Employer Branding is no longer a “nice to have” — it’s a need to have!

Sehriban Sorge Dec. 10, 2018

As companies pursue digital transformation, there is also a major shift in priorities for these organisations. The focus is no longer just about revenue and the public image of the brand, but on the internal perception of the company by current employees and prospective candidates which is called employer branding. Company culture and cohesion have become extremely important for overall employee retention and happiness. In order to increase their success, as well as its mission and values, it's necessary for all teams to participate in this initiative.

What is employer branding?

The term employer branding defines the uniqueness of a company online.  It allows existing and prospective employees to have a better understanding of the company’s identity and how it operates. With this rising trend, companies are investing more time, effort and money towards this initiative. Additionally, this is no longer the responsibility of just the marketing department. The human resources department has a responsibility to contribute to this ecosystem because their online presence is typically a new candidate’s first touch point.

The importance of social media

A company isn’t only leveraging social media for entertainment purposes, but to expose the internal activities. Managing these social platform has become one of the newest tasks of the human resources department. The intention is to attract as many new customers and employees as possible. This can happen through a variety of formats – from regular pictures and videos, right up to the live chat function for real-time feedback. For most applicants, use of their mobile device is the way they are searching for jobs, companies and their social media channels. There is even a rise in candidates finding about jobs on social media platforms as the very first interaction with an vacancy. Prospective employees can effectively find everything they're looking for on one or multiple platforms. From employee reviews and documentation of company events, these personal touches give applications to see how and what working at an organisation would look like and as real as possible. These platforms have billions of monthly active users and the numbers continue to rise. As a result, the importance of social media continues to grow and is a key factor for recruiting success.

A solid example is Hubert Barth, CEO of Ernst & Young Germany.

Hubert Barth Instagram Account

He is the first out of the “Big Four”, who has created an Instagram account. Barth is an active Instagram user, his follower numbers are increasing daily. The responses to his account have been more than positive and people seem to be interested in the daily routine of the CEO of such a big company. Not only gives it younger adults the first impression of what the actual tasks of such important roles might include but also shows that there's a big variety in those roles. Companies are able to include anything they want their customer to know and see about their industry. It's a transparent way of showing and advertising for certain openings.

Why does it matter?

Statistics speak for themselves:

  • When making a decision on where to apply for a job, 84% of job seekers say the reputation of a company as an employer is important (Source)
  • 9 out of 10 candidates would apply for a job when it’s from an employer brand that’s actively maintained (Source)
  • 50% of candidates say they wouldn’t work for a company with a bad reputation – even for a pay increase (Source)

Successful employer branding directly affects job recruiting and talent acquisition. It increases the amount of people who are qualified applying to the open positions. When your employees are happy working for the company and make it known, candidates will see this and will apply. Besides the benefits of creating an additional channel in which to attract talent, there are also cost savings associated with employer branding. Recruiters are expensive and so are job boards like Indeed, Monster and others. Employer branding should be thought about in the same light as if the company was marketing for prospective customers, but in this situation it’s candidates. Ultimately, a strong branding presence saves money long term. Finally, in business, perception is everything. We’ve discussed that branding for customers and employees are different initiatives, but they are definitely interconnected. In a lot of ways, when a prospective customer reviews a company, they are also looking at how they treat their employees. Negative employee treatment can evolve in poor customer service and this is definitely something that is being reviewed.

Final thoughts…

Employer branding should be the focus of all departments within a company. Budgets should be allocated towards this just as any marketing activity does. When your internal and external aspects are strong, the organisation as a whole benefits and good things happen.

New technological improvements made it possible for candidates to get instant responses and therefore, deliver the perfect candidate engagement and experience.

The market for HR tools just opened its doors and many, new features made a successful entrance into the digital world. With this being said, the future of chatbots and other instruments, is on its way of rising and further developing.

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