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4 Tactics to Include in Your Employer Branding Strategy

July 5, 2018

employer-branding-tight-labor-market-1Talent acquisition teams from every industry are feeling the belt tighten around the waist of the labor market. It's no secret that the unemployment rate is at an 18-year low, and as the number of available jobs go up the number of available workers is going down. As a result, teams are looking for new ways to attract and retain talent. These efforts can yield positive results if you know where to start. I can’t think of a better place than building and promoting your employer brand.

I recently wrote about improving your employer brand, and where to start the process. This included conducting internal and external audits to understand your employees’ perceptions of your organization.  It’s important to start here because the positive feedback you receive is used as the basis of your employee value proposition (EVP), which is your competitive edge in the market, and will be the foundation of your branding strategy.

There are many articles and resources available on this subject, and I encourage you to take the time to do additional research to help you build a strategy that works best for you. To get you going in the right direction, here are four tactics that you should consider using in your employer branding strategy.

Review and Update Your Career Site

When candidates come to your career site, it should be a positive experience and get them excited about the prospect of joining your organization. With the state of the job market, a less than positive experience, may very well have them looking elsewhere. Here are a few tips to improve your career site:

  • Optimize your site for mobile devices. Research shows that more and more candidates are searching for and applying for jobs on mobile devices. You don’t want to lose quality candidates because your page took too long to load or because it is hard to navigate using a smartphone or tablet.

  • Outline your EVP on the site. Remember, this is your competitive edge for attracting candidates and it tells them why they should want to work for you.

  • Give a glimpse into the day-to-day life of an employee. A realistic job preview (RJP) is a great tool that provides candidates with the characteristics and requirements of a job they are considering. An RJP can help determine whether a job is a good fit before they apply, which can save you time and money in the hiring process.

  • Use employee advocacy. Share employee stories or testimonials about what it’s like to work for your organization. These provide insight into the company culture.

  • If you’ve recently won an award such as, “Best Places to Work,” make sure to highlight it here as well.

  • Provide job descriptions that clearly define the responsibilities and requirements of the role. 

Learn More: 5 Tips for Creating a Realistic Job Preview That Will Reduce Turnover

Review Your Application Process and Improve the Candidate Experience

According to a study by CareerArc, nearly 60% of candidates have reported having a bad experience applying for a position, and 72% of those candidates have shared that experience online or with someone in person. These stats demonstrate the importance of a positive candidate experience.

  • Review the application process. How long did it take to complete versus how long you thought it would take? Many organizations underestimate the length of their application. Look for areas of the process that are more “nice-to-haves” rather than “necessities,” and remove them to streamline the process.

  • Many candidates cite lack of communication in the application process as the reason for their negative experience. Make sure to keep them informed throughout the process. This should include a thank you email to signal the application was received, next steps such as a pre-employment assessment or interview, and ultimately, receiving or not receiving the job offer. No one likes getting bad news. In this case, however, any news is better than no news at all.

  • Finally, follow up with candidates with a survey for feedback on their experience during the process to make improvements where needed.

Remember, people tend to share bad experiences more than good ones online or with friends. Any negative feedback about your hiring process could make others think twice about applying for your next open position.

Learn More: Improving the Candidate Experience: Practical Advice

Use Social Media to Promote Your Employer Brand

Your social channels provide a great way to promote your products and services, but they also provide a great way to promote the aspects of your company that make you a great employer. Our Digital Marketing Manager, Claire McCue, wrote a great piece on how to attract candidates using social media that you can read below. I don’t want to steal her thunder, so I’ll just highlight some of the areas she discusses:

  • Post photos or videos of your culture. Just had a fun event? Win an award? Working on a cool project? Include posts about them to give candidates a picture of your culture and what life is like working for you.

  • Post your job openings. If candidates are interesting in working for you, they are most likely already following you on social media. Make sure to announce job openings to alert them to apply.

  • Get your employees on board. Ask them to list the organization as their employer, share job openings, and those posts we mentioned above. Acts of advocacy from your employees provide credibility to the message you are trying to convey about your culture.

  • Take advantage of Instagram Stories, Facebook Live, Snapchat, and Periscope. These live video streaming tools allow you to do impromptu interviews with leaders and host Q&As, ultimately, giving a live look into your organization and its culture.

Learn More: 5 Ways to Attract the Right Candidates Using Social Media

Use Employee Advocacy to Promote Your Employer Brand

Okay, I’ve mentioned employee advocacy a few times already, and there is a reason for that. Your employees know you best, and these days, people prefer to hear from their peers about the culture and work environment more than the organization itself. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t promote it yourself, but it helps when your employees let others know they work at a great place. Here are a few tips:

  • Encourage employees to provide fair reviews on sites like Glassdoor. Candidates are already searching these sites, so develop a plan to ask for reviews on the hiring and on-boarding processes, the work environment, and company culture. Glassdoor provides resources on how to get started like this one. Don’t be afraid of negative reviews, use them to show you’re not afraid to make adjustments. For example, if you see similar complaints about the on-boarding process, address the issue, and provide a response detailing the changes you made in the process. Not only does this show your commitment to your employees, you keep candidates up-to-date with the company culture.

  • I mentioned social media earlier. When employees share your posts about open positions and the company culture, it hits a wider audience and shows that not only do they like working for you - they think those connected to them would too.

  • Ask your employees to share their stories, volunteer to do a RJP, or testimonial. These can be used on your career site, in social media, or in your blog. Here’s an example down below of one of our employees that wrote a blog about employee retention that also discussed the some of the many reasons she’s worked here for 17 years!

Learn More: The Secrets of Employee Retention – Why I’m Still Here

How to Measure Success

There is no right or wrong way to measure success, but it’s important to tie the ROI of your employer branding strategy to the metrics that matter to the organization. If your goals are to increase the number of applicants, quality hires, employee engagement, and retention rate – tie your metrics to those areas.

To learn about what the modern employee is looking for in a workplace, download our guide below:

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Shawn Wilhelm Shawn Wilhelm is the Healthcare and Leadership Marketing Coordinator at PSI.