The labor shortage is real…sort of. There is a ton of debate on whether people don’t want to come back to work because they want better standards, e.g., higher pay, childcare, better hours, etc., versus employers who don’t want to rethink how people want to work.
There are a lot of socioeconomic reasons why we have a so-called “labor shortage” and tons of articles providing tips on how to overcome and attract quality talent, such as referral bonuses, sign-on bonuses, and increased wages. Talent Acquisition (TA) teams are feeling the pressure, especially those who did not have a solid talent pipeline to draw from. Companies from Amazon to Chipotle are raising wages to attract talent. However, these are short-term fixes. The real secret to building a solid talent pipeline is your employer brand.
A good employer brand does not mean it has to be a well-known brand or a household name. It just means that your messaging, along with your brand’s look and feel, need to be consistent across the web.
Your employer brand is how others perceive you, both internally and externally. It’s your value proposition. It reflects your organization’s reputation as a place to work. From your website to review sites and social media sites, your employer brand is out there in permanent ink and it needs to be consistent. Too often, Human Resources has disparate brand identities across platforms and it makes it confusing for future candidates.
Here are three ways to ensure you have a consistent employer brand.
Align with the Marketing Department
First and foremost, Marketing is your friend. If you don’t have a dedicated person for recruitment marketing, join alliances with your marketing team. They can help with a consistent job description intro for when you post jobs to your website or job boards. They can also supply the company bio and provide consistent graphics and taglines. When candidates research companies, they are looking for authentic and personalized branding such as employee testimonials, which is why review sites like GlassDoor, Great Place To Work, Owler, Indeed, and others are important. It’s also important to state your core values and how you put them into practice and showcase them on your website and social media.
Create Internal Brand Advocates
Employees are your best brand advocates. But how do you get employees to buy in and promote your company? For starters, you need to give them the tools to do so. For example, some applicant tracking systems allow employees to hook up their LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter profiles and post jobs automatically to their feed. Or see if your social media team uses an employee social sharing tool such as GaggleAMP, HootSuite Amplify, or SproutSocial to incentivize employees to share job openings on social media. The authenticity of employee testimonials and social sharing is invaluable.
Include your frontline associates in your employer branding strategy, too, as they represent an authentic voice of your brand. Ask their opinions, create contests, and incentivize them to participate in promotional activities. Put your top performers in the spotlight by giving them something to talk about such as a merit award or an anniversary award, and then publicly recognize them.
Research from Great Place to Work shows when employees like their company, they are 149 times more likely to recommend their workplace to others, and a pipeline full of employee referrals is the best pipeline you can have.
Invest in Your Careers Page
Much like how your company’s website is Marketing’s best and largest digital asset for attracting new customers, your career site functions similarly as your outlet for attracting new talent. It’s usually the first thing people see when they come to apply for a job at your company, so why not make it great?
Key elements your careers page should have:
- An “About Us” section that showcases who your company is, what you do, and why it’s important.
- Your company’s core values and the story behind them.
- Benefits and perks: You’ve sold them on your vision and what you do, now tell them what’s in it for them and why they should apply.
- Employee testimonials in video format if possible, but if not, quotes are good too.
- An easy way to search for jobs (at a bare minimum, location and department).
- A place to apply a talent network (your pipeline), even when jobs are not available. If you did a great job on your employer branding, they’ll want to be a part of your talent network or community. This also gives you the opportunity to proactively communicate with them and build your relationships for when an opportunity does come up.
The candidate experience starts with the first moment someone interacts with your employer brand and that can start with a “We’re Hiring” ad to applying on your careers page. Great candidate experiences convert applicants and build a quality pipeline. A negative experience can have a long-term detrimental effect on attracting new talent. It’s never too late to invest in your employer brand.