Digital Transformation
In order to stay ahead of the hiring curve, small business leaders should consider 'employer branding' as a key recruitment strategy moving forward.

Enhancing the hiring process has become a challenge for a number of small businesses across the globe. With so much competition from industry rivals, finding new ways to make your company appear desirable for new recruits is essential.

In a modern-day hiring landscape, brand reputation is important for more than 86 per cent of women and 67 per cent of men, making it a key factor job seekers search for when applying for a new role.

In order to stay ahead of the hiring curve, small business leaders should consider 'employer branding' as a key recruitment strategy moving forward. Not only does it help showcase a company's exciting culture, but it can significantly improve a brand's reputation across hiring boards and social media for a returned influx of recruitment.

But don't just take our word for it. Let's jump into the ins and outs of employer branding and see how it could improve your own company's recruitment success.

What Is Employer Branding?

According to experts at Hubspot: "Employer branding is the reputation you have as an employer among your employees and the workforce. It's also how you market your company to job seekers and internal employees."

Did you know that 69 per cent of current employers believe that employer branding is important in the recruitment process?

Businesses that prioritise their employer branding attract more talent on average simply by defining their culture and values to potential candidates. Whether you promote your brand identity via social posting or through the words of current employees, the more insight you give your new hires, the more likely they will be to engage with your brand's career options.

Could Employer Branding Enhance Your Recruitment Strategy?

It's no secret that the job market today is a highly competitive landscape. For brands building a company from the ground up, hiring strong and effective talent should be at the top of the priority list. Therefore, finding new ways to make your brand appear more desirable could be the difference between a surge in applications and a recruitment dead zone.

So, could employer branding be the key to success? If you want your potential applicants to know that your company is a great place to work, positive employer branding is the way to go. Advertising everything from salaries to benefits, training opportunities and company culture, employer branding is a simple yet effective marketing tactic.

In fact, a whopping nine out of 10 candidates are looking for a position in a company that actively maintains its employer branding, as these companies tend to be well-known and appear as authoritative leaders within a niche industry.

Companies with bad employer branding consist of those with poor reviews, a lack of social media presence, and a recruitment process that falls short of detail and career information/opportunities.

Here are some of the key benefits associated with making a positive impression on your recruits:

  • Profitability: If you prioritise a positive brand reputation, you'll be sure to see the top talent coming your way. Hiring the best job seekers who are passionate about their work helps reduce attrition, in turn saving rehiring costs and allowing profits to be reinvested into company growth.
  • Industry Reputation: If your organisation has a visibly strong employer reputation, i.e., great reviews and testimonials and constant employee coverage, you're more likely to attract industry-wide job seekers. Better still, if you have a high reputation across a number of platforms, job seekers may even present themselves to you before you put out an advertisement for a position.
  • Inspiring Loyalty: Employer branding is only positive when a company pours effort into keeping its current employees satisfied. In order to raise your brand reputation, treating your employees to benefits, learning opportunities, and company threats is an easy way to inspire loyalty, reduce attrition, and encourage current employees to speak positively about your brand.

A brand that introduces positive employer representation to its recruitment strategy can reduce turnover by a staggering 28 per cent and cost per hire by a profit-changing 50 per cent. If that's not an incentive to introduce an employer branding strategy, we don't know what is.

How To Boost Your Employer Branding In 4 Easy Steps

Now we've learnt about the benefits of employer branding, it's time to learn how to implement it into your current recruitment strategy.

Here are four ways to get the ball rolling with employer branding.

1. What Are Your Current Company Values?

Before engaging with an employer branding strategy, it's time to strip back your current branding and start reviewing your foundations. What are your current values? How do you promote them to current and future employees?

These should be some of the key questions you ask yourself before moving forward. Focusing on your company's vision, values, and culture makes it much easier to curate a campaign that attracts the talent that you desire.

To start, complete a brand audit. Send out internal feedback forms and surveys, and begin conducting social media searches for data on your ideal candidates and your competitor's branding strategies.

These are all great starting points for a branding strategy that will stick.

2. Leverage Your Current Employees

Most job seekers are eager to hear from the monkeys rather than the organ grinder. Positive employee reviews and success stories could be the difference between an application and a miss for top talent seekers.

According to experts at Edelman, employers are up to three times as credible as a company CEO, so it's important to have their voices at the centre of your branding strategy.

Take SoulCycle as an example of a company that leverages its employees well. This fitness brand uses company benefits and incentives to encourage its employees to speak positively about their working experience.

For example, each employee is able to take ulterior SoulCycle classes for free and use their fitness centres for fun as well as work.

3. Prioritise a Positive Onboarding Process

Instilling a competitive company brand image all starts with the onboarding process. If a recruit is unsatisfied with their first impression of a new role, studies show that they are twice as likely to seek a new opportunity.

Therefore, it's important to provide a positive onboarding experience for new employees, especially if you're looking to reduce your turnover rate. Give your new recruits the chance to explore their workload creatively, offering them new opportunities for development from the very beginning.

Optimising onboarding may be timely, but the positives outweigh the negatives. All areas of a new hire's first impression should be enhanced for the best experience possible. Why not create your website with interactive video content, documents, and training materials that new team members can access at any time?

Or organise a team building activity that introduces new employees organically to the company culture? Getting creative with your onboarding is a fun yet crucial step to improving your employer branding.

Why not create a series of interactive video content? Or organise a team building activity that introduces new employees organically to the company culture? Getting creative with your onboarding is a fun yet crucial step to improving your employer branding.

4. Get Stuck Into Social Media

Last but not least, it's time to get stuck on social media. Did you know that 90 per cent of applicants find their dream role on either Facebook or LinkedIn?

Taking time to advertise your brand across social platforms is a great way to inspire excitement around your workplace. Document company and employee achievements, and don't forget to showcase the fun stuff too, like work outings and summer parties.

Starbucks know how to use social media to their advantage when it comes to employee branding. Referring to current employees as 'partners' instils a sense of equality between staff members, especially in an online world.

Better still, after creating their own @StarbucksJobs accounts on social platforms, they regularly share employee stories and show appreciation for their workers.

What's Next For Employer Branding?

As the recruitment market heats up once again post-COVID, the competition to secure the best talent is back in full swing.

"By focusing on employer brand, leaders have an opportunity to deliver tremendous strategic impact to their organisations," says Celia Fleischaker, CMO at Verint. "As companies continue to face shifting dynamics in the workforce, the value of employer branding has never been greater."

The question is, when will you start your employer branding journey?

By Neve Wilkinson Neve Wilkinson

Experienced content writer with a demonstrated history of working in the marketing and digital publishing industry.