In a competitive job market, we are increasingly aware of the importance of Employer Brand, but very few companies are actively engaged in improving their perception as an employer. Why should anyone choose to work for you? What are the brand related blockages to executing your hiring strategy? To help stimulate some helpful discussions this month and focus on the key issues, we offer five practical places to start.
Hit Glassdoor and get a general impression of your Employer Brand
Glassdoor is a website that potential employees can visit to read objective reviews of your operation and what it’s like to work there.
As a simple rule of thumb, a four star rating or higher is helping you, three stars is neither holding you back nor advancing your cause, and anything below three stars is doing damage. So if you’re seeing a 2.7, it would be a good idea to take action.
It’s important to remember that the deck is naturally stacked against you, because an employee – like any other consumer – is statistically more likely to leave a review after a bad experience than a good one.
What to do: Ask for reviews from your current and former staff. Don’t ask for good reviews; ask for honest ones. Remind them that the process is anonymous and they can say whatever they want. This exercise will yield opinions from the more positive respondents who weren’t sufficiently motivated to go online and review you. People also like to be asked and respect the fact that you’re looking for honest feedback. That’s likely to be reflected in their mood as they take the survey, which is good for you. You may also get some usable feedback. Remember the rule of crowdsourced opinions: the facts appear from consistent trends of similar feeling. If twenty different people say your benefits were not accurately described when you hired them, then that’s likely to be true and you should address it.
Run a Social Media health check
There are three ways to use social media. (1) well (2) badly (3) not at all. Both (1) and (3) are preferable to (2). If you’re doing it badly, stop doing it. Better still, start doing it well.
When was the last time you checked the impact of your social media? Take a look now and ask yourself ‘how many of these posts make me think that it would be cool to work for this company?’ This is no longer a fringe element of corporate communication; it is the single most popular means for candidates investigating a potential employer. Tweeting updates for your business brand is great, but how is your Employer Brand represented by corporate communications? What is your company Facebook page saying about what it’s like to be an employee? How is LinkedIn part of your strategy to encourage people to see you as a great employer? If you don’t know, it would be a good idea to spend a morning on it. Get the right heads together and understand the plan. Also, don’t assume there’s a plan.
What to do: The basics are straightforward: you need to be circulating news, opinions and other content that send a clear message: this is a great company to work for. Whoever is managing your social media needs to understand your requirements as a hiring brand.
Ask yourself if you’re falling into the LinkedIn trap. Only 36% of job seekers are actually active on LinkedIn. Take a moment on that one. 64% of potential hires are not regularly checking LinkedIn. 83% are active on Facebook. So what’s the best use of your time recruiting? It may not be where you think. But make no mistake, you must be engaged in actively promoting your brand on social media. Overall 79% of Americans are active on Facebook. In the key hiring demographic for experienced professionals, aged 30 – 50, usage is higher still. There is no justification for not using this platform to promote your brand. If you’re not on Facebook driving your message, it’s hard to claim you are doing everything you can to help your organization recruit. The good news? You can fix it very easily with the right level of attention.
Stop job spamming people
Posting jobs automatically will not help your Employer Brand. Remember, 99% of the jobs you tweet or post are of no interest to the recipient, and are therefore spam. If all you’re doing is spamming people, expect nothing good to happen.
If you believe that these posts yield good candidates, test your assumption. It may be that they don’t.
What to do: Set up separate strands for jobs across all your social media. If people opt in for job alerts, they will get job alerts and that’s fine. People who have followed your business because they are interested in it, don’t deserve to be bombarded with irrelevant jobs to the point they start to tune out your branded content.
Start with success and work backward
We would all like to know which of our activities lead to the most consistent results. When it comes to the hiring market there is a simple way to do it: start with the end result – a successful hire – and work backward.
What to do: Make a list of fifty employees who joined your company this time last year and are still with you now. Survey them, then interview them about the survey. Find out how they heard about you, why they joined you and what their experience has been since. You will gain access to real data about what works in your hiring process and what doesn’t. If you found out that 75% of your successful hires actually came from Facebook, how would that change your attitude to the importance of Facebook? What if nobody came from the events that you send staff to attend every month? What would you change? You have in your midst right now, the only group of people you will ever need to find out what works for you in recruiting. If you don’t use them, you are missing a major opportunity. The impact on your Employer Brand will be significant, because you’ll be able to put more time and energy into the most effective media.
Give market facing employees the tools they need
Recruiters. Hiring Managers. HR. Comms. Senior Management. There are a lot of different people with a key role in disseminating your Employer Brand. They need to understand your EVP well enough to communicate it.
What to do: Whether it’s a quick brochure, a video to share, or an elevator pitch they can memorize, take an active role in providing the tools your employees need to reach potential hires and spread your Employer Brand. Consider circulating a post card or talking points for their own desks that reminds them of the key messages you’re trying to get across to the market. Your biggest asset in attracting new employees will always be your current employees.
Richard Spragg is the CEO of Hirebrand, a global leader in marketing strategy for employers and staffing companies. Follow him on Twitter at richard_spragg, or call him on (713) 876 6045.