As the global economy continues to experience resurgent growth, the battle for top talent among the world’s biggest companies will only grow more intense.
Indeed, a 2016 survey by the Manpower Group found that some 40% of employers reported difficulty filling positions. The last time it was that high was in 2007.
With finding talent such a major challenge, employer branding becomes incredibly important.
At its most basic level, employer branding is the emotional connection between employer and employee. It is also the understanding that having a reputation as a great employer is vital for attracting top talent.
Here’s what you need to know about where employer branding is today.
In the past, employer branding was predominantly a function of Resourcing and HR. It was also largely outward-facing and driven by advertising.
As companies have become more transparent, largely thanks to social media, so the role of employees in employer branding has grown.
That makes sense. Most of us would trust what a company employee tells us about that company over what a recruitment ad tells us.
In turn, this has meant that companies wanting to attract top talent have had to be a lot more authentic in their employee advocacy and engagement programmes.
The CEO has a central role to play
Given the difference top talent can make to an organisation, it should hardly be surprising that it’s become increasingly important for CEOs to play an active role in employer branding.
Again, this makes sense. A CEO can set the tone for a company’s entire culture. Their actions filter down and can determine how people feel about the organisation.
This is as true within the organisation as it is outside of it. If a CEO comes across as the kind of leader someone wants to work for, a company’s going to have a much easier time attracting top talent.
And if they’re serious about their employees’ wellbeing, it will filter down through the lower levels of management, improving the overall employer brand.
Marketing is crucial
Although the best examples of employer branding are based on the authentic experiences of employees, marketing does still have a role to play when it comes to employer branding.
Here too, social media has a major role to play.
Many companies use social channels to highlight their employee experiences or to celebrate the work of some of their most dedicated employees.
It is, of course, important to remember that it’s vital that marketing shouldn’t be overdone when it comes to employer branding.
Instead, it should amplify the company’s authentic employee experience and expose it to new audiences.
It’s also important to remember that marketing is no longer a one-way process. Your team also needs to be able to answer any questions that potential employees might have when it comes to your company experience.
It must have substance behind it
Finally, it’s vital that your employer branding efforts have real substance behind them. That means developing an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) to underpin your employer branding initiatives.
It also means being thorough in evaluating your current employer brand and the awareness around it, defining how you’d like to be seen as an employer, and ensuring that every function within your organisation understands the value of a strong employer brand.
Fail to do those things and you might generate a little short-term buzz before things return to business as usual.
Get them right, however, and you’ll build a lasting reputation as the company the best people want to work for.
If you’d like to find out how Engage Me can help you build a great employer brand, contact us here.