What is Employer Branding (and why you should invest in it)

Your company is a brand. Whether that happens as a result of strategic, combined efforts or out of sheer luck, it is a brand. And by that I mean not only the logo or name your customers recognize or look for when searching for a specific solution you offer, but also the one’s candidates research when looking for a new place to work or considering your job offer.

What is employer branding?

Your company’s employer brand is a combination of two main factors:

  1. Your reputation (as an employer) among the general workforce;
  2. The perception your employees have of you as an employer.

But, what is employer branding?

A well-thought employer brand can be a precious asset when attracting top talent as well as a useful resource for retaining talented employees.

The recruiting scenario has always been competitive and has become, even so, considering the pandemic/post-pandemic scenario in which several companies are deciding to go fully remote or at least remote-first.

Candidates have several options for employers, more than ever before, which means job applicants are doing their research even before applying. Just as consumers might research reviews online before purchasing a product, professionals are making the most of social media and specialized websites (such as Glassdoor) to find out all they can about companies before making the decision to apply.

Why should your company invest in employer branding?

As mentioned above, employer branding is all about what candidates see, right? Even though there isn’t really a way for your company to control everything people say about it, recruitment departments are the ones in charge of making sure potential new team members like what they see.

Would you consider working for a company you know nothing about? Whether you’re actively searching for a position or considering accepting a job offer, would you do so without taking your time to learn about the company’s culture and what their employees have to say about working there? Most of the employees wouldn’t, either.

Good employer brands have something in common: they tell compelling stories. The days when you could market your company as a great place to work because you had a cool office with ping-pong tables are long gone.

When people think about renowned employer brands such as Google or Facebook, they immediately form an image of what it’s like to work there, even though the vast majority of them have probably never worked for any of those companies. 

That’s one of the coolest, and sometimes tricky, things about employer branding – the reputation precedes the actual experience. Nowadays, people don’t need to work for a company to know what it’s like to work there. 

Why should your company invest in employer branding?

1. Attracting (only) the right people to your company

It goes without saying that recruiters are always looking for the best people for each of the available positions. That is a two-way street, though. Your potential new employees need to feel like they’re the right fit not only for the job but for your company as a whole.

By taking the time and effort to clearly state “who you are” as an organization and what you offer to the members of your team, you’re helping people thoroughly understand your company.

To sum things up, it’s all about communicating the right things. By having a strong employment brand you’re investing in attracting the right people which may end saving you time and effort talking to people that don’t have the right fit.

2. It’s not (just) about the money

When it comes to competing in a highly competitive market, the same strategies for selling products go for attracting talent: you can achieve a competitive advantage by either offering the best price or differentiating yourself from your competitors.

Not every company has the resources to rely on paying the most as a long-term strategy, that’s where you can use employer branding to your advantage. Several studies show that candidates are willing to accept a lower salary if it means working for a company that has a great culture and, therefore, a strong brand.

3. Set expectations and reduce turnover

The best way to set the right expectations is to communicate transparently and upfront what it’s like to work at your company. When people are aware of the skills and traits you value and what successful employees look like, not only do they know whether that’s what they’re looking for, but also how to develop and grow within the company.

The more open and honest you are about the expectations and possibilities in your organization, the less likely people are to get disappointed, and in the worst-case scenario, leave. 

There’s no magic: Start building your employer brand strategically

Now that you know several of the advantages of having a strong employer branding strategy, start investing in your own. Before anything else, you can start with internal research, asking your employees:

  • What were the reasons why they decided to work for your company?
  • What do they enjoy the most about working for you?

After this initial assessment it’s time for the last check: are these strong features and advantages being shared with potential candidates? If not, why is that?

Start tackling the improvement opportunities as soon as possible. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll see the positive results of empowering your brand as a great place to work!

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