The employer brand is one of the most valuable assets a company has when it comes to recruiting and retaining talented, effective marketers (or anyone else, really). But in order to leverage yours effectively, you have to be able to honestly evaluate its strengths and capabilities.
That’s easier said than done. Many employers look at their own workplace with rose-tinted glasses. Even those that are willing to ruthlessly scrutinize their consumer brand and aggressively try to improve it are often reluctant to admit that their company is anything less than an ideal place to work.
A strong employment brand makes you a magnet to the most talented marketers and reduces employee turnover. This reduces related HR, marketing recruiting and hiring costs and can positively affect your consumer brand and bottom line. In order to leverage and improve it for maximum affect, learn how to objectively consider your perception among the talent pool (and when to bring in a little help from marketing recruitment agencies).
Are You Offering What Top Talent Really Wants?
Today it’s trendy to enhance employee experiences with an assortment of events and activities. From pool tables and free snacks in the break room to corporate parties to whacky office aesthetics, companies are trying all kinds of tricks to make employment more attractive and improve worker morale.
There’s nothing wrong with that. These can be great ways to liven up the workplace, improve internal relationships and differentiate yourself from competitors.
But top marketing talent isn’t easily dazzled by fun, flashy gimmicks. What do they really want?
- Opportunity to grow personally and professionally
- Interesting challenges and compelling work
- Recognition and reward for consistent success
- To be treated fairly and like a valued team member
- Competitive pay and benefits
If you can’t provide that, no amount of arcade games or giant lobby slides are going to help you accumulate and retain the talent you need.
How Do Your Current Employees Represent You?
Your current employees all serve as brand ambassadors, good or bad, for your company. For instance:
- Individuals that serve as renowned thought leaders in your industry strengthen your brand as an innovator and authority.
- Public-facing employees that are happy, competent, and polite strengthen your brand as a worker advocate who thoroughly trains and cares for its staff.
- Workers can share positive experiences and thoughts about your company through word of mouth, on social media and via employer review sites, improving your employer reputation.
Of course, this is all a two way street. If you’re infamous for poor work-life balance, unpleasant staff and negative employee reviews, expect that to become a large part of your identity. People like to complain much more than they like to praise. Who you hire and how you treat them reflects back on your employer brand.
Does Your Location Affect Your Brand?
What sounds more romantic?
- A breezy sun-soaked coastal town; or a flat city surrounded by an endless sea of cornfields?
- Walking down the streets of a bustling, vibrant metropolis; or a frozen tundra?
- Biking to work in a trendy cultural district, or sitting in traffic for hours each way to and from a suburban office park?
The truth is; your location—both relative to the country and the rest of your city—affects how others consider you as a potential employer.
You don’t have to be headquartered in the trendiest, hippest or most enticing place in order to attract great marketers (but if you are, be sure to take advantage of it). However, you must understand and anticipate how others view your location and be proactive with a strategy to work with or around it.
How is Your Job Candidate Experience?
The candidate experience is often the first interaction you’ll have with top talent; you need to make it count. A lot of factors affect how stressful or pleasant the process is and could influence a good candidate to drop out or endure through it:
- Comprehensiveness of job description
- Application length and ease of completion
- Quantity and relevance of questions
- Responsiveness of HR contacts and hiring managers to questions, confirmations, and follow-ups
- The overall length the entire hiring process takes
- Commitment to keeping scheduled interviews, meetings and deadlines
- Interaction with and support from experienced marketing recruitment agencies
If your candidate experience is too time-consuming or tedious don’t expect the best talent to stick around. Evaluate it from the perspective of a prospective employee, from initial application to the first day on the job.
Get an Outsider’s Perspective
It is difficult for you to accurately judge your employer brand on your own. Personal bias and a lack of context about your competitors inhibit objective assessments. You need the most honest measurements possible, so consider getting an outsider’s point of view.
Trusted professionals in your network provide one valuable source of input. Dedicated employer brand consultants and improvement agencies offer another—at a price.
Top marketing recruitment agencies another great source of employer brand perspective. They see clients of all sorts in every industry and can give you a contextual idea of where you stand. Experienced marketing recruiters know what attracts top marketers and how you can improve your image. And they usually provide that insight (and more helpful advice) complimentary as partof their recruitment and staffing services.
Once you’ve evaluated your employer brand, you can start improving it. Come back soon for another post on how to get started on that.
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