The importance of employer branding – Part two

In the first part of our blog, we looked at what employer branding is, and why it should be a top priority for employers looking to engage the best talent. Once you have figured out your internal culture and brand values, how do you represent these externally in order to attract talent? For all the hard work you’ve put in building your brand, you will need to decide how to market your brand, and who you will be marketing it to for it to pay off.

Finding Your Target Audience

In part one, we spoke about how your employees are always the best ambassadors for your employer brand. Although those who are speaking about your brand are important, it’s even more important to be thinking about who your brand is speaking to. A great way to initially define your target audience is to build brand personas for ideal candidates by listing the skills, experience, interests or demographics of the people you want to attract, and reference to these when building your brand. Think about your audience and what would appeal to them. In a technically-focused field, like science and technical, there is the benefit of highlighting some objective factors that can elevate you above your competitors. Showcase your most interesting projects and the technology you use, as well as reaffirming your commitment to research and the strength of your lab. If your employees regularly attend conferences or you offer other professional development opportunities, be sure to make mention of these too.

Keeping your brand authentic is key, so ensure that what your employees are saying is reflected in your external employer brand. Alternatively, if your employees aren’t giving you positive feedback, adjust your company’s culture so that it caters to their needs. If your brand is not a genuine representation of your company’s relationship with its employees, there is the risk that you will mislead candidates to come and work in an environment that isn’t what they expect. Deceptive employer brands are almost always quickly exposed by unhappy employees, so there’s little point in being anything other than honest.

Marketing Your Brand

Once you have figured out what your employer brand is, you also need to come up with a strategy around how you’re going to market your brand. The first thing you should do to increase important engagement amongst employees, is to celebrate your staff internally and externally. If you have any internal award structures, publicise them on the company website. Consider writing blogs about any of your employees’ achievement in and outside of the workplace, or even celebrating life milestones (with their permission). It might seem obvious to present your employees as real people, but doing so will increase morale internally and also make you more attractive to potential candidates, as they will see that they would be rewarded  for their efforts as an employee.

After creating this content, sharing it on social media is the next step in exposing people to your brand. Although social media can be overwhelming at times, with so many different channels and networks available, using it effectively is crucial to employer branding success. With each channel having a different kind of audience, selecting the right channels for your brand is extremely important. Make sure you’re posting tailored content to each of the channels you’ve selected; for instance, by posting industry news to LinkedIn, sharing employee outings on Facebook and putting recruitment videos on YouTube.

Employer Branding Infographic2

Although a strong social media strategy is important, taking a strong approach offline is equally vital. One of the benefits of being in the science and technical field is that there are plenty of events and conferences that you can use to showcase your brand. Get your team down to these events in branded apparel, print some banners and, if possible, run a seminar or presentation. This will reinforce your credibility as well as giving you an opportunity to market your brand to an audience full of potential candidates.

This is where the importance of authenticity becomes apparent. Remember that you are competing with other companies, so it’s important to stand out from the crowd. Most top candidates will see right through a half-hearted attempt at making yourself seem like something you’re not; so play to your strengths. If you’re part of a large global corporation, talk about the great support, structure and opportunities for progression within the company instead of trying to pass yourself off as a funky start-up.

Summary

Building a strong employer brand is now a crucially important part of attracting top talent our workplace. That brand, and how effectively you market it, can be the difference between making a great hire and falling behind the competition. If you are looking for some guidance on your employer brand, or you’re looking to attract those top candidates, contact us here at Techstaff.