Whether you’re new to employer branding or a pro that’s been around the block a few times, it’s still sometimes difficult to describe exactly what an employer brand is to those outside the industry.
There’s no single roadmap or strategy to follow. For each company, an employer brand will embody something entirely different, even while working towards many of the same goals, or when looking to attract similar talent.
So what if we try to humanise an employer brand, and take a step back to really put ourselves in the shoes of the prospective candidate?
Let’s not think of it as a roadmap or strategy and take it right back to basics. As a candidate, what are the key things you would want to see, hear, think and feel about a company?
In this article, we’re going to explore the key candidate ‘senses’ that brands should look to engage, and all the ways it can be done…
What candidates want to see…
There’s no greater cheerleader for your brand than those who already work for you. If your candidates can have access to real-world testimonials and trust factors from employees, they are more likely to form a positive opinion about your company.
While it’s not the be all and end all, more often than not GlassDoor is one of the first destinations for candidates. If you’re putting some great stuff about culture out to the world, but your reviews on GlassDoor are overwhelmingly negative, you’ll need some damage control.
Active social media
When a company isn’t very active on social media it can imply three things:
- There’s nobody there to take care of it
- The team is too overworked to manage it
- The company is very traditional and will be reluctant to change
Keeping your channels fresh, engaging and populated will help candidates take your brand seriously. And what better way to tell your brand story?
Likewise, it’s not uncommon to have a friendly stalk of a prospective company’s employees’ LinkedIn profiles, so it’s important to encourage employees to be as active as they can. If not on their personal channels, showcasing them on your brand’s main channels can still work wonders.
Team spirit and culture
Now this is an important one, but one of the trickiest to do. Company culture has been catapulted to the top of many employers’ priority lists, but when the pandemic struck it became difficult to maintain. Now we’re seeing a slow ascend back to some kind of normality, employer brand teams can really start embracing company culture once more.
A big part of this is retaining the option to work flexibly or in some kind of hybrid capacity.
Benefits in action
Think bigger than stocked fridges and massage Wednesdays. What are the perks that are going to really pay off for your employees and keep them happy longer term?
Perhaps a paid sabbatical after a certain amount of years’ service. Or a free gym membership to keep their health in check. Small recurring gestures such as free fruit are a really nice touch, but there needs to be some bigger acts that can actually help your employees reach their goals – both inside and outside of work.
Detailed job descriptions
Vague job roles are a red flag for anyone, but they’re guaranteed to make your candidate feel uneasy about applying. A job is a huge life commitment. You wouldn’t enquire about a house if there was a lack of detail – it would be suspicious and off-putting.
Provide as much detail as possible, and if the role is set to evolve, make that clear from the outset. Plus, be careful not to omit the salary as that’s a big red flag for most candidates.
What candidates want to hear…
Support and encouragement
When high-level jobs are advertised, the language used can sometimes be complex and intimidating.
While it’s important to attract the candidate that matches your desired profile, remember to keep an element of friendliness and warmth or you may deter strong candidates from applying. This is a particular danger when allowing external recruiters to write job ads on your behalf, you should ensure you always get the final sight of any job advert or description that goes out.
Additionally, giving candidates the option to interview via video call or in-person will help to widen your talent pool, particularly if a candidate is interviewing for the role and considering relocation.
It’s advised to weigh up whether a virtual interview will help or hinder the process, and assess what’s available on a case-by-case basis.
While the practical and matter-of-fact information takes primary importance in any campaigns you put out, remember you could be against any number of competitors offering a similar role. Whether it’s a Spotify ad, a radio recruitment drive or virtual careers fair, don’t miss any opportunity to inspire and let the world know just how incredible it is to work for your company.
Voices from inside the business as well as the brand
If you’ve got plenty of branded content going out, that’s great news, but it will only take you so far. Candidates want to see real faces and hear the voices of your employees, whether that’s a general insight into working for the company or department-specific information.
What candidates need to think about your company…
“This is a company I want to work for”
How this is achieved…
- Having a strong employer brand
- Creating engaging and exciting recruitment campaigns
- Boasting positive reviews from existing employees
- Offering competitive salary and additional benefits
“They treat their employees so well”
How this is achieved…
- Putting existing employees at the heart of your recruitment assets
- Encouraging individuals to post about their experience on professional social media networks
- Filming and promoting lots of high-quality video content about working life and culture
“I can’t wait to get started”
How this is achieved…
- Keeping open, honest communication throughout the process, from application to hire
- Providing new starters with an agenda of their first week/month
- Putting together a welcome pack to make them feel welcome
- Incorporating virtual or in-person ‘meet the team’ session prior to start date
“I can see a future here”
How this is achieved…
- Promoting stories about employees who have been around a long time
- Speaking about positive retention rates in collateral
- Informing employees of incentivised loyalty benefits such as paid sabbaticals, increasing holiday or other rewards after ‘X’ years of service
How your employer brand should make your candidates feel…
Confident that what they’re seeing is genuine
Everything needs to add up. If the story you’re telling through your campaigns and social media isn’t supported by positive employee reviews or contradictory information online, candidates could disengage before they’ve applied.
Excited about their prospects and the potential of the company
If the company has ambitious plans for the future, ensure this narrative is woven through the recruitment and hiring process. Candidates need to be aware of when they’re starting at a business that’s going in the right direction. The greater the potential success of the brand, the more career growth opportunities they could be presented with.
At ease asking questions and with the recruitment team
The interview process can be daunting at the best of times. But when your hiring managers are confident, engaging and welcoming, candidates will feel more at home being themselves and more likely to delve into the questions they really want to ask.
Get every aspect of your employer brand on track with BAM by Papirfly™
By now we hope we’ve helped you understand the candidate’s experience from their perspective. Everything we have covered also needs foundations in a powerful employer brand.
With BAM (Brand Activation Management), you can create, access, manage and share every aspect of your campaigns and brand in one place.
- Create infinite digital, print, social, email and video assets without professional support – all delivered on time and on-brand
- Store, share and edit pre-existing assets and files – all perfectly organised with no need to waste time on searching or duplication of effort
- Manage campaign timelines, the sign off process and more effortlessly in our centralised portal
- Educate teams with a dedicated selection of assets that help them understand your brand and how to showcase your employer brand