When I say marketing, you say... sales, right?
The connection between marketing and sales is clear, but for a business to be successful, promotion and appeal need to go beyond the customer base. How a business appeals to and engages with potential talent and its existing workforce is equally crucial.
In this article, I look at employer branding and its role in employee attraction, recruitment and retention, and of course, growth.
What is employer branding?
Employer branding describes how a business is perceived and understood by its staff, potential and present.
Effective employer branding builds a positive reputation; communicating the culture and values of a business consistently, not just when it’s time to recruit.
Ultimately, employer branding is about building a value proposition for employees; communicating a culture that an employee would want to be associated with and a vision they'd be proud to work towards.
Why is employer branding important?
For a business to reach its potential, it needs the right talent powering it, and for startups especially, recruitment can make or break a business.
Unfortunately, there is a widely held notion that recruitment revolves around how well a candidate can impress an employer; with an application designed to assess a candidate against a checklist of business requirements. Of course, this is true, but it is only one side of the coin. Candidates assess employers too, and this starts well ahead of an interview and beyond the “probationary period” of new employment.
Demand outweighing supply in the job market does not guarantee companies will find the right talent for the team. Vetting candidates through stringent processes, that ask them to jump through hoops and over hurdles can be deterrents to talent and consequently counterproductive.
Effective employer branding means employers appeal to active jobseekers, as well as to driven individuals who weren't considering or requiring a new role.
A large salary and benefits such as a company car might attract talent, but it's the culture and values of a business felt through day-to-day practices and that will retain and motivate staff above and beyond the perks of a pay-cheque.
How do I improve my employer branding?
There has been a massive shake-up in working practices, conditions and business requirements over the last two years and business cultures have changed dramatically. Any jobseeker today will do their fair share of company research before applying.
Steps to improve employer branding:
- Research your ideal employee and create an employer value proposition to match
- Align the employer value proposition with your company value proposition (that you communicate to customers)
- Ensure that this all comes together to contribute to the company vision and mission
- Create a culture in line with these values
- Communicate this culture far and wide
An employer value proposition articulates what employees get in return for their skills and experience. At the base of this sit all the HR policies that you'll usually find in the recruitment advert such as salary, working hours and any flexibility, location, holiday allowance, pension and health and wellbeing schemes etc.
Employees no matter the size or scale of the business, work best when they believe that their contribution is valued, that their efforts make a difference. Competitive salaries can attract talent, but clear, respectful and accessible application processes will enable companies to recruit the right people, and building and communicating a celebratory and inclusive culture enables companies to retain and nurture talent and grow.
For employer branding to be effective, it needs to be authentic. Create a positive culture that meets employees, employers and customers needs and promote that in marketing messages. Long term, this will not only reduce marketing costs but create unrivalled workforce productivity.
Looking to elevate your employer branding?
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