The Importance of Your Employer Brand
Over the next 6-12 months, hiring conditions will become more difficult and even those organizations that are planning to hire less than usual are preparing for the battle. Your employer brand will play a key role in helping your organization stand out to the best candidates.
Today more than ever, people want to be proud of the company they work for and have a sense of purpose and the opportunity to make an impact. As a result of the pandemic, there has also been a renewed focus on employer stability, job security, and company reputation. In fact, recent studies indicate that 75% of candidates look at this type of employer brand information before they even consider applying for a job. Whether they research various career sites for past and current employee ratings, check with people in their network, and/or review your company website for information, a first and lasting impression is made. To ensure people see your organization in the proper light, highlight your employer brand on your career page. Focus on information about core values, company mission, benefits, employee stories, and other employer branding content.
Another key point to remember when hiring, is that the process isn’t just the candidate selling themselves to the company. To land the best people, companies also need to sell themselves and the opportunity to the candidate. This is where organizational culture, overall vision, work-life balance, and a sense of belonging really come in to play. These are the things your employer brand can showcase.
As an added note, the interview and hiring process itself is a huge factor when it comes to an organization’s reputation in the employment marketplace. Candidates quite often tell us that they receive little to no communication once they’ve applied to a position thru online postings or ATS systems. With AI and automation playing a bigger and bigger role in HR and Talent Acquisition, these issues are often exacerbated. Candidates may receive a canned automated message essentially stating; we received your resume, don’t call us, we’ll call you. Others may get a text message from a chatbot asking a few questions, but that’s where the communication tends to end. While AI-powered HR solutions work well for certain subsets of companies, such as those constantly hiring for more basic high turnover jobs, candidates see it as very impersonal. AI is great for repetitive tasks that have clearly defined boundaries and data that it can compare, analyze, and predict trends. But unlike humans, AI cannot invent, imagine, feel, dream, or make abstract decisions based on common sense and instinct. For example, as humans we learn to handle objects as young children. It would take an AI algorithm hundreds of years to learn the same task. As such, the more complex roles and questions require human interaction and now more than ever, difference making candidates are looking for a personal touch.
Even with today’s high unemployment, the A-level candidates needed to positively impact and transform your company still aren’t typically the people visiting career sites or applying to job postings (with rare exceptions). Use your employer brand to attract people and help convince them of why they should choose your company over their current employer or other opportunities. Ensure that you have a unified message when it comes to the language used for employer branding and the language used in your hiring process, particularly in terms of your culture buzzwords (i.e. teamwork, innovation, trust, opportunity, etc.). How your company has reacted to the Covid crisis will also be something that both potential and current employees look at as well.
Remember that people want to feel valued within their organization, especially millennials. Ping-pong tables and massage chairs are great, but a sense of purpose and contribution to the greater good is what really drives people and creates that sense of accomplishment. While it may not show up on balance sheets, people are one of most valuable assets of any organization, and company culture is the glue that holds everything together. During a time where more and more people are working remotely, it can certainly be a challenge to build and manage that culture, but you must make sure it isn’t lost. Periodically remind employees about the company mission, core values, and teamwork through conference calls or video meetings.
As we continue to navigate through these strange times and eventually move past the pandemic, understanding the marketplace, your target audience, and what’s on prospective candidates’ minds, will be crucial in having the employer brand in place to attract the right people to your organization and to retain the A-players you already have. Companies that have an immediate hiring strategy will outperform those that don’t. When you choose to partner with a search firm as part of that strategy, consider that what makes an Executive Recruiter valuable. It isn’t just filling open positions. These days, they also need to understand your culture as well as the current market and what other companies are doing (who is putting things on hold, which companies are cutting back, who is hiring, what is the mindset in the candidate marketplace, etc.). This will help your organization be more prepared than your competitors when it comes to landing the best talent.
Having been in business for more than 50 years, The Angus Group has certainly seen its share of market ups and downs. As such, we are in a very unique position to understand how the pandemic has affected the marketplace. This includes knowing the questions and concerns candidates have in the current climate, their motivations to consider a job change, and competitors who are losing talent as a result of the Covid crisis. This information will be extremely vital in reaching your target audience and making sure that candidates truly understand your employer brand, fit your culture, and are successful in your organization.