Most employers want to be known for being a good place to work, but it takes active management to drive this perception both internally and externally. This is where employment branding comes in.
Have you heard of employment branding? Also known as employer branding, it’s the strategy used by employers to influence the awareness and reputation of the organization from an employment perspective. This strategy targets multiple audiences, including potential employees, current employees, and others who view the organization’s reputation as an employer.
Why Care About Employment Branding?
One of the biggest reasons employers are concerned about employment branding is they would like to manage the organization’s reputation. The company reputation can significantly affect the number and quality of applicants the company receives. In other words, having a good reputation among employees and potential employees can positively impact the quality of applicants an organization attracts.
Having a well-revered employment brand can also impact employee productivity. If an employee feels that the company is a good place to work, he or she is more likely to be happy and productive while working. It can also impact retention and turnover for many of the same reasons. When employees feel they work for a well-respected company, they’re less likely to leave.
What Are Some Actions Employers are Taking to Influence Their Employment Brand?
Employers interested in getting started in employment branding have a lot of options. There are many actions an organization can take to influence the company reputation and increase awareness when necessary. For example:
- Utilize content marketing, which can increase the visibility of the organization by putting the name out there. It can also position the company as an expert in a particular field. This has the additional benefit of possibly increasing the company’s visibility in online search results, which can garner more interest from both applicants and customers.
- Get more active on social media, which can be used to showcase the company culture and influence how the company is seen by others. It can also be a way to be in touch with customers—and employers need to be sure to address both aspects of social media interaction.
- Encourage employee and public interaction, such as encouraging employees to represent the company via social media and in the community.
- Cultivate a company culture that employees enjoy. Start by asking them what they find motivating, and also conduct assessments of employee engagement levels. Once an organization has happy, engaged employees, these employees often become ambassadors for the organization without even being asked.
- Assess the salary and benefits package offered, and see how it stacks up against the competition (that is, the competition for candidates/employees—which is not necessarily the same as competition for customers). If the salary and benefits package does not compare favorably to others in the market, it will be an uphill battle to improve the employment brand.
- Consider offering benefits that address work/life balance. This might include things like flexible schedules, increased PTO options, other leave options, on-site child care, tuition reimbursements, and more.
- Communicate about benefits both internally and externally. Ensure employees understand how to take advantage of all the benefits that are offered.
- Communicate internally and externally about company culture and managerial practices, especially best practices.
- Find ways to become involved in the community. This can be as easy as financially sponsoring local events that are in line with the company culture. Or, it could be as complex as allowing employees to take extra paid time off to participate in volunteer activities, or encouraging the employees to form teams in local sporting or charitable events, and so on.
- Find ways to disseminate information about the company, such as public newsletters or mailing lists.
- Encourage employee (and managerial) participation in community groups and at speaking events and conferences.
- Create communication materials that promote the best aspects of working for the company and be sure that these materials are used widely.
It’s easy to see how many of these actions can have ripple effects. Being active on social media, for example, can increase visibility and make it easier to find qualified applicants when a new position opens up.
For employers who would prefer to get assistance in employment branding, there are also consulting firms available who specialize in this area. They can assist with assessing the organization’s reputation, benchmarking against the competition, and developing and implementing an employment branding strategy to improve the situation.
No matter which route you take, remember: This is not a one-off process. It’s continual and must be managed in order to reap the benefits.
This article does not constitute legal advice. Always consult legal counsel with specific questions.
About Bridget Miller:
Bridget Miller is a business consultant with a specialized MBA in International Economics and Management, which provides a unique perspective on business challenges. She’s been working in the corporate world for over 15 years, with experience across multiple diverse departments including HR, sales, marketing, IT, commercial development, and training.