You've heard the term before. It sounds like another "buzzword," but what is it exactly? And why do you need to think about and develop your employer brand to have a robust recruitment process?
Let's first look at your company's brand. Your company has a reputation surrounding its products or services, known as its "brand identity" or corporate brand reputation. Your brand reputation is what brings customers to your stores or website to buy products and services. Over time, corporate brands are built through campaigns that create awareness, value, and loyalty towards a company, not specific products. It is what sets your company apart from competitors.
You can say the same for an employer brand. Employer brand is simply a term that describes an organization's reputation as an employer and a workplace. It's what sets your company apart when candidates are looking for work and deciding which job to take. It is the value you bring to your current employees and how they feel about working for you. Just like your corporate brand, you base your employer brand on your company's mission, vision, and values.
The goal of employer branding is to present your company as a preferred employer, attracting high-quality candidates. And make your organization stand out from others as a great place to work. It's essential to your bottom line to hire the best and brightest employees. Your business is only as good as its workforce.
A positive, strong employer brand gives your organization a leading edge when competing for talent, helping recruiters find the best candidates. It goes without saying that candidates and employees care about their working environment a lot! If your employer brand is weak, you may have trouble finding the right talent, or any talent for that matter. You will also have trouble keeping good employees. They will ditch you to work for competitors.
As the human resources industry matured, so did the concepts that describe employees and the workplace. The term "employer brand" originated in the 1990s in a paper written by Tim Ambler and Simon Barrow titled "The Employer Brand."1 The article compares the relationship between your company and its employees to your company and its customers. It is necessary to manage both with a brand identity. The idea is that companies need to market their "employer brand" to both their employees and candidates just like they market their company to customers.
Today, all over the world, companies are developing and improving their employer brands in an effort to hire the best employees. According to a LinkedIn survey, 72% of recruiting leaders agree that employer brand significantly impacts hiring. As you know, your ability to hire the best and the brightest impacts your organization's bottom line. To remain competitive, you must market your employer brand to potential candidates as well as your employees.
Your employer brand is important enough to have everyone in your company involved in its development, from executives down to the lowest level employees. To get started, you must first define your company's corporate culture, your identity, and how your company wants employees and the outside world to view it. Organizational culture is based on your company's core values. Do you know what your company's core values are? Have you been using them in your messaging? If your organization doesn't have written values yet, you will need to start that process first. Once you have defined your company's values, you can build your employer brand around them.
A strong employer brand will help you recruit and retain a talented workforce, reducing your marketing and recruiting costs over the long run. It's a must-have to compete for the best talent, which is very important for your company's success. A strong employer brand will not only attract top candidates but will also help attract customers. Employees will treat your customers the way your company treats them. Well-managed, respected employees are more productive, customer service-oriented, and better brand ambassadors than poorly managed, disgruntled employees. Once you know your values, you can start communications to strengthen your brand, both inside and outside your company. Now is the time to get started.
1"The Employer Brand," Journal of Brand Management, 4 (3 December), 1996, 185-206
Looking for more information on recruiting high-quality candidates? Take a look at our other Recruiting and Acquisition articles.