How to Build an Irresistible Employer Brand

The talent landscape is changing with a new breed of job seeker calling the shots. For contemporary hiring managers, even the term ‘job seeker’ seems a bit passé. Today, recruiters are engaging with ‘job shoppers’: skilled candidates who know they are in short supply and have no qualms about leaving a role if it doesn’t meet their needs.

According to The Recruitment & Employment Confederation’s JobsOutlook survey for December, almost half (48%) of UK employers anticipate a lack of suitable candidates when making permanent hires in 2017.

A generous salary alone is no longer enough of an incentive to attract candidates. So, what’s going to give hiring managers the upper hand in the pursuit of talent? An irresistible employer brand.

What is an employer brand?

An employer brand is many things – it’s a company’s reputation, identity and value proposition. It’s how employees perceive a company and how the company differentiates itself in the labour market. But to many of us, this all just sounds like marketing jargon.

Put simply, employer branding is what companies do to showcase what it’s like to work for them. Being more transparent about a business allows recruiters to attract the best talent. It means you are giving candidates precisely what they are looking for – and that’s particularly useful when candidates are shopping (rather than searching) for their perfect job.

According to research by HBR and ICM Unlimited, companies with a negative brand reputation can find themselves paying at least 10% more to persuade candidates to work for them. Data from LinkedIn suggests companies that get their employer branding right receive more than double the job applications of those that don’t. In addition, a Glassdoor survey reveals 69% of candidates are likely to apply for a job if the employer actively manages its employer brand.

Sorting out your priorities

It’s simple: businesses looking to attract and retain the top talent need to invest in their employer brand. But there’s so much else to think about in business…

Many companies spend lots of time focusing on their consumer brand. It makes sense – the better a customer perceives your brand, the more products they will buy. But employer branding can have just as much impact on your bottom line.

If you are able to create a working environment which is loved by employees, you may never have a hard time hiring people again. This strategy will also have a knock-on effect on your customers – they will be so well looked after, they wouldn’t dream of going anywhere else.

Attracting the right candidates

Social media has blurred the boundaries of employer brand and customer brand. Candidates are now looking for added value in their future roles and want to feel an emotional connection with a company.

In our digital age, a quick Google search can tell a candidate a lot about an organisation. And if a candidate can’t find the information they’re looking for, they’ll simply look elsewhere.

Recruitment professionals can build a robust employer brand through regular social profile updates, timely responses to reviews, informative video content and by sharing updates on company culture. There is also great value in empowering current employees to share their experiences of the workplace on social media or websites that welcome company review.

Once candidates get an insight into a company, they are able to assess how they would fit in based on their own experience and personality.

Building the employer brand

There was a time when employer branding came from the top down. Today, employees play a far more significant role in defining an employer brand and recruiters are finding innovative ways of building on that.

What does all this tell you? Build your employer brand from the inside out and you can harness the power of that brand. Get it right, and those ‘job shoppers’ will want to know what’s on offer.