Even when an employer is doing everything to turn their organization into a brand that will be attractive for top talent, they are prone to making mistakes.
Let's make one thing clear, employer branding is not a new thing. Organizations have always attempted to attract the best workers out there. In fact, an employer branding study by CareerArc showed that 52% of candidates first seek out the company’s sites and social media profiles to learn more about the employer before sending out applications. And, 91% of job seekers considered poorly designed or managed online properties damaging to the employer brand.
What No One Tells You About Employer Branding
Instead of giving you tips on what to do for the sake of employer branding, we’ll do things differently this time. We’ll tell you what not to do. Here are the top five mistakes to avoid in the employer branding process:
Lack of Social Media Strategy
You may assume that your employer brand is good enough even if you don’t make efforts to promote it on social media, but you’re wrong. Remember: when someone is interested in working for you, the first thing they do is check your social media pages. If they don’t see impressive activity there, they will simply assume that your brand is not cool enough for them.
Marion Smith, a marketing expert from BestEssays, explains how important the social media strategy is: “As soon as we started using a multitude of channels to promote our employer brand, we saw an increase of 52% in the number of job applications. It gets even better: 43% of those applications came from writers who were working for competitive services at that time. It’s top talent we’re talking about.”
The solution lies in a clear, effective social media strategy focused at attracting, engaging, and retaining the best talent in the industry.
Mistaking Employer Branding for Recruitment
You’re not engaging in employer branding activities just because you want to attract better and more productive workers in your organization. If you mistake employer branding for recruitment, your approach will seem salesy. People will assume you’re only focused on attracting new people your way, but you don’t care much about the career progress of your current employees.
The solution: approach employer branding as a more general category. It’s much more than recruitment; it’s about offering consistent satisfaction to your employees and supporting them in their professional growth. Employer branding goes from recruiting and interviewing to training, recognition, and reward.
Not Having a Recognizable Identity
Many recruiters and employers do this mistake: they are trying to be all things to all people. They want to attract people to the team by promising the highest salaries, the best working environment, training, healthy lunches, bonuses… and everything else the candidates want to hear. This approach does make you attractive on the job market, but it also attracts all kinds of people. Not all of them will be a good fit to your organization’s culture.
You must be honest. You need to recognize the value of your organization’s culture and promote its specific aspects. That’s the only way to promote a unique employer brand that will attract people who stay.
Failure to Consider the Employee Journey
When you’re trying to get the best people to work for you, you risk making a serious mistake: focusing on attraction and joining. Many employers fail to consider the standard employee journey when creating the brand.
The journey is consisted of these steps: attraction, joining, onboarding, career progress, recognition and reward, and exit or retire. You need to consider all these steps when developing an employer brand. For example, the website and social media activity of your organization will make the first two stages effective. You shouldn’t stop there, though. You also need to implement referral schemes and a reward system that will make your employees proud to work for you.
Failure to Listen
You investigate the market, you form a strategy and you start the employer branding process. What about your current employees? Why don’t you just ask what keeps them there and what they would like you to improve?
It’s important to speak to your employees, so you’ll recognize the biggest factors of attraction your brand has. Find out why they came on board and what keeps them happy. What would make them leave? Listen! Then, plan your strategy in accordance with the insights you get. Don’t forget to test and measure the results all the way.
Neglecting Employer Branding Is the Biggest Mistake of All
As a long-term strategy, employer branding is necessary for your organization’s growth. It leads to building a better team, improved loyalty of your workers, and increased productivity. This concept makes your brand attractive on the market. Your recruiting efforts will be much more effective when the potential candidates are already aware of the brand when you approach them.
About the Author: Joan Selby is an freelance recruiter and a blogger; a graduate of California Institute of the Arts and a fancy-shoe lover; a writer by day and reader by night, giving a creative touch to everything. Find her on Twitter and Facebook