trust Barometer 2017 reveals.
Survey your employees
If you want to start somewhere, ask your employees. They’re the ones who work for you. The questions you pose for employees can be as simple as: “Describe your employer in three words". How your employees perceive your brand is a strong indication of what they are communicating about your brand to others.
Patterns that you find among your employees can help you determine whether there are certain areas you need to improve in the eyes of your employees – and potential applicants.
Provide the right content on social
For your target audience to get an accurate image of you as a brand, they need access to the right material. Anyone can post about you online, including your employees. So why not make sure that there is as much positive buzz out there as possible? Survey employees’ social media habits and the sites they’re active on in order to find out if there is potential for building brand awareness on a particular channels where your employees have influence.
Employer branding content can include blog posts written by your employees, photos from your latest company retreat or user-generated content that reflects your brand or product from a customer- or employee-centric perspective.
Monitor and invest in your online traction
If you want to know what’s working with your target audience, i.e. prospective applicants, and also your employees, you should monitor brand awareness through the performance of your corporate social media presence. Clicks, comments, likes and shares on your content are indications of what’s working. The bigger the traction and more positive the sentiment, the better the track you’re on.
This type of monitoring does, however, has its limits, as does your reach on your social media pages. By leveraging, for example, your employees' networks for employer branding purposes, you can get a reach that equals your advocates’ networks combined. With an Employee Advocacy program and tool in place, you can gather accurate data on what’s engaging your employees and their networks.
“Your branding is not a ‘set it and forget it’ option. Things change." This is a good notion to bear in mind when monitoring your employer brand. It’s crucial to be able to perceive the employer brand in light of changes that might be taking place, and adjust your actions accordingly. Public relations, digital trends and the evolving social media landscape require the right technology and knowledge in order for brands to survive.
Keep in mind your strengths and issues, and set long-term goals that you can assess. Small technological, strategic and cultural changes can really pay off in the long run and result in a positive top-of-mind among your prospective applicants.
Your employer brand is as good as you allow it to be. If job seekers are job shoppers, you should do whatever you can to make your brand the most desirable of all options.