This article describes Employer Branding in a practical way. After reading you will understand the definition and basics of this powerful management tool.
What is Employer Branding?
Finding the right employees is often far from easy for companies. Moreover, today it is no longer common for employees to remain working for the same employer for a long period of time. In most cases, employees choose to change employer every five years. However, it still worthwhile for companies to attract new employees and then retain employees for a longer period of time. A solid investment in employees will eventually result in many benefits. Well educated employees, who are loyal and promote the company, will make the organisation stronger. This not only means that production will increase, but companies will also be able to remain competitive. ‘Employer Branding’ can help to accomplish this.
Employer Branding gives a company a strong employer brand. This ensures that people are willing to work for said company, can identify themselves with the company and will proudly tell their acquaintances about their workplace. On the one hand Employer Branding focuses on hiring the right employees, whereas on the other hand it focuses on its image as perceived by the outside world. Companies want to be in a privileged position, hoping that future employees will like them better than other companies. An authentic image can help to achieve this.
Companies that invest energy in Employer Branding view this as a means to attract and retain talent. Good employees will subsequently ensure that the company objectives are achieved. Interesting employers attract the right employees and ensure the employee turnover rate of the existing employees is low. After all, retaining talent is just as important as attracting talent. Companies that consider what they can offer new employees ahead of time, are aware of all the aspects that this group finds important. Drawing up employee profiles can also help to land the right employees. If companies know who they are looking for, it becomes easier to realise the company goals. In some cases, it helps to work with so-called personas and to envisage who the future employee is, what they would consider to be important in a job, how they would like to develop themselves and what their preferred behavioural style is. This mainly works well for job vacancies that are more difficult to fill. Once the job posting has been drawn up, it is important that companies draw the attention of the broadest target group possible at the right time and via the right channels.
To create a good employer brand, a company should have an honest story to communicate with the outside world. It’s about how the company is perceived as an employer and if it is a company where people would like to work. Before the job posting is drawn up, it is a good idea to first ask current employees what they think of the company. By having conversations with employees, a company will gain insight into the values that matter. An organisation can promote these values to the outside world. For example, one company may promote itself as ‘innovative and technological’, whereas another company will promote itself as ‘a small informal organisation with short lines of communication’. Subsequently, resources can be devoted to this, which fully illustrate the company profile. Think for example, of inspiring stories by current employees on the company’s website, a specific job vacancy page, a job vacancy on dedicated job sites, advertisements, content on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, open days and press releases. It is especially important that the message is consistent on every medium and closely resembles the actual experiences of current employees. This group should not get the feeling that the story told to the public is more rosy than it actually is.
For Employer Branding, it is recommended to involve current employees in developing a story right from the start. This can be facilitated by organising workshops or interviews, in which they are given the opportunity to describe the unique and distinctive characteristics of the organisation. This will provide valuable information for the employer brand. Research shows that employees often consider their salary to be less important than a good working environment. Independence, responsibility, variation in tasks and appreciation are important aspects. In interviews, employees can be asked, for example, why they chose to work for the organisation, what makes the organisation unique and what they tell other people about their company. Employees can also provide useful information about possible improvements to the organisation and what, in their opinion, could be the ambition of the company. Furthermore, they could provide advice on how the organisation could best project itself as an employer based on their knowledge.
In addition to workshops and interviews, even an annually recurring employee satisfaction survey may be useful. With good Employer Branding, job vacancies will be fulfilled with the right candidates much quicker. More people in a team will result in less work-related stress, which will lead to increased job satisfaction. A higher level of job satisfaction will lead to less sickness absence, employees will remain working for the same employer for a longer period of time and the level of customer-friendliness will increase. Now the cycle is complete.
When it comes to Employer Branding, it is extremely important that a credible and unique story is told, which is actually realised by the organisation. Companies must ask themselves why future employees would want to work for their organisation and which aspects of the organisation would be attractive to them. By phrasing specific characteristics powerfully and clearly, they will eventually capture people’s imaginations. Naturally, any organisation will present itself in a good light. The challenge is to do so in an honest and credible way.
It’s Your Turn
What do you think? What is your experience with Employer Branding? Do you recognize the practical explanation or do you have more additions? What are your success factors for setting up a good employer brand?
Share your experience and knowledge in the comments box below.
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