Employer branding is an essential component of any talent acquisition strategy. Whether conscious of it or not, all organisations have an employer brand. However, those who put effort into developing and communiating theirs will more likely stand out and successfully engage, recruit, and retain the right people.
Corporate and employer brands may speak to different audiences, each requiring tailored messaging, however there are some general brand-building principles that can still be applied to both. Focusing on employer branding for talent acquisition, we look at the three key brand pillars and review how we can take this learning and apply it to help you Attract the people you need.
Put simply, relevance measures a brand’s ability to maintain its position within the industry. It’s about putting in the work to remain a necessity for your audience. While this sounds simple, some make the mistake of being too internally focused, failing to take the time to listen to consumers and acknowledge specific pain points.
It can be easy to overlook relevance when building an employer brand. Using current employees as a blueprint, some employers assume they know precisely what candidates are looking for. However, with workplace needs and aspirations constantly evolving, staying relevant demands a real-time understanding of employee requirements and revisions to approaches to ensure you cater for these needs.
Asking candidates and existing employees for feedback about their experience and expectations will help refine your offering and shape an employer brand. It’s a time-consuming and ongoing process, but it will prove rewarding in helping you stand out as an employer of choice.
Brand differentiation focuses on how you can provide something your competition does not.
Differentiation has become increasingly important in employer branding over the last two years. With remote working becoming a permanent fixture, multinational brands now look a lot like start-ups regarding set-up and working environment, with candidates no longer limited by location. It’s given people more options, meaning employers need to work harder to stand out.
Differentiation does not necessarily mean providing everything your employees want or attempting to outbid competitors. Often it comes down to how your messaging is delivered and whether it’s resonating with the right audiences. You might have the best perks on the market, but if no one is seeing them, or they are not translating to your target talent, then there isn’t much point.
Observe and learn from brands both inside and outside your sector that are well-known for being great employers. Look at how they share information and where. Do they highlight the voices of their people in comms? Which key messages do they share first? What are their standout benefits? On which channels and platforms can you find them? What do the reviews on Glassdoor and Google say? Identifying how other brands differentiate themselves will inspire your current brand and ultimately help shape the messages you create about you as an employer.
Credibility is the core component of any brand. Garnering trust leads to positive word-of-mouth, increased interest and enhanced loyalty. However, credibility is more than a brand issue; it’s a corporate one.
You can work hard to create a relevant and differentiated employer brand that speaks to the right audience, but this hard work will come undone if your organisation is deemed untrustworthy or a poor employer.
Building trust takes time, but it’s the primary driver of credibility in employer branding. The basic principle of trust is delivering what you promise. If career progression is important to your target talent, highlight some of the top success stories in your organisation. Alternatively, if flexible working is available, outline exactly what this means. For example, do you expect employees to work on-site a certain number of days a week? Can they work around school hours?
Transparency is key. Avoid ambiguous statements like ‘competitive salary’ or ‘fast-paced environment’ and be specific about what they can expect as an employee. The same goes for sharing your employer goals. If you are working on improving ED&I in your business, share clear goals and timelines for improvement in a public place, such as your website or careers page.
People don’t expect perfection from their employers, but being honest and acknowledging opportunities for further development will go a long way to build the trust you need to become a credible employer.
Help with building your employer brand
If you’re looking to leverage your employer brand to attract and engage the right talent, Omni can help. As a Resourcing Transformation Specialist, our RPO services will help you stand out in the talent market. Our team will work with you to promote your brand and opportunities to as diverse a range of candidates as possible, driving engagement and nurturing talent every step of the way.