Bootstrap your Employer Brand

Bootstrap your Employer Brand

Adrian Hendershot

 

Bootstrap your Employer Brand

The emphasis on employer brand is surging as companies realize that the candidate experience can make or break someone’s willingness to apply.  Not long ago, employer branding may have been a fraction of a company’s marketing department, an afterthought of targeting buyers and clients. As the job market steadily grows stronger and the battle for talent wages more fiercely, actively building and managing an employer brand reputation are non-negotiable undertakings in order to stay competitive in today’s transparent environment.

Higher stakes

This year in particular, issues core to an employer brand have been brought to the forefront in social movements and political upheaval. Topics like pay parity, diversity in leadership roles, and gender equality are open forum, offering a chance for employers to vocalize public positions and lead the charge with fundamental changes. Just a few weeks ago, SalesForce spoke of closing the gender pay gap on the news- a tactic that forward thinking organizations are embracing: showing that they hear the voice of their target market and responding in kind.

In this climate, applicants aren’t flying blind.  They go to direct sources for intel, examining employee written reviews or reaching out to in-house connections on LinkedIn for accurate depictions of a company’s innerworkings.  Given all these resources, applicants more discerning consumers of potential jobs than ever before. With or without knowing it, they are evaluating your employer brand. Candidates measure company values against their own, prizing a respected name, a culture supportive of growth, and a work life balance that meets their needs.  This information about any competitive employer should be readily available, made prevalent naturally from a company’s own operations, penned by active staff, and vocalized by leadership. By articulating publicly core notions of an employer brand, including key stances on matters of relevance, companies are intelligently capitalizing on the ease of reaching their targeted talent audiences across popular channels.

Creating the brand organically

Employers that boast an admirable reputation are authentically building the brand from the inside out by sharing the actual experience of their employees.  

“Company cultures live and breathe on the inside,” shares Ashley Olson, Recruitment Marketing Manager for Farmers Insurance.  “Pulling that culture out and creating a strong employer brand that truly represents the company is more important now than ever before to attract the right type of talent.”

Zappos is an iconic example, where the inward culture resonates externally on social media, self creating a “word on the street” familiarity with their positive reputation.  Employees, for example, are encouraged to offer customer service on social media sites, responding to comments on Facebook and Twitter with assistance and feedback. Another great example of the actual employee experience informing the employer brand is Johnson & Johnson, where posts on the hashtag #lifeatjnj blend leadership insights with rank-and-file employee content. It’s that living and breathing story that must be shared externally – on social media, via employer review sites, and prominently on a company’s career site. The career site is the employer’s publicly posted resume; an opportunity for the narrative of the employee brand’s message and visual identity to be displayed purposefully.

Here, now, and how

Companies that are strengthening their employer brands are doing so in an effort to attract more of the right type of talent in today’s market.  

By creating the means to share employee stories and experiences on social channels, an employer’s internal brand can disseminate across the networks and followers of both employees and potential job seekers.  In this way, an investment in the employee experience translates to an investment in brand marketing.

Opportunities are countless to curate a message and a visual that outwardly portray a company’s mission, values, and culture, including harnessing individual voices that speak to a company’s core.  Engaging with the public on an employer brand platform empowers messaging to consumers and the talent pool alike. If authentic, a company’s overarching story will emanate organically, strengthening the appeal of an employer through bringing the brand to life.

 

Posted In Employer Brand