Recruiting: The Importance of Employer Branding

by | 6 Sep, 2018

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In our previous blog post, we discussed the importance of having an effective recruiting process, and how the benefits of doing so can spill over to all aspects of the business. Despite the importance of recruiting, the average employer faces a myriad of recruiting challenges that can be hard to overcome, especially in the digital world that we live in today. Perhaps one of the biggest challenges that employers face is standing out from the crowd of all potential employers that a job seeker faces. Another common challenge is attracting the candidates that are the best fit for the role and the company culture. A critical aspect of combating these challenges is investing in the development of a strong employer brand.

The term “employer brand” essentially means the image of the company and its culture that the company puts forth to potential and current employees. It includes the employee value proposition, or EVP, which spells out the benefits that an employee receives from working with the employer. While the term “employer brand” has been around for quite some time, the concept of what goes into building a strong employer brand has changed over time. Employers used to maintain a fairly high degree of control over the messages surrounding employer brand, but with the rise of digital and social media, the employer brand has been democratized.

Of course, there are still many elements of the employer brand that the employer can control. Perhaps the biggest of these elements is the employer’s career site. The career site is often one of the first places that interested job seekers go to learn more about a role and the company as a whole. Thus, the careers site should be easy to navigate, and should clearly spell out the employee value proposition. Any job descriptions listed on the website should be clear, concise, and well-crafted. Including employee testimonials can add credibility, and including pictures or videos of the employees and workplace can give prospective employees a glimpse into what working for the company is like.

That being said, having a good careers site is not enough. Now more than ever, word of mouth is driving decision making, and that includes the decisions of job seekers. LinkedIn reported that potential job candidates trust the direct word of company employees three times more than the corporate messaging on a company website regarding what it is actually like to work at a company. Many job seekers are turning to social media platforms like Glass Door, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to get a feel for the employer brand. According to a report from Universum, 74% of respondents claimed to have at least a moderate employer brand presence on social media, but only one third said they had dedicated employees posting content and responding to users on a regular basis. Thus, employers should encourage employees to share content that showcases life as an employee of the company. This content should be shared on both employees’ personal accounts, and on company accounts. Some companies even create separate accounts specifically for recruiting or showcasing workplace culture.

It has become clear that building a strong employer brand is a recruiting tactic that simply cannot be ignored. According to LinkedIn, the number one obstacle reported by job seekers is not knowing what it is like to work at an organization, and 75% of job seekers consider an employer’s brand before even applying to a job. In addition, 72% of recruiting leaders worldwide agreed that employer brand has a significant impact on hiring.

Employers seem to be finally recognizing that further investment in building a strong employer brand is crucial. According to a report from Glassdoor, three out of four hiring decision makers reported that it’s easier to attract top talent when they know of or about the organization, and more than one in three (35%) hiring decision makers reported plans to increase their investment in employer branding in the next 12 months.

The benefits of building a strong employer brand speak for themselves. According to LinkedIn, employers that built a strong employer brand saw 50% more qualified applicants, a 50% reduction in cost-per-hire, 1-2x faster time to hire, and a 28% reduction in employee turnover. Many of the areas where employers risk wasting valuable time and resources on recruiting can be addressed by establishing and upholding a strong employer brand.

This post is part of a series on recruiting. Check out the other posts in the series:

Recruiting: The Impact of Quality Candidates

Recruiting: Improving the Candidate Experience

Recruiting: The Importance of Talent Pipelining

Leah Bury
Leah Bury was former Marketing Manager at Navigate PEO, and holds a BS from Northeastern University. She contributed pieces and HR tips and created The Compass, our monthly newsletter!

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