Lately we’ve been hearing a lot about what makes up a company’s employer brand. Is it the colors and mission statement on your careers page or your social media sites? Or is it how candidates perceive you? Maybe it’s what your employees say about what it’s like to work at your company. In truth it’s a bit of all those things.
What it’s not, is simply the sum total of the clicks you get on your job listings. You can’t measure employer brand on traffic to job listings or even to your company profile. Measuring employer brand by these factors is not only wrong, it means that you’re not leveraging your employer brand effectively to recruit the best talent. Employer brand management needs to be thoughtful and authentic. By ignoring any one of the key voices that make up your employer brand, you could be hurting your reputation as an employer.
What makes an Employer Brand?
A company’s corporate and product brand is evident in all its marketing—in ads, on the website, on product packaging. But what makes up an employer brand? An employer brand is made up of everything that influences how people think about your company as an employer. As Jeff Bezos is famous for saying, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
Employer brand is made up of a few key things:
1. What you say about your company, and how you say it. This should reflect your company culture itself, including your company’s values, vision, mission statement, working language, systems, beliefs, and habits. All these things should be reflected in descriptions of your company on your career site, your company profile on Glassdoor, on social media, and within your job descriptions. Keep in mind, nine in 10 job seekers say they find the employer perspective useful when learning about jobs and companies1 so be careful not to leave a void that can be filled by someone else.
2. What employees say about you. Your employer brand goes beyond simply the employer voice. Employees are sharing their experiences at work, both in person and online. When they share their views on sites like Glassdoor or social media platforms, it becomes a living history of employee experience that potential candidates use to evaluate your company. Your employees’ opinions matter because they can make or break a candidate’s decision. They can help you attract the best talent because they represent an authentic view of what it’s really like to work at your company.
3. What candidates say about you. First impressions are everything. The candidate experience begins from the first point of contact with a potential employee. Candidates get a feeling for your company from job posting and first phone interview, and continue to form opinions as they walk through your offices and the way they’re treated by other employees and hiring managers. If a candidate’s experience is negative, not only can you lose out on top talent, but your reputation and employer brands can also suffer.
Employer branding is the sum of its parts
Each of the elements listed above is a key part of employer brand because all pieces affect a company’s reputation in the eyes of a candidate. Both passive and active candidates make decisions regularly based on how they feel about a brand. It affects whether they look at a job listing, whether they click to apply, whether they accept an offer, and it even affects how much salary they’re willing to take. According to some research, 68% of people are willing to accept a lower salary to work at a company with a great employer brand2.
And, we’ve seen measurable differences in engagement for employers who actively manage their employer brands on Glassdoor. For example, employers who have an Enhanced Profile that include their own narrative and visuals about why candidates should consider their company, receive – on average — 46% more page views and twice as many job clicks than unclaimed profiles. You can claim your profile with a free employer account.
So how should employer brand be measured?
If employer brand is made up of the employer voice, the employee voice and the candidate experience, then a true index would integrate each of these factors. We have some ideas here at Glassdoor. Watch this space.
Finally, if someone is trying to tell you that you can measure employer brand with traffic, you might want to send them the Employer Branding for Dummies book. Sounds like they need to read it.
1. Glassdoor User Site Survey, October 2014
2. CareerBuilder Candidate Behavior Study, October 2013