Many companies understand the value of a strong consumer brand and actively attempt to improve and use it in engaging consumers, enhancing customer service, extensive market research, tracking, testing and more. Yet few put even a fraction of that effort into the other demographic they’re courting: talented employees.
A healthy employer brand is an invaluable tool for drawing great marketing talent to your company. Once you’ve evaluated your organization’s reputation as an employer (hopefully with the help of discerning marketing recruiters), identified its strengths and weaknesses, and judged it against the competition, it’s time to start improving it and putting it to work.
Employer brands can be just as complicated and sensitive as consumer brands and require similar amounts of guidance to stay strong and competitive. But there are basic steps almost everyone can take to improve your perception among prospective employees and improve your marketing recruitment.
1. Create a Target Employer Personality
Before you dedicate resources to strengthen your perception as a great employer for marketers, you need to create goals based around what you want your workplace to be known for. Otherwise your efforts will superficial and counterproductive. Do you want to be perceived as steady and stable? Win-at-all-costs growth machine? Innovative and game-changing? Protective and cultivating? Identify what perks and benefits you want to highlight, and what weaknesses you’ll need to reframe.
It’s fine to have multiple goals, but be wary of trying to be everything for everyone. You should be looking to hire very particular types of people with certain skillsets and outlooks that make them good fits in your corporate culture. Tailor your brand to cater to those audiences, and never forget the essential things high-performing marketers always want to hear.
2. Satisfy Your Workforce
Happy, intelligent, effective workers reflect positively on your employer brand. Employees that are underappreciated, unsatisfied or just don’t perform well do the opposite. If your current employees don’t want to be there, why should a new candidate feel any different?
Maintaining a strong and positive staff that serves as ambassadors for your brand isn’t easy. It’s a long-term goal that involves your whole company and has as much to do with your hiring strategy as taking care of and properly training your workers. But if you hire the right people and treat them well, your efforts will be noticed in the eyes of your industry and high-performing marketing professionals.
3. Leverage Your Location
Find a way to make your location work for your employer brand, not against it. This is easier in some places than others. We talk more about making the most of underappreciated cities with the help of marketing recruiters in another post, but the key is being proactive in anticipating what your desired marketing talent wants and what concerns they might have about your location.
4. Improve the Candidate Experience
In many cases, the first interaction marketing talent will have with your company as a non-consumer is on your website’s job application center.
And if your application process is anything like most others, it’s probably more about you than the candidate.
This is a problem in companies of all sizes and across all industries. Complex, redundant online or hand-written applications. Failure to acknowledge receipt of resumes, applications, and other information. Slow responses to questions, requests and submissions. No notification if the job is filled or removed.
Really, try applying to a few random jobs—even those available at your own company. It’s probably a tedious, confusing and user unfriendly experience. And it’s a candidate’s initial interaction with your organization. Not a great way to make a positive first impression.
Find ways to make the experience less stressful and more responsive. From better automating your applicant tracking system to setting HR priorities on candidate interaction, you can make the process easier for the top marketers you need.
5. Maintain Consistency
The foundation of any strong brand must be flexible enough to be used in a variety of situations yet consistent enough to provide a consistent experience with consumers every time. Your employer brand needs to send consistent messaging throughout all stages of recruitment, application, and hiring process.
These are talented, experienced marketers we’re talking about—more than anyone else they WILL notice branding inconsistencies and tie them to your credibility.
This means making sure all of your tools, interfaces, marketing and employees offer a similar experience. That last part is particularly difficult. But if you treat your workers well, give them the necessary training and reward them appropriately, they will be motivated to advocate for your employer brand.
Take special care to give your HR personnel the resources they need to interact with your desired marketing talent “on brand.” It’s easy for them to get overwhelmed by large volumes of candidate searches and job placements, and they may not be properly equipped to communicate with high-performing marketers. If that proves to be the case, trust marketing recruiters at top marketing recruitment agencies to be good stewards of your employer brand and communicate with top marketers in a way they’ll appreciate.