In the skills-short market we’re currently facing, it’s never been as important to make the effort to appeal to candidates who you truly want to bring into your organisation. 

One of the most powerful ways you can do this as a company is to improve your employer branding. But what is an employer brand? How do candidates judge what your employer brand is? And how can you improve your brand to improve your recruitment strategy? 

Here are six easy ways to boost your employer brand and attract the candidates you need.  

 

What is an employer brand?  

 

 

An employer brand is the reputation your company has as an employer. Every company has an employer brand or ‘reputation’, but many UK companies still don’t understand how they can take powerful action to control that brand, and thereby improve their recruitment strategy. 

In fact, in one study it was shown that over 75% of candidates would do a basic ‘audit’ of your employer brand before deciding whether to apply for a job, and that’s even before they make judgements about the company during the interview process. Yes this is the impact of the workplace environment we now all operate in.  

Yet only around 57% of the employers studied had a dedicated strategy in place for building their employer brand. In a skills short commercial market, not having control over your employer brand is a dangerous oversight that could damage your recruitment success. 

 

Where do candidates look to find out about your employer brand? 

We know that a candidate sees your job ad on our website and will start digging for information about what your company is like to work for before deciding whether to apply. 

Interested candidates will scour your job spec, "google" you, visit your website, check out your social media, visit review sites, and ask around locally to find out if anyone they know has worked there. 

So you need to look at your company and job offering through a candidate’s eyes. 

  • What can they read into your job spec about working conditions, benefits, culture, training opportunities, and incentives? 
  • What successes has your company enjoyed?
  • Are you considered a significant player in your sector? 
  • Does the company seem to value its staff?
  • What’s the Facebook page like?
  • Are there pictures of team lunches or fun events?
  • Are employees congratulated for their achievements? 
  • What’s the website like? Is it modern and fresh looking?  
  • Is the About Us page appealing, does it have pictures and bios of the team? 
  • Does the company advertise its culture and values, both on the website and in the interview process? 
  • What do past employees say on review sites like Glassdoor
  • What are your customer reviews like? 

All these factors feed heavily into a candidate’s decision of whether to apply for your role.  

 

How can you build your employer brand, right now? 

1. Find out what your employer brand is now.

Do an anonymous survey of your workforce, asking them what they like about working there, and what they find challenging. Hunt around on Glassdoor for employee reviews and conduct thorough exit interviews to get some raw feedback on what the company’s reputation is as an employer. From there, you should get some excellent insights into what you need to improve.
 

2. Do a makeover on your website and social media.

 

 

The majority of your new hires will be Millennials who will certainly make certain value judgements about your company depending on the look and feel of your online presence. A website is expected to be mobile responsive and fairly slick these days, and your social media should be engaging. Failing to modernise can make your company look old-fashioned and deter candidates before they’ve even truly considered you.
 

3. Make your current staff shine.

Each candidate is looking for insight into what it’s like to work there. You should have a great About Us/Meet the Team page, with testimonials from high-performing staff about what it’s like to work there, and some exciting projects they’ve been a part of. Your company Facebook page should celebrate staff achievements, as well as showcase the fun stuff your company does as a group. Between your website and your social media, a candidate should get a sense of the human dynamic of the company.
 

4. Make the culture and values of the organisation clear.

This goes for the job spec and the interview process. If you don’t have a clear company culture and values established yet, it is crucial that you do this right now, as it is hard for candidates to warm to a company that doesn’t have a clear sense of who it is and what it stands for. It will also be hard for you to know who fits with your culture and values if you don’t know them yourself.  

 

5. Know what kind of person you’re looking for.

In order to nail your employer brand to recruit the candidates you want, you need to know your audience. You should be sitting down with your employees and asking them what kind of person they think will succeed in the role and the company, and really drilling down into questions of culture and values.  

 

6. Make sure your job spec communicates all the great things about working for your company.

Some companies are hesitant to include all the great benefits and fun culture in the job ad, fearing that they’ll attract candidates for all the wrong reasons. This is a giant mistake given the skills-short market we’re operating in and the competition for good candidates. You should be laying all your cards on the table. Talk about your Friday afternoon drinks, your free gym memberships, your flexible working hours and your bonus schemes. Also include an exciting past success, as well as where you want to go in future! 

 

Why the effort is worth it 

 

 

As you can see from the above, an interested candidate will be looking for answers in a lot of places, so you’ll need to work hard to build a persuasive employer brand across multiple channels.  

But believe us, it is worth the effort. At Lucy Walker Recruitment, our top candidates are constantly asking us questions like ‘What are they like to work for?’ What’s the culture like? Have you placed anyone else with them?’ Candidates care deeply about working for an employer that treats them well, so showing that you look after your employees is tremendously important if you want to attract the right people.  

Remember, making a concerted effort to improve your employer brand doesn’t just attract the next generation of stars to your business; it also improves your reputation within the company for your existing employees, thereby improving engagement and reducing turnover.  

Between attracting, engaging, and retaining talent, it’s easy to see why working on your employer brand is some of the most powerful work you can do for your company, both now and for the future. 

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What Next? 

Do you need support in leveraging your employer brand? Then we can help. Email the team @ lucy Walker recruitment here. Or call us on Leeds 0113 367 2880 or Manchester 0161 661 4421 

About the Author: Mark Woffenden

Mark Woffenden is a Director at Lucy Walker Recruitment and has an extensive knowledge of the issues and workings of the West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester Commercial markets developed over the last 20 years in the Industry

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