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The Value of Employer Branding

In a candidate’s job market, recruiters have to pull out all the stops to attract top-tier talent for long-term growth. Millennial and Gen Z candidates job search differently—company culture is immensely important to them, and they play close attention to job review sites such as Glassdoor. The next generation of talent is seeking more than just a day job. The best candidates are looking for a sense of purpose or belonging, they want to make the world a better place.  A successful employer brand will communicate your values, your mission, and your company culture in the best possible light, making your company the most attractive destination of choice candidates.

Building company culture

There isn't a single way for businesses to build company culture. What “company culture” looks like will vary based on the size of your company, your industry, your values, and other variables. There are, however, some core methods and principles you can use to develop your company culture. The goal should be to foster an ethical purpose as a company through a forward-thinking mission statement and meshing your company’s goals with those of your employees. Consider hosting a workshop, or a series of workshops, with your workforce to generate ideas about their motivations, and how they perceive their own identity or social value. Company culture can also be enhanced through outdoor activities, charity initiatives/volunteer work, and employee retreats.

Showcasing your company culture to create your Employer Brand

Strong company culture is a crucial first step. Employer branding begins as you learn to communicate and advertise that company culture to a large audience via a marketing strategy. Your company’s career site is the best place to showcase an employer brand, as it can serve as a one-stop-hub for getting to know your organization. Prospective candidates can learn about open positions, get to know current employee stories, and have their questions addressed. Beyond the career site, social media is also useful for building your employer brand, since it attracts a wide viewership and allows you to be relatively candid—especially using ephemeral formats such as Instagram stories. There are many formats that can showcase your employer brand, including videos of employees in the workplace, interviews with current employees, “meet-the-team” style videos, videos where you espouse your company’s values, or even participating in viral trends like the mannequin challenge.

Maintaining your Employer Brand online

Increasingly, prospective job candidates are referring to sites such as Glassdoor and Indeed, which aggregates reviews from current and former employees. Reviewers are encouraged to be candid and transparent about company culture, salary, opportunities for growth, and other pivotal factors. These sites are increasingly influential—since they’re a third-party, they’re considered more valid and “truthful.” Inevitably, your presence on these sites greatly impacts your employer brand—a positive profile will boost the quantity and quality of your applicants, while negative reviews can hurt your company’s reputation. 

Sites like Glassdoor are not a one-way street. You have the option to respond to your current and former employees. If they leave positive reviews, you can express your gratitude for their contributions to the company. If they leave negative reviews, you can thank them for their constructive feedback. In both cases, you can learn a lot from your reviews. If you’ve done the work to build a healthy company culture, your Glassdoor profile should be overall quite positive. However, on the occasion that it is not, it’s critical to learn from your mistakes and address these claims early and effectively. 

Finding Success with your Employer Brand

A highly competitive hiring landscape has made employer branding the most crucial centerpiece of recruitment marketing. Your choice candidates are going to look for the basics—a good salary, paid time off, and a robust benefits package—they’re also going to take a hard look at your employer brand. New outreach methods provided by social media give you lots of channels through which to develop your employer brand. As third-party sites such as Glassdoor continue to gain prominence and influence, you may feel that aspects of your employer brand are out of your control. However, if you’ve done the work to create a healthy, holistic work environment in which employees are valued, then your reviews will come back stellar, and you’ll actually benefit from the legitimacy afforded by these independent review sites. Ultimately, what these sites reveal is that there are no shortcuts; a strong employer brand begins by building company culture from within.

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