Who Is Your Employer Brand Actually For?
Employer brand has become one of the most buzz-worthy terms in the world of HR professionals. This has a lot to do with the increasingly strong job market, which gives candidates more power and influence in the hiring process. In order to compete as an attractive company to work for, companies must create and maintain an awesome employer brand.
In fact, according to a recent survey Jibe conducted, 40% of companies have a formal employer branding program in place currently. Additionally, 71% considered employees to be evangelists for their employer brand.
A company’s employer brand impacts more than just jobs seekers, though—there are many different angles to consider. We’ll dive into that topic in detail in this post.
How Prospective Candidates Perceive Your Company
Employer brand is defined as the perception people have about your company as a place to work. This is perhaps most important to incoming candidates, because they’ll make up their mind on whether or not to apply based on that perception.
Your prospective candidates will either already have an idea of what it’s like to work at your company, based on personal connections or hearsay. But in many cases, they’ll spend the time to research your company’s work culture before they apply, especially if they don’t know anything about it. You can influence that perception by investing in modern marketing channels like content marketing, social media marketing, and beefing up your presence on employer review sites (just claim your profiles and optimize them).
The perception of your employer brand can be influenced by current employees of the company, as well as the general public. As we’ll discuss, current employees are the ones who contribute to your employer review ratings on sites like Glassdoor. The general public may have their own perception of your brand formulated in their mind, based on information they’ve heard from employees or press your company has received about the work environment. All of these things will affect a prospective candidate’s decision whether to apply or not.
The Influence of Your Previous Candidates
We’ll touch on this very briefly, but one interesting thing is that Glassdoor has been capturing candidate experience feedback. They recently published an article that showcased the best places to interview in 2016.
This type of content means previous candidates have the ability to impact the reputation of your company in regards to the interview process, which is closely connected to your employer brand. This shows how deeply connected candidate experience and employer brand are. If you’re looking for ways to improve your interview experience, check out this article we wrote on the topic.
If you still need more convincing as to how candidate experience and employer brand are connected, see this article that dissects research showing that candidates who have a negative experience will actually tell their networks about it. Word of mouth is a huge part of your employer brand – people are more likely to believe real-life stories and experiences than pictures and videos posted on a company’s career site.
How Current Employees Affect Your Employer Brand
A significant piece of your employer brand, and one of the first things candidates look at, is your employer rating on sites like Vault and Glassdoor. These sites measure current and past employee satisfaction as well as whether or not they’d recommend your company to a friend. They dig into details about benefits, the interview process, and even a CEO likeness rating.
Recruiters often focus on the external forces they can impact directly rather than looking internally first—in many cases, improving employee morale will improve your employer rating and consequently improve your employer brand. However, any HR department knows that’s easier said than done and requires collecting genuine feedback from employees and making substantial changes within your organization.
The benefits of having a fantastic employer brand are massive. Your employees are more likely to recommend working at your company to others. They will advocate for your company on your behalf, without even being asked. They will be more likely to participate in your employer branding efforts. They’ll be more likely to speak positively to the general public about your employer brand, which may in the future influence another candidate to apply there. Think about how many times you’ve heard someone say “oh I heard that place was an awesome place to work!.” If that doesn’t pique a job-seeking individual’s interest, there’s something wrong.
The General Public
Your perception as a place to work, positive or negative, holds significant weight to the general public. As discussed above, this may influence a candidate’s decision to apply.
Research shows that candidates who have a negative experience tend to let their networks know about it, which could definitely circle back to bite you when it comes to future candidates.
General Electric offers a great example of what it means to revamp your employer brand and how to change the perception people have of a company. They recently launched a campaign to promote what it’s like to work at GE. You can read more about that here. This campaign was not just created for candidates, but also to change the way the general public thinks about GE as a whole. They were updating both their corporate brand and employer brand simultaneously.
Like the topic of employer branding? Us too! Check out our new 2016 Employer Branding Handbook. It shares 7 employer branding strategies you should be employing right now.