When I have a question, I turn to Google for the answer. I also do the same when I am shopping whether it’s a new television or a new car. What others say about the television or car or the companies that make them has a significant impact on my decisions. The same holds for job seekers. Candidates are increasingly researching a company before they apply for a particular job. Studies show that that 74% of candidates conduct their own research during the job search and 46% said they want to do more research to learn more about the company before applying.
While many of us presume the company brand and employer brand are the same, the fact is there are significant differences. A company brand is the messaging, and the perception customers have about your products and services while an employer’s brand is the way people feel about working for your organization. In other words, your employer brand is your reputation as either a great or terrible place to work. In fact, in a recent MRI Network study, 74% of employers and 69% of candidates ranked employer brand strength as important or very important when a candidate is evaluating a job offer. Since talent is in high demand and highly skilled candidates even more so, companies with a strong and positive employer brand will attract the best talent.
Managing your employer brand is not a one and done task. For example, keeping track of employee review sites like Glassdoor, Facebook, Indeed and Yelp is time-consuming and requires continuous and committed attention. However, such sites are the first place candidates go when beginning their job search, so you cannot afford to be complacent or inattentive regarding what people are saying on them. Moreover, this is just one aspect of employer branding; there are many other moving parts. Fortunately, there are steps organizations can take to ensure potential employees view a company as a highly desirable place to work.
5 easy ways to manage your employer branding
- For starters, respond to both positive and negative reviews consistently. It is great to get positive reviews so remembering to acknowledge this and thank the individual is a good habit to establish. Negative reviews should never go unanswered. Consider these reviews an opportunity to respond proactively, and diffuse the power of a negative comment. In your response, demonstrate that your company is willing to discuss any criticisms and is open to change.
- Think of your high performing employees as your evangelists. Encourage all current employees especially your most successful, high-potential employees to leave reviews – perhaps an explanation for why they continue to work for your organization or a story that demonstrates their pride in the company. These comments and stories give job seekers a glimpse into the kinds of people they would work with and how organizations provide career opportunities.
- Don’t underestimate or overlook an employee referral program. Talented employees usually know other people who are just as qualified as they are. Candidates are more likely to apply for a job that is sent to them by a friend. Forty-one percent of recruiters and hiring managers believe referrals are the top source for quality talent.
- Ensure your candidate experience is easy-to-use, mobile friendly and fully compatible with smartphones. You ought to also have a short application process and options to “apply with LinkedIn” or one-click apply. Your career pages should be current, clean —not text heavy — and contain real images of your organization.
- Claim your company profile on Glassdoor and Indeed. Photos, awards, descriptions, links and more go a long way to balancing the perceptions of your brand when compared to comments. A blank profile tells just as much about your company – but you aren’t controlling the message.
Employer branding matters so put your best foot forward in the eyes of candidates. To learn more, check out these additional Seven Actions Guaranteed to Build Employer Brand.