Over the past few years, employer branding has become a buzzword among leading employers. In a competitive environment, communicating the reasons your prospective applicants should want to work for you can make all the difference in attracting and retaining top talent.
That’s not just a hypothetical statement, either. According to the 2021 Future of Recruiting Study by CareerArc, 82% of job seekers consider an employer’s brand and reputation before applying for an open position, a 7% increase over the past five years.
Employer branding also contributes to positive word of mouth about your organizational culture from both applicants and employees. In a recent survey, TalentBoard found a few takeaways:
- 77% of candidates share their positive application experience with their inner circle, while 52% share any negative experience they have.
- 57% of applicants share those positive experiences online, while 66% of candidates said they were extremely likely to refer others to open positions based on their own experience.
Specifically, your employer brand matters. Get it right, and you might just have the recipe for success in building the foundation for your company. This can be accomplished through high-level talent, ready and excited to contribute to your organization’s mission.
So let’s talk about how you can get to that point. Fortunately, employer branding is not rocket science. In fact, here are 5 action steps you can take right now to grow and optimize employer branding.
1. Create a Web Page for Your Culture
Generally speaking, your website is the most important and most common channel your applicants will use to research your company. It also happens to be the only channel you can completely control. That’s why any branding efforts for your prospective candidates should start here.
Consider creating a web page about your organizational culture. Link it prominently from your About page, individual job postings, and more. Considering the fact that 60% of candidates look at a company’s culture website before applying, accessibility is key.
If you already have that page, add to it. One-third of your applicants want more talk about culture than the average employer lists. Top talent, candidates who have multiple opportunities and are not just looking for a paycheck, will research you. What they find when they do might just make a difference in putting in the effort to submit that top-notch application.
Of course, honesty is key on this culture page. Your candidates will find out quickly how credible your claims are. In fact, 16% of candidates who withdraw themselves from the recruiting process cite company culture being a bad fit, and an untold increase from that number will only stay for a short while if what you claimed early on doesn’t reflect their reality.
2. Talk About Your Benefits
Your organizational culture is all about the intangibles. Of course, the tangible benefits your employees receive also matter to candidates.
In fact, once they receive a job offer, the most common research your candidates complete is looking on the company’s website for their benefits. Given the wide range of opportunities here, from health coverage to remote work, what they find can make a major difference in whether they choose to work for (and with) you.
Of course, there are no magic bullets for the types of benefits top-level candidates look for. Applicants consistently look for perks like health insurance, paid time off, and retirement benefits. Beyond that, diversity and inclusion have increasingly become a priority, as has the ability to work remotely—particularly in a post-COVID-19 environment.
Aligning your benefits with your employees’ needs is the first step. Clearly communicating these benefits through your website and within your job description is the next. Don’t be shy about highlighting what you have to offer, on your website and elsewhere.
3. Highlight Employee Testimonials
You can only say so much about your organization and workplace culture. It’s much more credible if it comes from the people who live it every day, the future peers of any applicants to the position.
Social proof has long been an established marketing tactic to build credibility through third-party expertise. The same is true in building your employer brand. According to one survey,
- 32% of candidates want answers from current employees on why they work at the organization.
- 27% of candidates want to know why people stay there over finding different positions.
- 24% of candidates specifically want to see employee testimonials to learn about these and other topics.
Displaying testimonials the right way is another nuance. Ideally, they’ll live on your careers and culture page, reinforcing the written word. They can be simple quotes from current team members, but videos can be even more effective in getting the message across in an engaging way.
Testimonials are also a great way to subtly communicate what matters in your organization. Diversity, for instance, continues to rise in importance for potential applicants. As a result, testimonials from diverse groups of employees can go a long way to communicating the priority you place on the topic, as well.
4. Prioritize Transparency
True employers of choice recognize that recruiting top-end talent is impossible without transparency. Candidates will expect to know information about a number of items related to the application process in order to decide whether they should apply.
That includes highlighting a few things within the job description:
- The expected salary, or salary range. According to one survey, 19% of candidates who withdrew from the recruitment process cited salary as their reason, meaning simply posting your salary can save almost 20% of your time.
- The expected application timeline. One full quarter, 25%, of applicants who withdrew mentioned that the process took too long. Honesty about the time it takes from application to interview and the decision can set better expectations for your candidates.
- Working environment abilities. Especially in the age of COVID-19, remote work (as mentioned above) is a major deciding factor for many applicants. Use your job description to outline exactly if and how candidates will be able to work remotely.
That’s not an exhaustive list, of course. If you tend to get the same question from many applicants, consider putting the answer in the job description moving forward. The more transparent you are, the better.
5. Polish Your Secondary Channels
Your website is the central recruitment channel in the vast majority of cases. However, many candidates also use secondary sources to apply for jobs and learn about your company. Most commonly, they seek you out on LinkedIn and Indeed for more information.
The best reaction to that trend is to be prepared. Polish your Indeed channel by editing your snapshot, the section about why candidates should join you, and photos that reflect the work environment. On LinkedIn, edit your About section and create a pinned post at the top of your feed that links directly to the careers section on your website.
On LinkedIn specifically, you also have a variety of other employer branding opportunities through Career Pages. The paid version, for instance, allows you to add a “life” section to your page that allows you to showcase your organizational culture and workplace environment for prospective employees.
Of course, you might be looking to leverage channels beyond LinkedIn and Indeed. In that case, the same basic truth applies: build out your profile to appeal to prospective applicants, and ensure consistency and links with your website to create a more comprehensive candidate experience.
BONUS: Enhance Your Recruitment Marketing With a Job Preview
Through the above steps, you can make significant changes in enhancing your employer branding and increase your likelihood of attracting top-end talent. Of course, we’d be remiss not to mention another tool that enables you to build your recruitment marketing: a job preview.
Your job preview enables you to showcase your workplace environment and culture in a more immersive, interactive way. Use it to showcase anything from your office spaces to your larger campus and break rooms, enabling candidates a peek into what their life will be like should they join your organization.
Within the preview, you can embed media (such as employee testimonials) to create a more comprehensive experience. Of course, you can then also embed the preview within your website and link to it from your secondary channels, maximizing exposure for prospective employees looking to decide whether they’re the right fit for your open positions.
All the above practices and tips still apply to your job preview. Ideally, it’s a built-in concert with your Careers and Culture pages, all working together to create a complete picture of your employer brand.
Are you looking to build your employer brand through a job preview? In that case, we can help. In fact, we’ve helped enhance the recruitment marketing of many other clients in a variety of industries already. Contact us to start the conversation and begin to plan your virtual experience for candidates and applicants.