Four out of five businesses are failing to promote themselves as employers according to our latest research.
Although our research is focussed on the views and expectations of young people (those under 30) we believe that this has highlighted an issue that is likely to have a wider impact.
Many small and medium sized businesses do a great job of promoting their products and services but fail to promote their company.
The lines between customers, suppliers and employees are blurring. In order to deliver to your customers you need the support of both your suppliers and your employees. The things you might want to say about your company can reinforce these relationships and in turn add to your proposition.
So it’s becoming essential for businesses to focus on employer branding to attract and retain the best people. This will help a business to better compete.
What is employer branding?
In essence, employer branding is what a company says about itself.
Why should businesses invest in employer branding?
Here are some of the benefits that a business can achieve when they choose to invest in employer branding.
- Attract to recruit
If a company is struggling to recruit it is all too easy to increase recruitment agency activity. But this can just lead to more costs. Under employer branding, a company can create a virtuous circle between employee engagement, candidate attraction and recruitment. Attraction all starts with your employer branding evidence.
“A company’s reputation as a great place to work is a key deciding factor for many job seekers these days.” (PapirFly)
- Employee engagement
The most undervalued strategy to engage employees is listening and empowerment. Employee engagement is not about having fun, brightly coloured bean bags and a pool table. In our conversations, many businesses have misconceptions about what young people want from the workplace.
A study over a 10 year period shows that employee engagement increased productivity by 15% per employee and customer satisfaction levels by 30% (Queens University).
“Using stories from engaged employees as part of the brand messages means effectively turning employees into brand advocates, telling candidates what’s great about working for the organisation.” (LinkHumans)
- Reduce costs
If you get your employer branding messages just right then your candidates will come to you. The company will have more retention and therefore less reliance on recruitment. Plus, if your employer branding is attractive then you will have a readily available talent pool vying to get in.
“Employee turnover can be reduced by 28% by investing in employer branding.” (JobVibe)
- Competitive edge
Many employers are telling us that the jobs market is tightening. It is no longer a one sided conversation where you are weighting and scoring candidates against a criteria. The candidates are also scoring you, as an employer, against their criteria. Do you match?
Suppliers may look for evidence of company culture as part of tender bids and customers are said to spend 25% more with companies that invest in employing young people (gov.uk).
“Four out of five companies failed to promote themselves as an employer.” (Access Generation CIC)
Is it HR or marketing? It often depends on the company and can sometimes be neither. Sometimes, the employer branding responsibility can fall to a senior leader to take charge.
That’s no surprise really, considering a company’s employer branding is a reputational risk if handled badly.
The youth employment accessibility research highlighted that the jobs or careers section on a company website is often not fully owned by anyone either.
In a blog entitled “Who owns the jobs sections on a company website?” we spoke to people in HR, marketing, IT and e-learning and all agreed that it is not a priority but should be taken seriously if a business wants to compete for candidates.
Ask yourself – “Am I confident that my company is represented online the way I would want?”
Consider future employees as customers and make your employer branding as important and equal to the efforts you put into your customer facing brand strategy.
Companies quite often benefit from an external and objective view that can help identify elements that can support the promotion of a company’s brand.
Our youth employment accessibility research has also included extensive work into a young person’s criteria for choosing an employer.
If you would like support with your employer branding please get in touch.