Your employer brand is what people say and think about your business as a place to work. It’s the view that employees, job seekers, and the public have of the business, from how you conduct yourself in the market, through to what they think it would be like to work for you. An effective employer brand presents your organisation as a good employer and a great place to work and can help with recruitment, retention and generally affect market perception of your company.
The employment branding process is the strategy and actions behind the employer brand, influencing internal and external perceptions, and building employee value proposition messages. It is a long-term strategy that can be tied to applicant quality and employee retention.
Good employment branding effectively communicates your organisation’s values, personality and culture to create the perceptions that you want employees and prospective employees to have. It affects every touchpoint the organisation has with the employee, starting with the recruitment and on-boarding process. It extends to every aspect of employment including training and development, support networks, the development of career paths and benefits and incentives, right through to their exit from the organisation and beyond.
The UK has lagged behind the US in using employment branding as a recruitment and retention tool, though it is starting to catch up now. Some examples of UK employer brands which align strongly with corporate brand values are Avon, Fitness First and VSO.
While a great advert can attract the attention of good quality candi- dates, to get people to want to work for you and attract applications it must be supported by a congruent employment culture, in other words: your employment brand.
Poor branding blinds candidates to what you have to offer. It’s like being in a supermarket and discovering that none of the products are labeled. All you can see are blank boxes, tins, and packets. You know what you’re looking for, but can’t work out what anything is. Are you picking up cat food, consommé or chickpeas? It’s all too much like hard work so you leave.
This is what it’s like for job seekers researching your company, when you don’t have a clear employer brand. They have no way of knowing if your company is something they want to explore further. The way you market yourself as an employer to potential employees affects whether they want to work for you or not.
Having a clear message is vital. A survey carried out by US company CareerArc found that 75% of job seekers consider a company’s employer brand before applying for a job with them.
Don’t assume that employer branding is just for the big corporates. SMEs should make sure they are projecting the right employer brand too. Arguably the need to do so is greater than in large companies. There are some compelling reasons for doing so.
- In companies where the culture, values and personality have been strongly embedded employers are likely to benefit from higher levels of employee engagement.
- Strong employer branding can greatly increase application rates and improve the pool of talent from which to choose.
- In the recruitment market where competition for the best talent is fierce it can help make your company stand out in a crowded market.
- Companies with positive strong branding enjoy greater productivity because of the higher levels of engagement and motivation.
- Strong employer branding results in higher retention rates, contributing to retaining skills and knowledge.
Getting and keeping good quality employees is expensive so it’s worth taking the time to get your employer branding right.
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