Employer branding – first steps in building an image strategy
The term employer branding, i.e. building the employer’s brand image, has been in operation since the 1990s and although it is probably known more in international corporations than in local enterprises, it should be extremely important for all employers. Caring for a credible and coherent brand image is primarily an investment in the company’s stable development. Not only the acquisition of new talents, but also retention of experienced and qualified specialists should be considered.
The weight of reputation
In recent years, a lot of research has been conducted on the possible impact of the employer’s image on decisions that both applicants and employees already make. The statistics leave no doubt. Over 80% of job seekers cite the company’s reputation as an important factor, and 50% say they would not take a position if it was bad, even if it would be associated with higher pay (Talentnow). Another survey indicates that more than 80% of respondents would consider changing their job if an offer from an employer of exceptional reputation made them, while if they did not have it, over 60% of them would not accept the offer, even as the unemployed (Glassdoor).
Moreover, on average, three out of four full-time employees are considering changing jobs. However, this is influenced not only by conditions such as lack of development or promotion prospects, but also by the changing needs of people just entering the market. For the youngest, often neither career nor money is so important. Work culture is especially important to them, as well as its nature, best suited to individual interests, skills and opportunities.
Employer branding is people
So how do you start working on the employer branding strategy? First, choose the right team that will look after the image based on the criteria and the needs and interests of potential employees. It is worth to include specialists in human resource management, but also the general director or department manager themselves, because they are the ones who know best what the company’s development strategy is and therefore which employees they may employ in the future. In turn, marketing professionals can provide current information about its image, as well as support the process of implementing and promoting the new image, including work culture, both outside and inside the company. Also so-called brand ambassadors, i.e. employees who through official channels, such as blogs or social media profiles, can tell and confirm what a unique workplace is their company.
Employer branding is a virtual world
To develop relevant content that will naturally and effectively build employer branding, you must first create a candidate profile (candidate persona), just like working on a customer profile (buyer persona) when marketing content is created. Then, using the available channels, you can prepare profiled blog entries about company events, work culture, benefits or recruitment processes, and of course, meeting the expectations of a potential employee. Social media posts, presenting employees, their positions and opinions, also in the form of photos or video, may also work well. Especially the latter are currently enjoying growing popularity, so it’s good to consider maintaining professional company profiles in social media.
The development of technology is rapidly changing the world of recruitment. Research shows that every fourth person uses social media when looking for a job or information about the employer, and every fifth uses mobile devices and the Internet for this purpose. Therefore, there is a growing demand for responsive, readable and attractively designed websites and applications, as well as a team of specialists who can fill them with relevant content. However, one should not forget about active presence on labor market portals, which are still a source of knowledge for many Poles.
Employer branding is feedback
Collecting information on employment conditions as well as the place and culture of work is extremely important. Employers’ increasingly frequent practice is asking for feedback from employees – both those who still belong to the team and those who leave. It’s good to know what influenced their decision or what other employer convinced them with. You can use various tools, e.g. surveys, questionnaires and focus surveys. In turn, you have to ask about various aspects of work and issues, e.g. good and bad experiences, interests, life goals and priorities, needs and expectations. You should not be afraid of criticism if it is constructive and supported by arguments. Thanks to this, you can easily get an internal image of the company and if it differs from the assumption or needs refreshing, you immediately know where to start. Employees will also definitely appreciate that their opinion counts and is considered by supervisors in shaping the company’s strategy and policy.