A brand is a unique and distinguishable combination of tangible and intangible elements that usually represent a product or a service. These elements combine to form an impression in consumers’ minds, making the product easier to remember and identify with. The concept of a brand can also extend to organizations offering employment in the job market; hence the term Employer Brand.
What is Employer Branding?
Employer branding refers to the process of shaping and promoting a company’s reputation as an employer. It involves the strategic efforts to create a positive and appealing image of the organization in the eyes of current and potential employees. Employer branding aims to attract and retain top talent, enhance employee engagement, and differentiate the company from competitors in the talent market.
Employer branding encompasses various aspects of an organization, including its culture, values, work environment, employee benefits, career development opportunities, and overall employee experience. It involves conveying a compelling employer value proposition (EVP) that communicates why individuals should choose to work for the company.
Effective employer branding involves aligning the internal and external perceptions of the organization. Internally, it focuses on cultivating a strong corporate culture and providing a positive employee experience that fosters employee satisfaction and engagement. Externally, it involves communicating and promoting these attributes to prospective employees, industry professionals, and the general public through various channels, such as career websites, social media, recruitment marketing campaigns, employer awards, and employer review platforms.
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Why does Employer Branding matter?
A strong employer brand offers several benefits to an organization. Here are some key advantages of having a good employer brand:
1. Attracting Top Talent: A positive employer brand helps attract high-quality candidates who are aligned with the company’s values, mission, and culture. It enables organizations to stand out among competitors and become an employer of choice for talented individuals.
2. Increased Candidate Pool: A good employer brand expands the candidate pool by attracting a larger number of qualified applicants. This allows organizations to have a broader range of candidates to choose from and increases the chances of finding the right fit for specific roles.
3. Higher Employee Retention: When employees have a positive perception of the company and feel engaged and valued, they are more likely to stay with the organization for the long term. A strong employer brand contributes to higher employee satisfaction and retention rates.
4. Enhanced Employee Engagement: A positive employer brand fosters a sense of pride and belonging among employees, leading to higher levels of engagement. Engaged employees tend to be more motivated, productive, and committed to achieving the company’s goals.
5. Competitive Advantage: A good employer brand differentiates an organization from its competitors. It helps the company stand out in the job market and positions it as an attractive destination for top talent. This competitive advantage can result in a stronger workforce and increased success in the marketplace.
6. Improved Reputation and Brand Image: A positive employer brand not only attracts talent but also enhances the overall reputation and brand image of the organization. It portrays the company as an employer of choice, which can positively impact customer perception and loyalty.
7. Cost Savings: Organizations with a strong employer brand often experience cost savings in recruitment and hiring. A good reputation can reduce the need for excessive advertising or costly recruitment agencies as potential candidates are more likely to seek out the company independently.
8. Employee Advocacy and Referrals: Satisfied employees who have a positive experience working for the organization are more likely to become brand ambassadors and refer potential candidates. This leads to a higher quality of referrals and reduces recruitment time and costs.
9. Increased Innovation and Creativity: A positive employer brand fosters a culture of innovation and creativity. Employees feel empowered and encouraged to contribute their ideas, leading to a more dynamic and innovative work environment.
10. Customer Trust and Loyalty: A strong employer brand can positively influence customer perception. When customers see a company as an employer that treats its employees well, they are more likely to trust and remain loyal to the brand.
How to manage the Employer Brand
Managing the employer brand starts with identifying the key attributes prospective employees look for in an EVP, and how your organization is perceived on those attributes. These attributes include:
1. Maintaining Positive Work Environment – Physical: The extent to which the employer maintains a positive physical work environment, which comprises Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) measures, the quality of work equipment and technology, and comfort in the physical workspace.
2. Maintaining Positive Work Environment – Social/Psychological: The extent to which the employer maintains a positive social and psychological work environment, which comprises practices that are equitable and fair, as well as, an inclusive, cohesive and collegial work environment.
3. Attractive Compensation and Benefits: The extent to which the employee receives an attractive monetary and non-monetary package, relative to their peers elsewhere.
4. Enabling Fit: The extent to which the employer has provided the structure, personnel, and policies that enable the best possible fit. This might mean a fit between the employee and the role, along with the mentorship and communication to achieve that fit.
5. Contributing to Employee Work Goals: The extent to which the employer is contributing to employees’ work or professional goals, apart from offering compensation and benefits. This might include opportunities for career growth and continuing education, along with stimulating or challenging work.
6. Contributing to Employee Personal Wellbeing: The extent to which the employer has provided the structure, personnel, and policies that allow employees to achieve a good work-life balance.
7. Enhancing Corporate Attractiveness & Identity: The extent to which the employer has made an effort to build and maintain an attractive brand or reputation, and corporate identity. This includes a distinctive set of vision and values, as well as, campaigns to improve its reputation as an employer and responsible corporate citizen.
8. Improving Future Prospects: The extent to which the employer is acting for, or in the interest of the long-term. The implementation of this may range from good senior management to sustainable business models and practices.
Professionals involved with employee engagement surveys might already be familiar with these brand attributes; however, prospective candidates are not privy to the organization’s performance and this limits the reach of the employer brand. In branding, what people say about you is just as important as what you say about yourself.
Employee reviews can be a valuable source of information to measure and assess the employer brand because they provide insights into the experiences, perceptions, and opinions of current and former employees on those brand attributes. By analyzing employee reviews, organizations can gain a deeper understanding of how their employer brand is perceived by employees and identify areas of strength and areas for improvement. Tools in reputation management and review analytics can now help Human Resources (HR) professionals better understand their employer brand in the following ways:
1. Employee Sentiment Analysis: Analyzing the sentiment expressed in employee reviews can provide an overall assessment of employee satisfaction and engagement. Positive sentiments indicate a strong employer brand, while negative sentiments may indicate potential areas of concern.
2. Themes and Topics: Employee reviews often highlight specific themes or topics that are important to employees. These can include work-life balance, opportunities for growth, company values, or the effectiveness of leadership. Identifying recurring themes and topics can help gauge the impact of these aspects on the employer brand.
3. Consistency and Alignment: Assessing the consistency of employee reviews across different platforms and timeframes can help evaluate the alignment between the intended employer brand and the actual employee experience. Consistent positive reviews indicate a strong alignment, while discrepancies may signal the need for further investigation and improvement.
4. Employer Review Platforms: Websites like Glassdoor, Indeed, and LinkedIn allow employees to provide anonymous reviews about their employers. Monitoring and analyzing the reviews on these platforms can provide a broader perspective on the employer brand and how it is perceived externally.
5. Benchmarking: Comparing employee reviews with those of competitors can offer insights into how the employer brand stacks up in the market. Understanding how your organization is perceived relative to industry peers can help identify areas of differentiation and opportunities for improvement.
It’s important to note that while employee reviews can be valuable, they should be considered alongside other data sources, such as employee surveys, exit interviews, and performance metrics, to get a holistic view of the employer brand. This comprehensive approach allows organizations to gather diverse perspectives and make informed decisions to strengthen their employer brand and enhance the employee experience.
Check out our ‘About BrandTrack’ page to understand how we translate customer feedback into actionable insights for your employer brand health. Better yet, check out our sample BrandTrack dashboard here to see it in action.