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Employer Branding: Think Like a Marketer, Act Like an HR Manager

In the days of the television show, Mad Men, advertising agencies created catchy jingles to promote products like cigarettes, cars and household items. But branding isn’t just for household names anymore.

Today, almost all companies have an awareness about their brand identity. According to a Gallup poll, 39 percent of women say the reputation or brand of the company is “very important” to them when considering a job move.

The same is true for 33 percent of men.The ever-changing digital landscape, competitive job market and the spread of social media require human resources and recruiting managers to think like marketers and brand managers.

Make Them Want You

When you think like a marketer, you have to view your company as a commodity. Marketers think this way with consumers in mind.

You will think this way with job hunters in mind. Your competitors are likely devising and implementing a brand strategy that will help them scoop up all the top talent.You can’t leave your employer branding up to the marketing department. There are things you can do without the support of your marketing department that can make a positive difference for your employer brand.

Good Employer Branding Looks Like This

A good employer brand strategy is like a good product brand strategy. It focuses on potential profitability, reference groups, product features and word-of-mouth.

The point of having and employer brand is to attract job candidates that will help your business increase profitability. That means you have to take a hard look at your company and figure out what kind of employees you’re looking to hire.

Know Your Candidate Reference Groups

A big question to ask yourself is why the right job-seekers are attracted to your brand. The answer is key to drafting a useful employer brand.

For example, if you’re looking to hire experienced employees, you can highlight certain attributes to reel them in. Higher level employees typically tend to skew older, as it takes years to gain the experience necessary to climb the corporate ladder. These employees might be attracted by benefits packages that include family leave or on-site child care. If your company brand is family-friendly, you might be more likely to attract these more experienced candidates.

But if you’re looking to hire young talent or entry-level candidates, it might be time to brush up on your technology. Millennials are plugged-in and view new technology as an integral part of doing business. For these young workers, you might want to stress the ways in which your company has embraced the latest technology.

Show potential candidates your technological prowess by implementing the latest technology during the hiring process. From video resumes to the use of Skype for interviews and social media job postings, there are plenty of digitally savvy recruitment strategies you can use.

A Little Social Media Goes a Long Way

Don’t forget how important word-of-mouth is in today’s social media world. Employee networks are invaluable tools for promoting your company’s brand identity and finding talented hires.

You want to be the kind of company your candidate reference group dreams of working for. Encourage your employees to engage with their networks to help move the company’s brand identity forward.

Employees, their friends and connections can make or break your company’s online reputation. If your social media profile is lackluster, this will never happen. Control messages on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn by posting regularly about the key things you want job applicants and potential employees to know.

This will expand your company’s brand quickly and it’s a great way to attract the talented professionals your company needs to thrive.

Let Them Sing Your Praises

Show prospective employees why they would want to work for your company. Allow your employees the opportunity to talk about the benefits of working there.  

This means you need to take a hard, critical look at what potential employees look for most in a new position or company. Tailor your benefits to them. Feed information to your employees about these benefits through social media and encourage them to share it. Their networks will see this and want to take advantage of the benefits too.

Employer branding is a way to get the best return on investment (ROI) for your hires. Your employer branding strategy will dictate where you allocate resources to attract the right candidates to grow your business. Happy employees positively influence your brand as well as your bottom line.

Learn more about how to create a winning employer brand startegy. 

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