In the realm of recruitment, first impressions matter immensely.  A firm handshake has long been regarded as a symbolic gesture of confidence, professionalism, and mutual respect.  However, there are occasions when a handshake can go awry, leaving a negative impact and ending a new relationship quickly.

Metaphorically, your employer brand is your company’s handshake.  And while we all hope that our employer branding strategy conveys a message that is warm and inviting, it could be sending a message that is cold and clammy.

What is your employer brand?

Your employer brand is an amalgamation of three separate components.  These are your company brand, your employer reputation, and your company benchmarks.  These three components carry equal weight in determining the health of your employer brand.  Below is a more in-depth look at each of these components.

Company brand. 

Your company brand is any message that your company communicates to the outside world.  This can include your Employer Value Proposition (EVP), company culture, mission statement, graphic elements, career page, press releases, and social media.  This brand messaging can be distributed through many different channels with external and internal communications.

Often, the company brand is where employers concentrate most of their efforts.  The reason for this is that the company has direct control of their company brand.  Through this brand, any company can introduce and market a positive company culture to external audiences and job seekers.

Employer reputation.

While your company brand is what you communicate about your company, your employer reputation is what internal and external parties say about your company.  Your employer reputation is controlled through company reviews, awards, accolades, ENPS scores, third-party rating sites, and social networks.

While some of these channels do not provide a way in which a company can respond to this collective feedback, there are ways for employers to influence their company reputation by cultivating a positive company culture and work environment.

Company benchmarks.

Your benchmarks are the factors you use to grade your engagement from employees, hiring managers, and potential candidates.  These metrics can include how you grade the quality of the candidates that apply for open positions, the employee referral rate, engagement on different social channels, offer acceptance rate, and other expressions of interest.

How you collect and use this data directly correlates to the health of your employer brand.

Employer Branding Components to remember

Why is your employer brand important?

Your employer brand is your first impression, and no company can afford to broadcast a bad image to the workforce.  In today’s competitive job market, where talented individuals have multiple options, a compelling employer brand can differentiate you from your competitors, helping strengthen your workforce.

A previous study conducted by LinkedIn found that 69% of job candidates would reject offers made by companies with LinkedIn; it was found that 69% of job candidates would reject offers made by companies which had a bad employer brand, even if they were currently unemployed.  This statistic has continued to rise as public opinion toward companies is shaping those companies’ ability to attract and retain talent long term.

The bottom line is that a good employer branding strategy will quickly move the needle in the right direction.

The result of a bad employer brand

Who is responsible for employer branding?

A great employer brand is the byproduct of a well-executed top-down approach.  Using this process, the decision on the employer brand is the responsibility of the executive level, which is then implemented by a team effort of those responsible for communications and recruitment.

Companies looking to create a strong employer brand will need to work with current employees to understand if their company brand matches their employer’s reputation and benchmarks.  As they roll out different initiatives to create a great workplace, employees’ feedback will act as a proper sounding board to understand where they have room for strategies that attract top talent.

Three Steps for improving your employer branding. 

Improving employer branding is essential for attracting and retaining top talent. Here are three simple ways employers can enhance their employer branding:

  1. Develop a robust digital presence: In today’s digital age, where a potential candidate can quickly look up your employer brand from the palm of their hand, a compelling digital presence is critical.  Ensure that your website, career page, and social media channels contain content that showcases your employer brand in a positive light.  By taking the time to establish engaging profiles, you can control your company brand and influence your employer reputation.  
  2. Foster a positive company culture: A positive company culture upgrades the attitude of the individuals responsible for attracting and onboarding new hires.  Promoting this attitude increases the number of employee referrals for open positions, which can reduce the cost per hire and the time to hire. 
  3. Prioritize engagement & satisfaction:  Candidate and employee engagement is the first step in building a better employer reputation and should influence the benchmarks set by leadership. Throughout the talent acquisition and employee onboarding processes, recruiters and employers should prioritize keeping all communication consistent and positive. Even if a candidate is not chosen for the role they apply for, the company must send the proper communication to the candidate that keeps their opinion of the company positive.   

Create a better employer brand with SmartSearch.

SmartSearch users have a unique advantage when creating or improving their employer brand.  Our Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) tool offers a centralized platform for communication, allowing you to connect with candidates effortlessly, provide timely updates, and create meaningful engagement throughout the recruiting process. With our built-in brand controls, a collaboration between different departments and updates to your employer brand is easily implemented and updated.

SmartSearch also allows you to set and track your benchmarks with comprehensive analytics and reporting, giving you valuable insights into whether your employer brand creates an inviting environment.

If you’d like to experience the benefits of an optimized talent acquisition strategy, click here to speak with one of our team members.

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