An important position just opened up in your company. You post a job listing on the most popular employment sites, as well as on your own site and social media, and talk to a recruiter. You end up with a stack of resumes, which you then evaluate carefully to see which candidate will be the best fit for your company.
What you need to realize, though, is that your top candidates are doing exactly the same with you. For the best, most qualified applicants, chances are you’re not the only company making them an offer. Why should your ideal hire choose you over all of their other options? The way you get a better chance at landing them is called employer branding.
What Is Employer Branding?
These days, there are many more factors involved in choosing a place of employment, besides just who offers the highest salary or the best benefits. When weighing their options, potential hires will ask things like, “Is this a nice place to work?” and “What good can I do here, both in my field and in the world?” In fact, they may even be willing to take a slightly lower offer, if it means working at a place they know has a reputation for a good working environment and satisfied employees.
That reputation is employer branding. It’s what separates you from your competition, not just on paper, but in practice. In evaluating whether or not to take the job you offer them, one of the first questions candidates will ask themselves is, what do they know about you—not just from the tour you gave them in the interview, or from your website, but from what they’ve heard. Here are a few factors they’ll look at:
What’s it like to work for your company on a daily basis?
Some of the best employer branding in that regard belongs to Google. Everyone knows that working for them is a dream. They provide free gourmet meals, snacks, and drinks for their employees. You can bring your pets to work with you. There are games, gym equipment, and offers of massages as incentive for a job well done. You’re not Google and don’t have their money or resources, but you can still improve your branding by adding a few perks that make employees look forward to coming into work every day.
Big corporations often have a reputation for being evil
Or at least cold and uncaring. Therefore, companies with a reputation for giving back to the community and making a difference to the world around them are often very attractive to potential hires. Do you care about the environment and reducing your carbon footprint? Do you organize charitable programs that employees can be a part of? Prospective employees will often be more likely to choose your company if you give them the opportunity to do some good in the world.
Once they come aboard your company, what will your hire be able to do there?
This doesn’t just mean opportunities for advancement, though those are important as well. It also refers to what kind of work they’ll do on a daily basis. What impact will it have in your field, and in the world at large? Are you building new technologies? Performing revolutionary research? Maybe you give employees access to your company’s resources to work on their own projects on the side. Giving potential hires the opportunity to do something they’re passionate is a big part of employer branding.
Obviously, your company doesn’t have to provide employees with all of these things. Find your niche, the thing that makes you stand out as an employer, and focus your branding on that. Then, focus a portion of your resources on showing the world that that’s who you are.
For instance, if your focus is on providing a good working environment, post pictures to your social channels of employees enjoying their day at the office and some of the things you offer. If your focus is on giving back to the community, send out press releases for some of your bigger charitable events and get them covered by the media.
Make it clear to the world exactly who your company is and what you stand for, and what sets you apart from every other employer. That way, when you make an offer to a job candidate, they’ll know your reputation and be able to see why working for you is worthwhile, besides just money and benefits. And the employees you choose will be more likely to choose you too.