A solid employment brand can make a difference not only for your human resources team but also for your bottom line.
If hiring new staff members is on your list of goals this year, creating an employment brand and campaign is something you need to consider. Attracting and retaining top talent—and creating as positive an experience as possible for all applicants—is important for your entire business including marketing and public relations.
It can be hard to get through the noise and create an authentic employment message. But with a few key branding components, you will be well on your way to a successful campaign that can turn into a long-term perception of what it is like to work for your organization—and that sheds light on your employee value.
Components of a Successful Employment Brand
This is your opportunity to show your culture and be unique. At this stage, you need to explore everything that makes you different in order to stand out from your competition.
- What do you value as a company?
- What unique benefits do you provide that others do not?
- Why do your people choose to stick around?
A great resource is current employees. Seek out individuals who have been at your organization for awhile, and interview them. Ask why they have chosen to stay, and you will probably start to see some common themes emerge.
Craft Your Message
Now that you have a running list of what makes you unique, you need to turn that into messaging you can use for marketing. A fun and creative tagline for your employment brand can catch attention and speak to your company culture. Have fun with it. But make sure the messaging is clear and is in line with what makes you, YOU.
Here is an example of how GE developed a unique message to shift its market perspective about the types of jobs the company offers.
Although you can build a messaging strategy, it is hard to control everything that is said about you. Your messaging can be outstanding, but it really comes down to what your candidates think about your company, which leads us to the next point…
Create a Positive Application Experience
Your application experience says a lot about you as a company. Applicants on average spend 3 to 4 hours submitting a single resume. That is a lot of time and thought invested into becoming a part of your company, and we as the hiring companies need to respect that.
Make your application process as streamlined as possible and set clear expectations.
- How long before an applicant will hear back?
- How soon are you looking to hire?
- What are the next steps (phone interview, in-person interview, etc.)?
Do not weed out unqualified applicants with a confusing and extensive application process. Instead, focus on clear job descriptions that accurately communicate what the job entails and the qualifications needed.
Be open to providing feedback to applicants you don’t hire. It is important to respect your applicants as much as possible during the process—not only because it is the right thing to do but because those applicants can either spread around a positive or negative perception of your company.
Launch a Dedicated Careers Page on Your Website
This is not just a list of current job openings but a strategic, on-brand, kickass careers page! This is your time to shine. This page can push your brand limits, show some personality, and indicate why your company is the best place for top talent to work.
For your careers page, the number-one thing to focus on is credibility. You can say you are the best but how can you prove it? Employee stories, testimonials, videos, photos, and other creative resources can give your applicants insight into what a day in the life is really like.
Use Digital Marketing to Target Top Talent
Digital marketing can be a great tactic to build your brand and find top talent. Many HR departments use social media as a tool for attracting applicants, but a paid media strategy can boost your results and expose your brand to new audiences.
When choosing where to place your ads, consider the audience targeting available since it varies greatly per digital channel and make sure to customize your message per channel so your ads are not intrusive. For example, the way you speak to a specific Reddit thread will likely be different than how you communicate to Instagram users.
Also keep in mind that your advertising needs to be inclusive and not discriminatory. Extend your equal opportunity employer policy to your ad images, videos, copywriting, and targeting.
And we don’t mean copy and paste your policy into your ads. Thoughtfully curate creative elements and targeting so they are inclusive for all ages, genders, ethnicities, religions, and disabilities. We realize this is not easy but it is necessary.
Be a Good Employer
Last—and certainly not least—create a jerk-free environment and be a good employer. There’s no point in creating a list of values if you do not stand by them.
Even if you already have an employment brand, it may be time to reevaluate. Make sure it is still in alignment with your culture and values to attract the right employees.
Simply put, make sure you are answering the question “Why do I want to join your organization?”
Kelsey collaborates with our technical and strategy teams to develop and manage digital marketing strategies — from sign off to launch to reporting.
Kelsey has broad agency experience with B2B and B2C clients. She holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of Colorado, Boulder.