6 Employer Branding Opportunities to Seize in 2016

6 Employer Branding Opportunities to Seize in 2016

Mike Roberts

As a society, we’ve “Yelpified” just about everything—employer brand included. And it’s largely because of rating sites like Glassdoor and Indeed that the topic of employer brand has catapulted to the top of our newsfeeds in recent years. That added level of visibility has made being a “bad” employer unsustainable, so naturally many professionals are on the lookout for new solutions.

The question is, how much of a priority is improving your employer brand? According to a study, only 27% of companies have a formal employer brand program. Of those who don’t have one, half aren’t even considering launching an employer branding strategy in the near future. We’ve said time and time again, recruiters need to start thinking more like digital marketers, and this is a prime example (and opportunity to do so).

In a time where job seekers have enormous amounts of power and information at their disposal, talent acquisition organizations should be doing everything they can to make their employer brand shine. Below, we’ll discuss 6 areas you should be planning to make progress on in 2016. If you’re building out your own formal employer brand program, then each of these should have its place in the strategy.

1. Above All, Create An Environment People Want to Work In

A strong employer brand starts—above all else—with having a place people want to work. All of the content, social media, and PR (to be discussed below) in the world won’t matter if you’re not continuously refining and improving employee satisfaction. After all, these are the people reviewing you and your CEO for others to see.

From onboarding through offering an acceptable work-life balance, competitive benefits and salaries, as well as room for growth and everything else in between, overlooking these aspects will only make talent acquisition more difficult.

2. Start Publishing Employer Brand-Building Content

Okay, so (hopefully) you’ve got an awesome place to work? How are you going to communicate that to the world? Some great employer branding examples can be mapped back to strong content marketing strategies. Types of content you could create may include employee testimonials as well as day-in-the-life blog posts or videos. Done well, this can be the perfect addition to recruitment marketing emails or your career site.

Start by creating an ideal candidate persona(s), and then build out content that aligns your values and those personas. Don’t wait around for attraction to happen.

3. Do Something Above and Beyond the Status Quo

All talent acquisition teams are out there trying to hire the best people, but every once in a while we see newsworthy recruiting campaigns that tie directly back to the employer brand. This year, Google highjacked engineers’ search engine results page and presented them with a challenge that—if completed—could have landed them a job. That small campaign got tons of publicity and further highlighted the type of employer Google is.

4. Build a Social Media Presence People Love

Social media has become a major part of our everyday lives, and yet so many of the Fortune 2000 talent acquisition teams seem like they’re denying its existence. Getting social media in the context of employer branding right is an incredible opportunity, and we’re not talking about setting up an automated job feed that robotically tweets out your new requisitions. We’re talking about using social media as an amplification, engagement, and relationship building tool. This could be part of your corporate account or its own employer-oriented account.

5. Get Rid of that Run-of-the-Mill Career Site Experience

Career site appearances and experiences have become more of an issue in recent years. If you’ve ever searched for a job, then you know how unappealing it is to go from a beautiful homepage to an under-designed career site. For some reason, career sites aren’t given the same resources as the rest of the company’s site, despite the career site being listed as the top source of hire by Bersin by Deloitte last year.

Your career site presents an opportunity to highlight why people would want to work for you, and that needs to be considered in the context of the story you tell on the homepage, through the UX and UI you deliver as applicants search for and apply to jobs. We’ve mentioned this so many times in the past, but it’s worth mentioning it again—the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a considerable contributor to this problem of the outdated look and feel of search and apply experiences—more on that here.

6. Use Data to Improve Your Employer Branding Strategy

The concept of the data-driven recruiter is something the industry is starting to get behind. That extends into the realm of employer brand. They say you can’t improve what you don’t measure, so start keeping track of employer brand-related performance in areas like social media, content marketing, career site traffic and conversions, and use that information to show the value of your efforts. If you put time and effort into making a thoughtful strategy, there will be value to show.

So, Where Do You Start with Employer Branding?

If you’re like one of the tens of thousands of companies that doesn’t have a formal employer branding program, there’s no reason to feel intimidated. Like anything, it’s perfectly acceptable to start small, experiment, adapt and improve. Lots of talent acquisition teams partner with their marketing departments to refine their messaging and get the resources needed to create content, social campaigns, and more.

A good place to start with your employer branding strategy is to put yourself in the shoes of your job seekers. Consider the candidate you’re trying to attract in everything you do.

Interested in learning more about improving your candidate experience? Download this free toolkit!

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