How to create an authentic employer brand

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Employer Branding Concept

The recent release of Great Place To Work in Kenya 2021 got me thinking about what past, current, and future employees think, believe and talk about your organisation. An organisations reputation as an employer is their employer brand. In the current competitive labour market, employer brand plays a significant role in hiring and retaining the best talent.

Benefits of a strong employer brand

A strong employer brand is an asset to an organisation. It helps;

  • Attract the best talent. Every job seeker wants to work with a company known for how well they treat their employees. Depending on the job seekers or employees need, an attractive salary, job security, professional development, conducive workplace environment etc., are some attributes that give an organisation an undisputed competitive edge.
  • Lower the cost and time of hire.  A company with a positive employer brand is credible in the eyes of and minds of prospective candidates. For this reason, a job posting usually gets an influx of high-quality applications. This is every hiring managers joy. In addition, it reduces the cost and time that could have been spent re-advertising and waiting for quality applications to hit the recruitment email.                          Referrals are also common for organisations with strong employer brands. People are not afraid to refer their friends and loved ones as they know the employer’s reputation. In return, this also saves the recruitment team time and a few coins.
  • Low employee turnover. A  positive employer brand plays a huge role in enabling candidates to assess their organisational fit. This means, with the right candidate for the job, a replacement will not be happening anytime soon as the candidate is content with what the organisation is offering.
  • Highly motivated employees. Organisations with positive employer brands have highly engaged and present employees, which indicate motivate employees. Such employees are proud to be associated with the company’s brand, which is evident by how they interact with customers, suppliers and other stakeholders. In return, this improves the companies performance because clients have a positive perception of the brand and are happy to keep consuming the company’s product or service.

 A company with a positive employer attracts high quality applicantsREAD ALSO: Workplace pet peeves that kill productivity

How do you build an authentic employer brand?
  1. Conduct an employer brand audit  

It is an in-depth assessment of the current employment brand. It includes assessing what employees are saying about the organisation as an employer and what candidates read, see or hear about it.

To begin with, start with the why work with us or career page on the company’s website. Check the content and visuals. Is the content compelling, and does it communicate value to the candidate? Look to see that the page is user friendly and optimized for both web and mobile. The career page should leave the candidate with the feeling of ‘I want to work here.’

2. Promote your Employee Value Proposition(EVP)

Employee Value Proposition (EVP) outlines the benefits employees stand to gain should they choose to work or stay with the organisation. EVP is how an organisation would like current and future employees to perceive and experience it.  An ideal EVP needs to be credible to create trust, relevant in what the company is offering in the current market and distinctive.

A strong EVP  should always pique a candidate’s interest in the organisation’s mission regarding the company purpose, culture, and career development. With a compelling EVP, an organisation is sure to attract good prospects during recruitments as the company appeals to them.

A word is a word, and a picture is worth a thousand… but a brand is worth a million.- Tony Hsieh.

3. Leverage on Employee advocacy

Employee advocacy is the most powerful way to get a company’s employer brand out to the public. Candidates are more likely to trust an organisation’s employee on employer branding matters more than any other source. Employee advocates tend to humanize the company in their networks. For example, an employee leaving a positive review about where they work on Glassdoor favours the company’s employer brand. Prospective candidates reading such a review will most definitely want to be associated with the brand. 

Other ways employees advocates can boost a company’s employer value is by

  • Sharing details of the company’s work culture and employee experience on relevant professional platforms e.g. LinkedIn. (Positive culture and experience= positive employer brand and vice versa)
  • Brading employee gifts and work collaterals
  • Keep employees informed on the company happenings. Whether hiring or launching a new product, employee advocates are the best agents to spread company news.
  • Show off your employees with pride.
4. Provide an unforgettable candidate experience

First impressions can make or break an organisations employer brand. How an organisation interacts with jobseekers during recruitment, defines their perception of the organisation as an employer and as a brand in general. For example, how would past candidates say about their candidate experience? Do your brand representative ghost job seekers?  Are jobseekers queries responded to on time? Does the interviewer show up on time for interviews

Personalizing the experience and engaging well with the candidate will create a positive employer brand. It is crucial to treat job seekers as both a potential employee and a customer. Ensure to meet recruitment needs. Give feedback where necessary, Provide adequate information and ample time where and when needed.

5. Be authentic

Authenticity is always better than perfection. The aim is to build an authentic employer brand, so authenticity should be the brand’s bedrock. The organisations’ story, culture, EVP, promises, etc., should be genuine and practised on the ground, not just on paper. Be real and honest, and most important, aim to connect through the organisation’s employer branding story.

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