A positive employer brand is essential for creating an engaged workforce. According to Aberdeen, companies with employee engagement programs achieve 26 percent greater year-over-year increase in annual company revenue compared those who do not have formal programs.
An employer brand is also essential for recruiting success: nearly 70 percent Glassdoor users say they are more likely to apply to a job if an employer actively manages its employer brand (Glassdoor U.S. Site Survey, January 2016).
Perhaps the biggest challenge in creating a successful employer branding program is getting the right people on the team. A 2015 study by Universum noted that 60 percent of CEOs claim they own employer branding, while 58 percent of talent executives say they own it. The study concluded, "there is little agreement about what area of the organization should own employer branding."
Branding is a team effort
The solution to an effective employer branding strategy will be unique to your organization. Cooperation across functions, though, is key-70 percent of senior executives say they see the need for closer cooperation over the next five years to support employer branding efforts (Universum).
Make sure you include representatives from the following groups on your employer branding team:
C-level management. It's essential that your CEO and other high-profile leaders endorse and promote your company's employer brand. Encourage them to actively participate on social media and allow employees to help spread the message behind your employer brand.
According to Brandfog survey, three-quarters of U.S. respondents believe that companies whose C-Suite executives and leadership team use social media to communicate about core mission, brand values and purpose are more trustworthy. (The Global Social CEO Survey 2014, Brandfog)
Human resources. It's probably a no-brainer, but your HR team should be intimately involved in developing and maintaining the company's employer brand. With a strong appreciation of the company's employment needs, they are well equipped to develop a profile for the recruiting audience. Tapping data on retention rates and employee satisfaction, they can also identify areas for improvement and focus on top recruiting targets.
Marketing. While HR excels at recruiting and retaining employees, marketing brethren live and breathe promotion and acquisition. The same skills and discipline needed to attract prospects and potential customers are also applicable to sourcing candidates.
Collaborate with marketing to craft compelling messages and leverage communication channels best suited for your target audience. Creative content and design resources likely already available in your organization can help you create a powerful, appealing employer brand.
Public Relations. Your PR team has a wealth of expertise in creating a positive impression of your company in the media. Collaborate with them on publicizing recent developments or news that can make your company more attractive to candidates. Meanwhile, if a sensitive issue arises that might negatively affect your company reputation, PR can help craft communication to address it.
Information Technology/Marketing Tech. Because many of the activities associated with effective employer branding are conducted online, include IT pro on your employer branding team and leverage their skillsets in developing your careers page or blogs. Meanwhile, those in marketing technology positions, with their knowledge of the latest developments in social media, search strategies and algorithms, can help you reach more people online.
Consultants. Articulating your employer value proposition (EVP) and what makes your workplace a compelling place to work can be a serious in-house challenge, even for those who "live the dream" every day.
One study (Universum, 2015) showed that those who developed an EVP in cooperation with an external partner were much more likely to be satisfied compared with other methods (in fact, the satisfaction rate was 62 percent). Research the benefits and costs to hiring an outside consultant to help you develop a winning employer brand.
Freelance or contract professionals. Because maintaining an employer branding strategy can add assignments to an already busy talent acquisition workload, consider outsourcing some of the effort. Freelance content writers can create and post updates to your careers blog, Facebook page and Twitter feed, or write newsletters and emails targeted to employees and candidates. Engage designers to update your careers site or blog, videographers to create branding videos to share on your networks.
Best all, these professionals usually work on a project basis, saving the hassle and expense of hiring full-time creative help.
Kick-start your employer branding journey
Impress your cross-functional, employer branding teammates (and build the case for employer branding) with a PDF copy of our popular eBook, Employer Branding For Dummies®, Glassdoor Special Edition.