Employer branding is changing, and fast. Gone are the days when a solid onboarding policy and weekly yoga class were enough to get your brand noticed by the right talent.
We spoke to Samantha Hepburn a freelance community consultant, co-founder of Circle, and founder of Find a Tech Job to find out where employer branding is going to go in the next 18 months and beyond.
Here’s what you need to know to stay ahead of the curve:
1. Gig economy
As more businesses hire freelance employees the need to focus on employer branding is greater than ever.
Employers need to make sure that they offer a positive experience to all candidates and staff, regardless of their contract. The ‘’one-size-fits-all’’ approach to employer branding will no longer be feasible in the gig economy. Employers must now tailor their strategies.
‘’Employer branding may now differ from team to team depending on how big the organization is. It will depend on what the overall culture of the business is and what it is like to work for each specific department. People have to get a lot more creative,’’ states Hepburn.
In 2018, the need to be authentic will come to the forefront of employer branding. Businesses must communicate their brand in a truthful way and ensure that their global reputation is aligned with their staff’s opinions.
Hepburn explains the importance of this further. ‘’More and more people talk to each other now. In the past, we took advice from influencers and celebrities but now we are more likely to do something based on a colleague, a friend, or a friend of a friend’s suggestion.
‘It is so much easier to access information thanks to websites like Glassdoor. People are openly stating what it’s like to work in their job. The company might say they’re doing one thing but previous employees are stating what they actually do. There’s no hiding.’’
An easy way to achieve authenticity is to put real people at the forefront of your employer branding. Employee testimonials and an emphasis on staff happiness are a great first step.
3. Corporate social responsibility
Or CSR is becoming more important. Employees want their companies to operate responsibly and to address social and environmental issues in their area and around the world.
While many companies are making CSR a part of their overall strategy, others are placing it at their company’s core. Ben and Jerry’s, for example, are dedicated to using only fair trade ingredients and have invested in a sustainability programme. While TOMS shoes donate one pair of shoes to people in need for every pair sold.
Hepburn develops this point further arguing that companies also need to give employees the chance to do their part on an individual level.
‘’A lot of companies are giving one extra day of annual leave to employees who do something good socially. I see a lot of people taking up roles that might be paid less because they are given the opportunity to get out and do something different.’’
Afterall, everybody wants to cash in on all that good karma.
4. Offline events
Introverts beware! 2018 will see the return of face-to-face events as more people move away from the digital space towards actual human interaction. Hepburn believes that we have now come ‘’full circle’’ as we begin to take our outreach offline.
Seminars, think-ins, and even career events will become increasingly popular but there will also be a great need for specificity. Events will need to be tailor-made to suit their audience’s needs and interests. Afterall, if you just wanted a social chat you would go to the pub with your mates.
Hepburn also believes that these offline events should be based on ‘’experience and learning from others.’’
5. Social media will continue to grow
The importance of social media will continue to rise over the next year, so having a strong social media strategy in place will be crucial. However, it’s important to carefully consider which social platforms to invest in depending your target audience. Just because you’re passionate about Snapchat filters does not mean that it is the best way to build your employer brand.
According to Hepburn, this selection process is key:
If you’re looking to hire developers you’ll have to go to tech meetups and post on Twitter. If you’re looking to hire designers then you should have a great Instagram account that showcases the design work that you’re doing.
About the author: Alice Murray is a Content Creator at Jobbio with a passion for employer branding and graduate development. She’s a keen traveler and a self-proclaimed lazy runner.