There are various discussions and opinions on this topic. While one company fights for a candidate and tries to persuade him to get the job, another one cannot manage to sort all resumes. Honestly, I would prefer to be up to my ears in resumes, without having anything to do. However, to reach this level of candidate’s attractivity, you definitely need to master employer branding. How to build it?
What is employer branding?
The interesting thing is that you do not have to do anything. Employer branding arises naturally. It is created by all employees and is closely linked to the satisfaction of the employee in the company. The employee evaluates the brand with his subjective impressions and experiences. This employee opinion expresses the attractiveness of the employer.
You’ve probably heard something like this: “XY works in a ZZ company and the company is great, I’d like to work there.” “Yes and why?” “Well, a friend of mine has a friend who works there, and they do yoga in the morning, they have a tolerant management, and lately, I saw their super fancy office somewhere on the Internet.” When you’re not fully satisfied with your job, you go straight on their website to look at their vacancies.
This modern type of employee search can be compared to classic marketing strategies and even the way products are sold. What comes to your mind when someone says, Red Bull? An energy drink that gives you wings or unconventional advertisements? All of this gives the product a certain emotion and, of course, recognizability on the market. In this way, by creating a quality employer branding, you can create emotion on the job market. So, where would be your dream job?
Impacts related to the employer´s attractiveness
To make the brand attractive, we can choose from various strategies. We have a lot of options to choose from. Many companies are well aware that building their brand as a synonym to a good employer has a huge added value. That is employee satisfaction. Wouldn’t you like to have employees who are proud of where they work?
What can have an impact on employer branding?
- The environment where people work. It is always better to work in a modern workplace than in an impractical office.
- Benefits that employees consider positive in the long run. These include several non-financial rewards that employees can enjoy.
- Company values and keeping them alive.
- Supporting employees during difficult times (e.g. death)
- Well set up processes.
- Moments such as events, company team building, awards, rituals.
- Company success, company growth, and evaluation.
- Indirect impacts such as working relationships.
Customer is no longer just a customer
There is one pitfall in which some brands have a great advantage. They already have their attractiveness “in their pocket” based on a good experience in the consumer relationship. It’s about love brands, which mean some value to you, whether it’s food, furniture, vehicles, clothes, anything. Popular brands have a much easier way to become an attractive employer.
Therefore, employer branding extends to the communication strategy and quality of service provision. But this is another topic that could be discussed widely. In short: you have to think about the fact that you should act “nicely” in front of the customer much earlier, not only when you need employees.
Love brands undertake one risk which at the same time, is also a challenge for them. It is an expectation of their potential employees. Excitement changes our expectations about the company and we can only think of how great it must be to work in the company. In a better case, our expectations come true but these people tend to be critical about their employers, and, paradoxically, you may have to work even harder to build your attractiveness to your employer. Check the next paragraph to find out how.
How to start building employer branding
The start should be based on a clearly defined strategy, planned in advance. It is necessary to link these plans to the type of business and choose key segments and moments. These moments are very important for employees. We cannot use the same strategy for employees who work in a production hall and an IT company. The needs are different as these groups care about completely different things.
In the first step of this strategy, I would recommend creating personas. In short: the persona is a fictitious person who is clearly defined (age, interests, education,…) and represents the whole group. It is perfectly normal for a company to have more than one persona. They mostly represent professional sectors within the company. When you determine these fictitious representatives, look for something they have in common, their common interests, needs. These common features will create something universal that can be immediately applied to strategy. Remember, however, that this is not the only important thing. Be sure to include the needs of each persona in the strategy. Especially those representing a large group.
In the second step, we must think of the desired state. Can we have a problem with something? Look for solutions in advance and include these things in your strategy as well. In this way, you will be able to avoid mistakes that you would find in the final stage of your strategy.
Does your strategy take on real contours? Okay, I have another question for you. Is it realistic for us to follow this plan? Whether in terms of financial, procedural, company culture. In this case, do not set unrealistic goals or solutions. You could pay extra for it. If you see something in your strategy that could potentially cause a problem, get rid of it.
This should be enough to create a strategy. Next, we only have to apply it and measure it. You should only make changes based on your own measurement.
Employer as an ambassador? What is next?
The goal of all this is to “train” an employee so that he will spread all these changes with satisfaction, excitement and who will be proud that he works in the company. It is one of the most effective methods when these feelings are passed on directly to the family, friends, …until it finally comes to the situation that my sister’s friend’s friend works in such a great company.
However, we cannot rely only on employee satisfaction. We need to spread this story on another level. This level stands for all those articles on the Internet about a beautiful business place, employee satisfaction, videos on YouTube, what it looks like in the company, and many other channels. It is a natural part of the process of building employer branding or presenting the results of a well-managed strategy. And it’s an important part: we still want a potential employee to want to work for you.
Measurement and evaluation of results
Every business goal should be clearly measurable. With more abstract things, such as this topic, it’s more difficult. However, not impossible. You might think that you will see whether people are interested and what´s being said about the company. This is the wrong view. Even in this case, we need to have a clear number. There are many metrics for measuring employee attractiveness or engagement. It depends on how precise we want to be. We can do perfect analyzes and evaluate several things, such as events in the company, life events to measure satisfaction, etc.
For me, the most likable and simple metric is the Net Promoter Score. The basics of this method are to ask one simple question. In our case, it would be a question: “How would you recommend our company to your friends as an employer on a scale of 1-10?” On a scale of 1-10, 1 is not recommended. Values 1-6 denote that people are dissatisfied, 7-8 being a neutral result, and grades of 9-10 represent satisfaction.
In order to work comprehensively with this, we need to turn all these employee values into one number. We calculate this simply by the formula: % satisfied – % dissatisfied = NPS result. In this case, we do not count neutral people. A result is a number from -100 to +100. I would not set a goal above +50. In this way, you can easily and quickly measure your attractiveness and satisfaction of your employees at the same time.
Consider whether it is worth for your business to build a long-term strategy
As a marketer, I like to use a sentence that applies in almost every case: “Not every super thing is suitable for every company.” There are times when you can dedicate your energy, money, and processes to other activities that can help you. I consider building employer branding to be a long-term process and therefore if your business is limited in time, it is not worth investing in it. And also if you only need a lot of employees for the season. In that case, I would use the investment resources for an aggressive marketing strategy that will be expensive. But after all, it will cost you as much as building quality employer branding.
You may be wondering why you should build employer branding when it’s so easy to pour a lot of money into ads and PR articles. The answer is that the impact of all these things is not long-lasting. You can do that, but not permanently. It will cost you more and more money, and in the long run, you will build attractiveness. However, you will build it in a more negative way and no one will want to work for you.