How You can Communicate an Effective Employer Brand (That Won't Cost You)
Having an effective employer brand is top of the HR hit list for 2017, according to Linked In’s annual Global Recruiting Trends 2017 report. But, how exactly do you get one – and what do you do with it once you have it?
Much like your personal brand, your employer brand is something that already exists – and it must be managed if you want it to work in your favour! (which, you do)
Your employer brand is how your employees, potential employees, visitors, and contractors perceive your ability to employ; your leadership, innovation, service, technology and systems, and genuine support of your people. It’s the reason that people want to work for you, and not your competitor, which means it’s highly valuable in your hunt for top talent.
If you’re not sure what your employer brand is, I encourage you to search your business on Glassdoor – but be warned, it could be a brutal eye-opener! Glassdoor is where people go to talk about you when you’re not in the room.
The Value in an Effective Employer Brand
Competition for talent is the primary challenge facing most companies (57%), with quality of hire being the top measure of success. Knowing and communicating your employer brand positively affects:
- the quality of your new hires
- recruitment processes
- workplace culture and values
- employee engagement
- brand recognition.
People connect with the brand that tells a story.
Ultimately, the aim for any business these days is to build an army of loyal brand ambassadors. These are the people that willingly share their positive experiences with your brand with the people in their lives; friends, family, and maybe even the guy that sold them a bratwurst at the market on Wednesday.
The same is said of your employees – by providing them with a valuable, positive experience throughout their entire employee lifecycle in your company – you will create employer brand ambassadors. Awesome employer brand ambassadors help you attract and recruit more top talent to your business. The right top talent.
It’s true. I’m currently working a part-time contract with Suncorp. They are an amazing employer. Their flexibility, trust, fun and inviting work environment, supportive teams and management make me smile every day. They are visually pushing innovation and new ideas – it’s safe to fail here, which I’m not sure can be said for 95% of companies out there! I tell everyone how great it’s been these past few months. And I’m only a contractor with an expiry date.
Your Employer Brand is About Experiences
Your employer brand comes from how your employees, contractors, visitors, and potential employees all interact with and experience your organisation. It starts from the moment they apply for a job with you, throughout their tenure, and even when they exit the organisation (the entire employee lifecycle). Consider your:
- Candidate experiences during recruitment (length and management of application process, quality of communication, interview style, and acceptance)
- New starter onboarding (systems and processes, communication, induction, and orientation activities)
- Work environment (age and appearance of buildings and equipment, office and furniture, location, quality of tech and internal systems)
- Leader and management styles
- Communication style, platforms, and frequency
- Social presence (Yammer, Facebook, twitter, Instagram – especially for younger generations)
- Learning and development opportunities within
- Career progression and internal promotions
- Organisation culture (trust, processes, flexibility, innovation, support, toxic teams).
Whoa! That’s a long list - and how you communicate plays a major role.
How to Communicate Your Employer Brand
Let’s get back to the stats for a minute. According to Linked In’s report – 53% of surveyed leaders would rather spend their budget building an effective employer brand strategy (where money isn’t a constraint). But, it doesn't need to be expensive.
Start by working on your communication style. Actually, just start communicating, because I’m pretty sure most companies don’t even do that! Forget the hierarchy. Forget that Bob needs to tell Barry, so he can tell John, who can then get Martha to tell the rest of the team. Ick. Hierarchies are so 1960s.
Get back to basics.
- Start by asking your employees what makes you come to work every day? This is your strength - be proud of it. Share it. Tell the world!
- Visibly celebrate individual and team achievements, innovative projects, and industry recognition. Visibly – awards, intranet articles, newsletters, internal and external social media channels. Encourage them to feel pride.
- Spend time with your employees. Share their experiences on social and internally through profiles – what do they get up to in their role? In a large organisation with front line and corporate staff, neither one ever understands what the other does! Break it down, and open a connection between all employees.
- Communicate often and clearly (this includes recruitment). Get rid of the jargon - for reals. People hate it – it serves no purpose (unless you’re explaining a complex medical procedure with a fellow doctor!) and it makes you look like an out of touch wa-lly.
Go on, get to it.
Your brand is about sharing your story – and your people are your story.
Start communicating your successes, achievements, best-practice methodology, and industry recognition with employees, customers, and the public. The ‘not-so-humble-brag’ is suddenly fashionable. It’s OK to say you’re doing kick-ass things – because, how else will anyone know what you do behind those glass doors?