Employer Brand: Your Company’s New First Impression
With all the information readily available to job seekers, your employer brand is the only way to gain a competitive edge. In this blog, viperks’ Samantha Worgull shares why it’s important to have a strong employer brand and how to go about managing one.
I used to identify strongly with
the “first impressions matter” logic, especially when it came to my career.
Don’t worry, I still hold myself to
high standards when it comes to making a good first impression during an
interview. However, I recently realized it’s becoming harder for companies to
leverage a good first impression with a prospective hire due to the amount of
information available with a simple Google search.
And if you work in the human
resources space, you know the ball is in our court—us being the employees, the
“talent” if you will. So how can a company stand out above the rest?
To stay competitive in the war for
talent, companies must have a strong employer brand. It is employers’ number
one tool for attracting and retaining top-tier talents. According to a 2016 Glassdoor U.S. Site Survey, 69% of
active job seekers are more likely to apply for a job that actively manages its
Your company is already creating an
employer brand whether you realize it or not, so it’s best to control the
conversation and communicate why your company is an amazing place to work. In
fact, I believe having an effective employer brand is so crucial to your
company’s bottom line, I wrote a 14-page
eBook on the importance of employer branding. For the purpose of this blog, I’m
going to share some takeaways—but I highly encourage you to get your copy
today, as it has a handful of useful charts, including 7 ways to measure ROI
and 9 signs your company needs an employer brand.
Let’s talk a little bit about the
In addition to attracting and
retaining the best and brightest employees, an employer brand helps manage the
evolving workforce. Not that it’s any secret to employers, but millennials work
habits are marginally different than that of our previous generations (Baby
Boomers, Gen X). Millennials are much more in tune with how a company’s culture
aligns with their core values and beliefs, which is why they have high
expectations for what they want out of a job. Because millennials have this
mindset, ensuring that they trust your
company and its mission is the be all end all.
Trust is exactly how technology
conglomerate Cisco reinvented itself through its recent employer brand
overhaul. Prospective candidates trust employees not brands. So as a company,
you need to trust your employees, too. You can do that by putting the power of
your employer brand in their hands.
For instance, the company launched
its WeAreCisco Snapchat channel. Each day features a takeover by a real-life
Cisco employee—and it’s not scripted. That’s what makes it so authentic. One of
the points I hit home in our employer branding eBook is that prospective
employees—especially the millennial workforce—can tell when the company brand
doesn’t align with the “true” work experience. And they can usually tell that
during the interview process. If the best candidates are turning down job
offers from your company, you may need to do a better job communicating your
employer brand during the interview process.
For employers who are assessing
whether or not they need an employer brand, and where to start with the
research, there are three main questions to consider, according to Kristin
Oravec, employer brand strategist at CKR Interactive:
What is your company trying to accomplish with an employer brand?
Are your company’s concerns more aligned with the internal or
external audience or both?
Where does your current employer brand stand (if one exists)?
(i.e., have you recently completed an employee engagement survey?)
Once you’ve established where your
company stands with these three questions, you should then figure out how to
tie it into your corporate-brand strategy, Oravec explains. She also goes into
greater detail in the eBook about the ROI of implementing an employer
brand, including how it impacts your business’ bottom line by boosting your
corporate brand as well.
Switching gears a little bit, a
recent RecruitingBlog.com article made some great points about the basis of
your company’s employer brand identity that I believe were worth adding to this
conversation. This excerpt in particular:
“If you have a buttoned up culture and clear hierarchy, that is
what will eventually seep out into the world. Working on game changing
technology in a fun atmosphere? That’s what will eventually come to define
Like I mentioned above, you’re
already creating an employer brand based on what you and your employees do day
in and day out. That’s why it’s critical to assess, define and maintain your
employer brand so you can create a place where people want to work—and an
environment that people never want to leave.
I’ll use myself as an example. My
first job after college was one most early 20-somethings dream of. I had
amazing coworkers; I got to travel to places I’ve always wanted to go (on the
company’s dime); I had my own private office; I received a stipend for both my
cell phone and my gym membership; I had a 6% match on my 401k; the list goes
on. It was by far some of the best years of my life. However, there was really
not much room for advancement on my small team of eight. While that is OK for
some, it became bothersome to me, but only after almost six years. This right
here is the perfect example of how a company’s culture alone can attract and
retain quality talent.
Establishing a strong employer
brand is a huge competitive advantage to companies. It not only helps your
talent acquisition team convert passive employees into star talent, it also
helps human resources with internal marketing. If you’re looking for a natural
starting point, I encourage you to download
our eBook on the importance of employer branding today.