I have been in recruitment for 10 years now and over this time I have seen ebbs and flows in availability of quality candidates, but I have never seen such a candidate tight market as I have over this past month.
It has highlighted the incredible importance of being an employer of choice and ensuring that your brand speaks to the right marketplace in attracting top talent.
When you think of your brand, more often than not, you think only to your clientele. As an employer you have two brands that cross over, client branding and employer branding.
An employer brand refers to your identity and reputation as an employer and this brand isn’t just dependent on the quality of your company as an employer, but on the general perception on your ability to attract and retain high quality employees.
Candidates today have access to a wealth of information regarding potential employers and job posting boards such as Seek even have review options where current and past employees can leave reviews about their time in your company. It takes only a quick glance to see that these are not always the most flattering reviews. In times of economic instability and high unemployment, one negative comment is enough to turn a high calibre candidate off your company.
A high calibre candidate spends time researching your company before submitting an application. Regardless of whether they are using a recruiter, this style of candidate wants to ensure they are aligning themselves with a great employer and they will do their homework. As a result, a strong employer brand is critical to attracting your ideal candidate.
Here are some key tips to improve your employer brand.
1. ANALYSE YOUR COMPANY CULTURE
A strong employer brand starts from within. If you want a candidate to perceive your company as a great place to work, it must actually be a great place to work.
A page of selected testimonials from current staff wont cut it, word of mouth travels and if you offer a particular experience that you don’t actually provide, candidates will find out. The best way to assess your culture is to speak with your current team. Whether that is via anonymous surveys or face to face conversation, you need to discover what they love about working with your company and what they would like to see change.
2. DEVELOP A CONTENT STRATEGY TO PROMOTE YOUR EMPLOYER BRAND
In the digital and hyper connected age, content is king and hiring and marketing now go hand in hand. Develop content that will speak to your ideal candidates and although it may appear time consuming, it will pay off.
This content can be as simple as acknowledging current staff hard work, or highlighting how your current team and company values align, sharing team building efforts and your current staff enjoying being at work. No matter how serious a role might be, all candidates want to be in an environment that is positive, engaging and pleasant and you can very easily use social media to show case this.
3. INVEST IN YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYEES
Particularly this year, this is an area that has dropped back as costs have been cut to get businesses through the pandemic. When you help your current employees upskill, you will get payback in the form of better performing employees who are more productive with a higher level of respect for the company.
For example, many are in the process of having to switch from certificate of registration over to a real estate license. Reach out to a training provider and see if you can co-ordinate a better corporate rate and fund this transition, it is also a benefit to your business.
4. ESTABLISH JOB PERKS
At the end of the day, many roles are quite similar from office to office and salaries only vary slightly. Think about what you could offer outside of the standard salary package to be viewed as an employer of choice. I have clients who offers their team 6 sessions per year with a mental health professional that is provided on an anonymous basis, a quarterly session with a life coach, gym memberships and an additional 2 weeks annual leave each year.
These perks, whilst an investment, have ensured strong retention of happy staff and a long list of candidates hoping to secure a role in this company.
You don’t need to offer any of those suggestions, but think outside the box as to what you can add to a potential list of perks, you would be surprised at the result it produces.
Modern job candidates have more power over the hiring process than ever before. It’s no longer enough for companies to post jobs and hope the right candidates come to them. Businesses must prove they are worthy employers—and to do so, they must make their employer brand an ongoing priority.
Remember—honesty is the most important element of your employer brand. The best branding can’t make up for a lackluster culture or unsatisfied employees. Don’t try to make your company seem like an amazing place to work—strive to actually make it an amazing place to work for your current employees. If you can do that, a big part of your employer branding will take care of itself.