Employer

Do you know what people think about your organisation as an employer?

Building and maintaining an attractive employer brand is a powerful way for organisations to gain a competitive edge when it comes to recruiting and retaining high calibre employees.

Here’s 10 top tips on shaping, communicating and nurturing an employer brand:

1. Discover what your employees are saying

A confidential staff survey is a great way to understand more about what your employees think of your current employer brand. What would they say to a friend about the organisation? What do they think are the best things about working there? What makes your organisation different to other employers in the industry? What, if anything, would they like to improve? Use the feedback to help develop the messages you are looking to portray. Your employer brand should accentuate the positives, but it also needs to be realistic and the opinions of your current employees will help to shape this.

2. Make positive changes

Look at the results from the staff survey and start to make any positive changes needed. Share the results and action plans openly with employees. Things won’t happen overnight, but if they can see developments taking place they are more likely to stay on the journey with you. This will help you to hold on to the talent you already have. A company with a high staff turnover is also one of the key things which is likely to raise concerns among potential recruits.

3. Find great employee stories

Real life stories of people progressing and thriving in your organisation are one of the strongest assets to promoting an employer brand. Find the success stories of employees and create case studies on them. Look to highlight how they’ve progressed in the organisation, how they’ve developed as a person, their career ambitions, and how they play an essential part in the business. Promoting genuine examples demonstrates clear evidence of the types of opportunities available to other people and gives a real feel for what it is like to work for the organisation.

4. A picture tells a thousand words

Don’t rely on stock photography to portray life in your organisation. Get a photographer in to capture some high-quality images of real people at work for your professional platforms such as your website and recruitment advertising. These can be complemented with candid shots taken by team members for the likes of social media. Images can really help to paint a picture of an organisation to a potential employee. They can bring to life the work environment, the dress code, the people they may be working with and the events and processes they may be involved in.

5. Update your website

If you don’t already have a dedicated careers and recruitment section on your website, look to add a space for this and fill it with engaging content. Include your organisation’s values so people can see if they fit with their own. Outline how you like to work, the company culture and the organisational structure; these all help potential recruits to understand if they would fit in well. List reasons why people should consider working with you. What makes your organisation stand out? How do you reward employees? Don’t forget to use the case studies of the employee success stories you’ve created and to add details of the progression and training opportunities available.

6. Get social 

People automatically expect an organisation to have a social media presence and this is likely to be one of the first places they visit when looking for information about a company. It’s a great opportunity to provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the business. Review your social media activity to see if it reflects the culture of the organisation and whether it is used to full effect to highlight employee success stories and fun initiatives. Trust employee ambassadors to get involved with your social media activity and to add ‘real life’ voices to the conversation.

7. Test your candidate experience

Try going through your recruitment process as if you were a candidate. People may have been attracted by the brand you’ve promoted, but if the recruitment process they go through doesn’t live up to this, they could still change their mind. How are applications responded to? How easy is it to apply? What information do they receive? What is the interview process like? What feedback is provided if candidates aren’t selected?

8. Embed the brand into everyday life

To be most effective, an employer brand needs to become a way of life. The leadership and management team need to be committed to the brand and lead by example. Continually look for ways to remind employees why they bought into your company in the first place. Deliver on any promises made regarding recognition, reward and progression, and ensure your brand runs consistently throughout your approach to people management and internal communications.

9. Ongoing monitoring

It is good practice to continue to ask employees for ongoing feedback. As new generations enter the workforce there may be a change in needs and a shift in perceptions. Regular employee surveys will help ensure your employer brand stays agile and remains attractive to new talent – and to the current employees you worked hard to attract in the first place.

10. Get recognition

If you’ve developed and nurtured an employee brand you are proud of, look for ways to gain recognition for it. Best employer related awards, which are judged by external assessors, are a great way to further enhance your employer brand.

About Gill Buchanan

Gill is a founding Director of Pure Resourcing Solutions has worked in the recruitment field since 1988. Gill’s experience is broad based and includes eight years of specialist recruitment experience within an international specialist recruitment company including five years working within financial services recruitment in Sydney, Australia.

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