You know you have a strong employer brand when candidates are empowered with information and you're naturally attracting the best employees. To prospective employees, your employer brand delivers a powerful answer to the question "Why work here?" To current employees, it inspires trust, loyalty, and improved productivity.
As you work to build your employer brand, reflect upon the following seven employer branding questions:
1. What does our current employer brand say about us?
Your organization already has an employer brand. Online reviews, social media feedback and word-of-mouth reputation all factor into how prospective employees view your brand. If you don't already have a proactive process for managing these branding elements, it's time to start.
First, determine what employees, former employees and job seekers are saying about your company as a place to work. Review online sources of information such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, as well as Glassdoor reviews. You should also survey your employees on a regular basis with an employer branding survey questionnaire to find out what they think about the company and where they see the most opportunity for employer growth.
2. Who sets the tone for our employer brand?
Anyone at your organization, from your CEO to senior leadership teams to managers and all employees have a strong influence in employer brand. However, the most highly visible employees should exhibit the company's values in their behavior so that trickles down amongst all employees. If not, employees receive conflicting messages that trickle down to candidates through reviews and during the interview process. Take the time to address potentially detrimental actions by individual managers, and ensure the management team is aligned with the goal of creating a positive employer brand.
3. What are we trying to achieve?
Your employer brand is a tool you can use to attract candidates who are aligned with your company's mission and values. That takes an understanding of how your mission and values translate into employee behavior and the day-to-day working environment, and how close you are to where you want to be.
If your company's culture is solid internally, but not externally communicated, you might not be able to attract top candidates and need to set goals for communicating your brand. Conversely, if your values paint a pretty picture externally but retention rates are low, your primary goal should be to fix what's on the inside through management training or other means. Goals might also relate to meeting business needs, such as hiring push to fill out a specific department.
4. Who do we want to reach?
Create a profile of your ideal job candidates for your external branding efforts. Look at your current employees to get an idea of what qualities work best at your company. Focus first on overall alignment with your company's goals and then look for specific qualifications for each open position.
Also, consider your audience in relation to the different job boards used as well as your recruiting events and social media efforts. Some outlets will work best with new college grads, for example, and others for software engineers. Tailor your messaging appropriately for each audience.
5. What message do we want to send?
Your messaging is the underlying value proposition you offer to the candidates you interview, such as "Our company serves the community," or "This organization prioritizes expertise and excellence in science." To truly implement an effective employer branding strategy, the message you send to prospective candidates must be consistent and intentional.
As you build your employer brand, identify which qualities you would like candidates to associate with your brand and which attributes differentiate your organization from others. Then, choose messaging that will resonate with the specific positions and types of employees you're looking to hire.
6. What steps can we take to create a proactive employer brand?
Once you've used the first five questions to align your messaging with the employer brand you'd like to present, it's time to create and implement a plan. Work with the data you've collected to develop a strategy that will build proof for your employer brand.
Every company's plan will be different. You might decide to recruit employees to serve as brand ambassadors, start a blog on your careers page, or create a social media presence with videos and photos that tell the story of your workplace. Your Glassdoor Free Employer Account is a great place to start. Regardless of which strategy you select, make sure your planning efforts result in a detailed schedule of activities.
7. How will we measure employer brand success?
For each element of your plan, determine a way to measure success. You'll also want to track overall metrics like cost-per-hire and retention rates. For tactical moves, track web analytics, social media engagement, Glassdoor review counts, and Glassdoor profile engagement metrics. Create a monthly or quarterly reporting schedule to keep you on track and monitor improvement over time.
Need more insight into developing and implementing your employer brand strategy? Download our eBook, Employer Branding For Dummies, Glassdoor Special Edition.