Branding is no longer just a marketing or communications initiative. Research from Deloitte indicates that over 40% of companies believe that employer branding is a “must have” in their talent acquisition strategies.
So what exactly is employer branding? Similar to the way a corporate brand works, an employer brand includes the market’s perception of your company as an employer and describes your promise (or employee value proposition) to employees in exchange for their experience, talents, contacts, or skills. Employer branding is about defining the essence of your brand, both how it’s unique and what it stands for and then crafting and aligning those aspirations with the people you’re looking to attract. It communicates that your organization is a highly-desirable employer and a great place to work, which boosts recruitment efforts and the engagement and retention of your current employees.
Why is this so important? Not investing in employer branding poses a significant opportunity cost. In fact, according to LinkedIn, it costs companies who fail to invest in their reputation as an employer an average of $5,000 per employee. A poll from CR Magazine showed that almost 50% of workers said they wouldn’t work for a company with a bad reputation, even with a big increase in compensation. This all adds up. With a negative, or non-existent employer brand, organizations are likely spending 10% more per employee hired.
Conceiving benefits and rewards that match the brand’s ethos and linking those to brand building strategies is key. Messaging and initiatives play critical roles in engaging and uniting current employees behind the brand and its vision – as well as in attracting new talent. According to Jobvite, most recruiters feel the best medium for growing an employer brand is social media (47%), followed by company website (21%) and marketing and advertising (12%). The aim should always be to try to emphasize how your brand is different and encapsulate the type of people with whom you want the business to be associated. As employer branding becomes ever more paramount, harnessing social media and properly leveraging the voices of your employees will be key for long term success.