Finding the right candidates and convincing them to join your team can be tough in today's talent-short environment. It seems as though countless companies are competing for the same skill sets, meaning that you have to settle for the "closest" thing to your perfect hire, or risk having a gap in your staff for several months.
Unfortunately, the price of a bad hire can be astronomical, meaning that most companies just can't afford to waste money on the wrong employee. The good news is that there is a way to attract the perfect people to your company faster, without necessarily spending a fortune. All you have to do is build the right employer brand.
Employer brands tell your potential employees what it might be like to work for you before they ever apply for an interview. In a world where your candidates are looking for more than just a regular salary, an employer brand could be what sets you apart from the competing businesses in your field.
The question is, how do you create the right reputation for your company?
Audit Your Brand and Know Your EVP
The first step is looking at your existing employer brand. Even if you haven't been investing directly into your reputation, the online world and the nature of social media and review forums like Glassdoor means that there's already a public perception out there that's either helping or harming your quest for the right talent.
Check your reviews on job referral sites and speak to your existing employees about their opinion of you as an employer. If you're worried about getting insincere answers, you can always give your staff anonymous surveys to fill out.
Once you find out what your current reputation looks like, decide whether you're happy with it. If not, you'll need an EVP or "employer value proposition." This is what's designed to attract people to your company. For instance, you may want to be a construction company with a flexible working schedule or a business with a great wellness initiative. Your audit and new EVP will help you figure out what you need to do next to transform your reputation.
Use Company Culture to Transform Your Brand
With your EVP in mind and an idea of the image you want to create for your company, you'll be ready to start taking positive steps towards a better reputation. For instance, if you want future candidates to see you as a company that values teamwork, then it makes sense to put systems in place that reward groups as well as individuals.
Any effective transformation to your employer brand will start with a change to your company culture. Implementing the right behaviors, values, and expectations into your existing employees will help you create an identity that appeals to the kind of employee that you most want to attract.
Make Your Roles More Appealing
One of the reasons why employer branding is so important today is that professionals aren't just looking for another job. Your best candidate want a career that they can commit to - something that offers opportunities for growth, development, and a more positive future.
Part of developing an attractive employer brand means figuring out what kind of benefits appeal most to the professionals you want to create and implementing them into your roles. For instance, you can:
- Offer fantastic benefits, discounts and support to your employees. This will help to keep your current staff happy and may also make you more appealing to future talent. If you don't have the resource or expertise in-house, consider working with a PEO service to stay competitive.
- Offer better "work/life" balance opportunities: Many of today's employees aren't just looking for better wages and good health insurance - they're also searching for a way to improve their work/life balance. Opportunities for remote working and flexible scheduling could make your brand more appealing.
- Provide regular personal and professional development solutions: As mentioned above, your staff wants to see that you're investing in their growth. Give employees access to training opportunities - not just to help them get better in their career, but also to help them accomplish their personal goals too.
Advertise Your Employer Brand
Once you've started to create the employer brand that's going to drive new candidates to your door, it's essential to find an effective way of advertising your reputation. There are plenty of great ways to do this, including:
- Sharing case studies and employee blogs on your website: Help future staff visualize what it would be like to work with you by describing previous employee success stories and using case studies to demonstrate what day-to-day work might look like.
- Upgrading your job descriptions: When you're writing job descriptions, don't just focus on the talents and skills you're looking for. Highlight the benefits that your PEO service can offer, draw attention to vital details about your company culture, and let your brand shine through.
- Turning employees into advocates: Help your staff advocate for your brand and attract new potential employees to your team, by asking them to leave reviews on sites like Glassdoor or talk about your company on social media. Future team members are more likely to believe the words of their potential coworkers than the promises of a new boss.
Learn and Adapt
Finally, remember than an employer brand isn't a static thing. Your brand is a dynamic personality that's always growing and evolving. With that in mind, it's crucial that you constantly monitor your reputation, and take any necessary steps to keep it on the right track. Schedule regular one-to-one interviews with new employees to find out how they perceive your companies. Ask your team to fill out regular surveys or use social listening tools online to see how people are talking about your organization.
The more you keep track of your brand, the easier it will be to fix any issues that might start to crop up.
Author Bio: Jock started his first business at the age of 19 and has been developing his leadership and entrepreneurial skills ever since. He is the CEO and Founder of Digital Exits, a successful digital business brokerage.