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What’s your employer brand telling candidates?

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A candidate-driven market means that businesses are having to work far harder to land the talent they want.

Of course, pay, workplace location and benefits are important ways to attract great recruits. But when it comes to candidate attraction strategies, your employer brand also speaks volumes.

Your employer brand is what kind of reputation your business has, whether that’s the views of your customers, current employees or past employees. It’s also your company culture, and the values, visions, habits and ideals shared by everyone who works for that employer.

When it comes to recruitment, employer brand is a powerful tool offline but increasingly it’s your organisation’s ability to communicate this externally online that really counts.

Candidates head online

Research by LinkedIn shows that 75% of job seekers take note of an employer’s brand before even applying for a job, researching the company online to gage its reputation.

In an increasingly transparent online world, information is just a click or a swipe away. And the more insight job hunters can find online about your company, the more likely they are to apply for a role. In fact, many could lose trust if they can’t find the volume of information they’re looking for.

Increasingly, employees want to feel a personal alignment to their company’s core values and tend to choose businesses that they feel are the right ‘fit’ for them - a positive environment that allows them to enjoy a fulfilling career with plenty of room for personal development. This is certainly true from what the talented technical professional candidates we deal with at RHL tell us.

So let’s look at some questions you should ask to see if you’re creating a strong employer brand online.

Q: Is your business authentic on social media?

Your company is probably already using the main social media platforms to spread the word on your products and services.

But social media is also the most powerful way to share your employer brand and give candidates can get a real picture of what it’s like to be part of the team.

The more positive, real snapshots of your business a candidate can see, the better the chance they’ll want to work with you.

Whether it’s on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram (depending on which platforms are right for your type of business), you can reach potential applicants at all stages of the recruitment process.

Share videos and photos of your workplace in action, team building activities or perks and rewards that teams receive that show your valued employees are - the right content showcases the things that makes your company special.

Don’t forget to interact, either. Taking time to respond to comments using a ‘real’ voice rather than with a formulaic, one-size-fits-all reply will add to the positive view potential employees have of your business.

Q: Are you tracking reviews?

When it comes to judging a compelling employer brand, first-person reviews often weigh heavily in a candidate's decision. One 2016 survey showed that 70% of job hunters look at reviews before they decide to join a company.

Any kind of mismatch between how the role and company are described and first-hand experiences of other employees can be a distinct turn-off.

That’s why it’s crucial to nurture good reviews on employee review websites like Glassdoor. Ask for, and respond to, feedback from customers and employees both past and present.

Q: Are employees acting as brand ambassadors?

Your current staff can be the biggest ambassadors for your company when it comes to speaking directly to your target audience. Do they share company updates on their personal LinkedIn pages? Do they feature in employee testimonials on your social media channels and career pages, talking about their professional as well as personal development?

Being able to picture and get to know the team and their stories can be a powerful tool for recruitment - and help an undecided candidate visualise themselves as a member of the team.

Turning talent into team

Of course, making sure your employer brand reaches its potential online isn’t the only way to recruit an all-star team. The right salary, training and development, working conditions and benefits are also vital ingredients.

But knowing what you do better than your competitors - and being able to share that online - is now crucial in order to get those new starters on board. With so much uncertainty in many sectors, any advantage you can get over competitors counts if you want your business to thrive.