Employment branding, aka employer branding, refers to influencing how your organization is perceived as an employer. Employers put a lot of effort into ensuring their organization is well positioned and has a good reputation.
Doing so 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 revered employment brand can also impact employee productivity. If an employee feels the company is a good place to work, he or she is more likely to be happier and more productive.
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.
During these uncertain times, there are even more reasons to be aware of and work on your employment brand. For example:
- A good employment brand can help reduce recruiting costs once the organization is ready to hire again. If all goes well, many employers will be in a position to hire a lot of people quickly as the economy returns to some semblance of normal in the months ahead. Applicants care about an organization’s reputation, so having a good one (and a good employment brand) can help you attract better-quality applicants when you need them.
- How the employer treats employees (which is a big component of employer brand) can also impact how current employees feel about the organization and even about their own well-being. This is especially important for current employees who are under stress while getting through this pandemic.
- If employees feel proud to work for the organization—yet another component of the employer brand—it can help retain customers. Sales for many organizations are far less than years’ past, so holding on to good customer relationships in the coming months can be critical.
What Employers Can Do Now
Having a respected employer brand is helpful anytime but especially when an organization is facing challenges. Here are some things to do now to positively impact your employment brand now and in the future:
- Communicate with current employees. Keep them abreast of the organization’s plans, including plans for keeping staff on board. Communicate about what the organization is doing to protect them, and tell them immediately about any policy changes that are being implemented.
- Communicate with customers. Customers want to know what the organization is doing. This also impacts the employment brand because customers not only help form public perception but also may one day be applicants or employees.
- Recognize employees for their efforts. We’re all under a lot of stress right now. Recognizing the work people are doing can go a long way toward keeping employee morale up, which, in turn, means they will speak highly of the organization.
- If employees are working remotely, take extra steps to ensure everyone can stay in touch easily and often. If you don’t already have software solutions in place to assist with this, get them now. Ensure leaders in the organization are communicating directly with employees to confirm everyone is doing OK.
- If you have to terminate or furlough employees, pay attention to how this is communicated internally and externally. This will impact the employment brand, but it will have less of an impact if it is communicated appropriately and with compassion.
- Focus on staying true to the organization’s mission and values. These values are more important now than ever. Making decisions in alignment with these values will go a long way toward keeping the employment brand stable.
Here are some more tips on managing your employment brand.
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.