Behind every great success there are key ingredients to make it happen. Some are top-secret so as to keep close-competitors from stealing their formula, but others are common knowledge and when you think about it, pretty easy to do.
For the third year running, the WilsonHCG Research Institute has published its report on the top 100 companies from the Fortunes 500 list who have nailed their employment branding.
John Wilson, CEO of WilsonHCG, says:
As the global talent wars continue to heat up and competition for hiring is fierce, it’s critical for organisations to invest in employment branding to attract new employees. Yet for many, this is easier said than done. In fact, a recent Conference Board survey revealed that retention, finding the next generation of leaders, and attracting top talent are the top concerns for U.S. CEOs.
The companies that will win at attracting and retaining employees are those that build a great employment brand, and the organisations that ranked highest in our report demonstrate the type of participation, engagement and transparency that’s required to stand out as a top employer in today’s competitive job market.
You’re probably wondering what their secret is and what you can do to join them, or better still beat them?
Here are the 6 markers they scored points for:
1. Career pages
Gone are the days when all you had to publish was a list of job openings and an email address on a company career page. Nowadays candidates expect more than that. Your career page is a candidate’s introduction to your company and will help them decide whether or not they will express an interest in working for your company. It’s also a huge opportunity to show candidates exactly what you want them to see. This can be done in a number of ways:
- Ease of applying – Candidates need to be able to find your career page. If they can’t find it, they can’t apply. Make sure it is easily accessible from every page of your website and most importantly, make it useful. No-one wants to click 100 times before they get to their desired location. By that time, you’ve already lost the best ones.
- Keep it current – Now this sounds pretty obvious but you haven’t updated your careers page and candidates can’t see new openings or opportunities they are likely to leave just as quickly as they got there.
- Branding – Employer branding is all about giving a potential employee a real feel for what it’s like to work for you. So do just that on your careers page. Attract the right candidates by giving them an idea of the environment they will be working in and the people they will be working with. Try adding not just your company logo, but photos and videos of your office space, location or your team.
2. Job boards
A job board provides the perfect opportunity to show what an employer can offer new recruits and, with the right tools, it can be an extension of their brand. Companies can spend thousands crafting their employer brand, but if they are not making best use of some of the add-ons available on a job board they are missing a trick. If an advert doesn‘t create an instant impact, job seekers will quickly move onto the next job – particularly if they are not familiar with your company. So, how can you make sure every advert on your job board delivers:
- Getting the tone right – Always use language job seekers can relate to. Don’t just cut and paste details from another job– make sure every advert is personalised to attract the right people.
- Perks and benefits – Yes details about the job and salary are important but so are perks and benefits. Employers need to flag up the benefits and perks of working at their company in order to attract the right talent.
- Build a profile – By creating a company profile, you help will bring your brand to life. Include information about company culture and why it’s such a great place to work. You can also customise your profile with the help of images, video and banners to clearly convey your employer brand.
3. Employee reviews and candidate engagement
Employee authored content is one of the best ways to nail your employer brand. There is no-one better to say how good your company is to work for than the people who work for you. More and more companies are using employee reviews as a way of recruiting top talent to their organisation. A study, found that 69% would not take a job with a company that had a bad reputation, even if they were unemployed.
And candidate engagement is just as important. Some companies have begun candidate engagement before recruitment in order to secure the best talent.
This is one key area of employment branding that many companies are overlooking. Putting your awards and accolades on career pages is an easy way to attract the right kind of talent to your company. It also gives your credibility. To say you are an award-winning organisation speaks for itself. In a study conducted by Hendricks and Singhal of the University of Western Ontario and Georgia Institute of Technology, more than 600 organizational award winners had 37 percent more sales growth and 44 percent higher stock price return than their competitors. At a time when competition for top talent is fierce, one way to stand out to candidates is to be recognised for awards that matter to them.
5. Recruitment marketing
This can be everything from content marketing, social recruiting, mobile recruiting, career site, SEO, employee referrals, talent networks, job marketing, recruiting events, recruiting analytics, CRM – basically it is anything that a talent acquisition team uses to find, attract, engage and nurture leads in order to convert them into more qualified applicants to fill jobs now and in the future. Here is a quick guide to recruitment marketing.
6. Corporate social responsibility
Showing commitment to being socially responsible plays a massive part in a company’s ability to attract top talent. Employer brand is no longer just about Glassdoor reviews. Having a strong CSR strategy is an important part of building a well-rounded employment brand that will attract top talent, particularly millennials. According to a 2014 survey by Nielsen, 67% of respondents prefer to work for a socially responsible company. When you consider that this group will make up 50 percent of the workforce by 2020, it’s something companies need to make a priority if they want to stay competitive.
At Salesforce our culture is rooted in ‘Ohana’ – the idea in Hawaiian culture that family members are all responsible for one another. When our CEO (Marc Benioff) founded Salesforce, he felt this attitude and approach was lacking in corporate culture and he thought that if businesses put more emphasis on caring and cooperating, truly amazing things could happen in our workplaces and our communities. During my time at Salesforce I’ve found that people really live for these values and I think it’s part of the reason why Salesforce has become such a success.
I always say it is a ‘perfect storm’ for GE employment brand. We are at a crossroads of transformation in three different ways. First, the company itself is well on its way transforming to become the digital industrial company. This helps with employment brand because to gain the talent we have to become a modern, contemporary culture and have to be outspoken externally about it as a company.
The second reason for the perfect storm is that with this transformation our company realizes that if you don’t have the right talent, you don’t have the products or services equaling importance on employment brand.
Lastly, it is the ‘perfect storm’ for employment brand because our world longs for transparency and trust in every way. This lends itself to storytelling about real employees in a real way. Employment brand allows us to connect to people… connecting emotionally in a people-centric way lends itself to transparency and trust. Employment brand becomes the consumer brand for B2B companies.