Advertise your job vacancies and you will (hopefully) attract a lot of applicants for the role you are advertising. But are you attracting the applicants you want or the applicants you need to be able to do that role effectively?
Why is the top young talent out there going to choose to apply for your vacancies over those of your competitors?
Employer branding is crucial if you want to be out there attracting that top talent. You need to be able to create an image that makes your company a place where school leavers, students or graduates really want to work. This can be done through effective employer branding.
So, how do you go about creating and building this brand. The good news is, even if you are a startup or an SME and you don’t have the budget to be spending large amounts, you can begin to build your brand with little or no cost.
Carry Out A Self-Assessment Of Your Company
First of all, take a look around your own workplace and try to view it through the eyes of a young person. Is it the type of environment that is going to attract them to want to come and work for you?
This is not just about the layout and equipment in your workplace – although this can play a part to – but also the culture and atmosphere in your workplace amongst your team.
Speak To Your Existing Team
Your views on the culture of your company may differ completely to those of your staff. Engage with your staff and find out what they think about working for your company.
Do they feel they are working in a dynamic workplace where young people will thrive or do they have ideas of where something could be improved. These thoughts and impressions can give you some tips that you might not have considered.
Speak To Your Applicants
Building an employer brand so that you can attract the best young talent in the future is all about finding out how others see your company.
If you are currently recruiting, take the time to ask those applicants why they applied for your vacancy.
What was it about your company that made them want to work for you? Why was your role more attractive than others on offer out there? Do they have the impression that your company is going to be a great place to work where they are going to feel valued as an employee?
This can be a very effective starting point. You might find you are already heading in the right direction. And, on the flip side, you might find your applicants are not seeing what your employer brand is. This will alert you to changes that need to be made so that you can boost your brand.
Speak To Your Customers Or Service Users
Whilst creating an employer brand is not about marketing your company’s products or services, where possible, it is good to get some feedback from your customers on how they view your company.
From the service they have received and from your presence out there in the wider community, what impression do they have of your company as a place to work.
After all, depending on the nature of your company, these are the young people you could be looking to attract to your vacancies to ensure the future success of your firm.
What Is Your Employer Brand?
Speaking to these different groups of people is important because you will start to build up a picture of how you are perceived both from within the company itself (your employers) and within the wider community.
These groups of people are not necessarily separate entities. People talk to each other and word of mouth will determine your company brand. Are you discussed in a positive or a negative light?
How people talk about you will play a key role in your recruitment and whether or not you are going to attract the applicants you are really looking for. Have you got young people out there keeping a careful watch out for your next recruitment drive because you are the company they really want to work for?
If not, then why not? This is where you need to start investing in your employer brand.
Here are some areas to take into consideration when looking into your employer brand and building a strategy to boost it in the right direction:
- Your Company Reputation – you will have a picture of this if you have spoken with the groups of people mentioned above. Having a reputation of being a great company to work for is great for attracting young talent. This is just part of the picture, however. Make sure your reputation matches the reality of people working for you. Once you attract that young talent, you need to be able to retain it.
- Your Company Culture – Is your company culture such that young people will want to be a part of it? How are employees made to feel valued? Are new ideas listened to and encouraged? Is there a healthy atmosphere in your workplace where people can work independently and as part of a team? Are young people in your company encouraged to succeed and trusted with responsibilities? Do staff feel your door is open and you are approachable? Can staff have the option to work from home or work flexible hours? Do you practise mindfulness? Do you get involved with the local community?
- Your Online Presence – Your social media presence is important for attracting young people to your workplace. It should also give a true picture of what you might be like to work for. Whilst it might be tempting to try to make your company look like everyone is having fun all the time, the fact is, not all roles lend themselves to this. So do have a presence on social media and keep that presence active but also make sure it gives a realistic idea of your company and what you are about.
- Be Individual – Also, with regards to social media, treat each platform individually. It can be tempting to put one post out and send it out to all platforms. This is fine in some instances but also bear in mind that each social media platform attracts different types of audience. Speak to those individual audiences in a way that is familiar to that platform.
- Blog – As well as your social media presence, a company blog can also be a good idea. This could be a platform where employees can be encouraged to write articles about achievements or courses they’ve attended and any resulting qualifications. Share your blog posts across your relevant social media platforms.
There are lots of strategies you can employ that will boost your staff retention and keep your staff feeling valued. This, in turn, will boost your employer branding via various means: word of mouth and your online presence are two cost-effective ways of doing this.
When you do have vacancies arising, you can then create a job ad that will reflect your company brand and you can then put your ad out there to a targeted audience.