Your employer brand is more than just the perception of your company by job seekers and employees. It’s how you market your company to candidates and what you build upon to retain top talent. It helps your company differentiate what you offer in the labor market to recruit, engage, and retain the talent you need to be successful.
The most important thing to understand about employer branding is that your employer brand exists whether you work to manage it or not. A company whose brand exists passively still has an employer brand, but little control over how potential and current employees perceive it.
Managing your employer brand is a continuous process; it’s the beginning of how you think about your company and how you communicate about your brand to candidates.
The Most Common Employer Branding Pitfalls
Not having clear brand pillars, statements and strategy. We have to think holistically around what our employer brand is and how it can empower your company. The pillars that uphold employer brand are the basics – a clear brand statement around what you stand for as an employer, and why someone should want to contribute to your culture and mission. Putting everything into a single statement is challenging, but we find that identifying your pillars and aligning communications around these concepts is essential for attracting and retaining the right employees.
Hat Creek Brand Pillars - a Talentcare client
Your employer brand is too broad or generic. Stand out by crafting a statement that shows candidates who you are as an employer sets you apart from the competition. Some companies don’t put a lot of thought into this and instead end up saying the same things that other companies are sharing. Your brand statement should go beyond the ‘table stakes’, like benefits and salary bands, and branch into what your company has that others do not. Employer brand is more than just well-written words. What do these words mean? What stories do they tell? How do we act on them? Clever language is not a substitute for employee experience.
Not listening to employees. If we ignore what our own employees feel about working for our company, it creates a disconnect between the story we tell as an employer to candidates and what our employees actually experience. Employees have stories about what it’s like to work for your company and these stories can be the best opportunity to showcase your brand to potential new hires. Use employee surveys and interviews to listen and understand what your employees are dying to share. Ask what they love about your company, what they are struggling with, and why they choose to stay– these are foundational elements for your employer brand.
Not engaging on social media. These channels are brilliant for showcasing your brand and what your employee experience is like. Candidates are savvy and will check out your company’s social media to get a sense of your culture. Social media is a perfect opportunity to creatively showcase your employer brand and culture through pictures of employee interaction, videos, employee testimonials, etc. This will make your brand feel more accessible, relevant, and authentic.
Not responding to employee reviews (both positive and negative). A lack of presence on employer rating and review sites puts up a red flag for candidates. If the love is not being shared online on job boards, will it be shared in person? Job seekers will see how you respond to reviews and see it as an indicator of what they can expect. Top talent knows what they are worth and if they don’t believe they will be valued they will look elsewhere.
Identifying a need for managing your employer brand is a great first step. Whether you are looking to hire new employees or engage those you already have, every company has something special to communicate about its organization and people. The goal is to bring your employer brand to life, which can sound vague, but it really is tactical. It requires discovering what makes you unique and sharing it in memorable ways across your career site, job boards, social media, job descriptions, and employee experience. It requires storytelling that candidates can relate to.
Employer brand strategy is a big part of what we do at Talentcare and we’re ready to help. Drop us a line or slide into our DMs.