If you’re charged with talent acquisition at your organization, probably everyone you personally get a chance to connect with knows how great it is to work there. More than anyone else, HR professionals are passionate about creating a workplace that thrives on balancing employee perks with the production of top-notch work and spreading the word to attract top talent.
Spreading the word strategically through messaging, tools, channels, and partnerships that allow you to effectively engage and connect with qualified candidates is truly the key to creating an employer brand that works harder for you and your company, and effectively enhances your employer reputation.
What to consider when developing an employer brand:
1. Determine your target audiences.
Simply naming your target audiences “candidates” doesn’t really help create messages that specifically speak to a variety of different talent pools. When identifying segments of candidates be detailed. Consider categories like experience levels, students, production vs. office staff, career changers, part-time interest, and industry influencers like the Chamber of Commerce, recruiters, or industry publications.
2. “I’m talking TO YOU!” messages.
Now that you’ve determined your target audiences, think about what drives your organization and makes it potentially a great place to work for each segment. Sometimes we make the mistake of relying on corporate, organizational brand messages here. Remember, this is a totally different audience with a completely different reason for engaging your organization—employment.
Think about what benefits would resonate with different segments and the programs, offerings, and workplace culture your organization has in place that would make it an attractive choice for a top candidate; internship, apprenticeship, and work/life balance programs, financial planning assistance, daycare, healthcare, paid time off, flexible schedules, career growth and professional development opportunities, celebratory events and employee recognition. Don’t forget to share one major perk—the opportunity to work in an exciting field, collaboratively, with motivated team members on interesting projects that result in impressive work!
It’s one thing if you say it, and of course you should, but whenever possible ask other team members to share their experiences working for the company in-person or -print. Engaging employees from all levels, those who’ve spent years on the team and some newcomers, helps to more directly communicate—employee to candidate—what it’s like day-to-day.
4. Partnerships—don’t do it alone.
Leverage every opportunity to connect with your target candidate pool. Looking for new entry level hires? Reach out to career centers at the colleges, universities, or technical schools in your region to see how you can most effectively connect with qualified students. Give a guest lecture, exhibit at a job fair, even offering an office tour to interested students is a great way to make your presence known in the community and establish relationships.
5. Cohesive, quick reference materials and channels.
Now that you’ve established your messaging, collected some great employee quotes, and identified partnership opportunities, create engaging materials and channels where you can efficiently share that information. Have a “what’s good” brochure on-hand at events and candidate interviews that clearly and effectively conveys value propositions. Update your organization’s website with relevant messages and job openings, prepare materials that work in schools to engage and educate students on your industry and organization, and update social media and ask other communicators within your organization to be employer brand ambassadors on the organization’s behalf.
“Our reputation as a good, progressive employer that seeks, nurtures, and rewards great staff is the key to attracting top-tier talent in the first place,” says Yvonne DeSalle, VP, Associate Engagement & Talent Development at The YGS Group. “Everyone wants to hire the best of the best—those that have already proven themselves and those that are motivated and anxious to learn and contribute. Establishing and cultivating a strategic employer brand means that I can find those candidates, or they can find us, more quickly and we can continue to create innovative work that supports our clients through the contributions of our talented team.”