Employer branding became a strategic business function in quite a few companies last year, regardless of size. This year, we see companies developing tactical activities to activate those strategies. However, these are challenging times.
Covid quit quitting, great resignation, many laid off, quit hirirng; these activities are shaping employer branding activities. Observing the world and what is happening.
In terms of employer branding, we can categorize four megatrends:
creating employer brand awareness from the inside out
developing a unique candidate value proposition
leading consistent candidate experience
deploying candidate experience.
There is always so much to do in employer branding at all levels. Most of the time, there aren't enough resources to do all those cool things we want to do. But despite limited resources, things can always be done, especially since employer branding is not an outcome but an experience we help create.
Creating employer brand awareness from the inside out
Our workforce is aging, and with that comes a generational shift in values and work preferences. Over 50% of our workforce consists of millennials and GenZ. One thing these generations have in common is a desire to connect with organizations and their missions on a deeper level. They both want to make a substantial impact and are looking for reasons why. It is essential for them to feel heard and seen.
So the first megatrend is to have a purpose-driven, human-centered brand that creates a brand-oriented culture.
What does it mean to be human-centered?
A human-centric strategy represents values such as transparency, authenticity, and empathy.
Employer brands must have human characteristics.
DEI is one way to show your human side. You can activate it through DEI event planning, which is followed by employer branding activities. (example of social media events calendar)
In order for a brand to stand out visually, it must be like a human, not too perfect or too staged. It's important to show ordinary people doing everyday things in their everyday life; engaging everyone through personal and genuine employee stories is essential (Pro-tip: avoid scripted stories)
As well you want to engage with candidates confidently. Engage candidates in multiple communication channels, resolve their complaints, and share content with them via social media. Use inspirational messaging and humor to engage candidates emotionally.
The employer brand should be a person that candidates and employees want to hang out with! As you can see, it's all about the candidate's experience. People who are happy with the process are walking and talking billboards for us.
Now, what does it mean to be brand-oriented?
You might ask the question, how can you be more consistent as an employer brand?
Brand-oriented culture means that the company lets its employees find ways to talk about the employer brand to the outside world and potential candidates. Brand-oriented culture also means that the company shows its employees how to act in a way that fits with the brand. It is internal branding.
But how do you build a culture around a brand? There are 3 conditions:
Employees need to know what the brand stands for and how their actions affect the process of building
Second, employees should care about the brand, but they won't if they don't know what it is. Brand.
Third, they need to have the skills and resources to communicate the brand's values to candidates when they talk to them. (read more)
Developing a unique candidate value proposition
You want to identify and communicate your company's unique benefits and advantages. But to develop a unique value proposition, you must first understand what is important to your target candidates and what they seek in an employer. Then you tailor your messaging and communication.
Being specific creates relevancy. And relevancy sells, while irrelevancy annoys people.
One way to understand your audience is by measuring your candidate experience. You can send out surveys (and get info on candidate NPS, satisfaction, etc.) and measure things like hiring time and conversion. That all helps to identify opportunities for improvement.
To improve the candidate experience, you want first to decompose your application process. Find out where it hurts. Review, communication, disqualifications, withdrawals, offer rejections and acceptances, and improvement.
Once you know your audience and competitors, you need to know yourself. Why? because that's the only way to really know what makes you different and what makes you unique.
What are unique attributes? In sales, you can find USP- unique selling points. The unique attribute is an exact experience, characteristic, or quality that employees and candidates get when interacting with your brand, your company, or your people. and culture. To understand what is unique about you, you must first know your competitors and audiences and know yourself inside out.
But what is unique about your company?
The experience! It is the specific concrete answer to questions like: What is it like to work specifically at your company? How does work get done? How do teams collaborate? What tools are provided? How do leaders manage and communicate with their people? How are an employee’s work and contribution evaluated, and how often? What are the challenges associated with working at your company that candidates should know about up front?
Leading consistent candidate experience
Companies should ensure that their recruitment process is standardized, with clear guidelines and processes followed by all recruiters, especially hiring managers. This can include having standardized interview questions, providing regular updates to candidates on their application status, and ensuring that all recruiters and all hiring managers are trained on how to provide a positive and consistent candidate experience.
Companies will need to use data to make good decisions about their employer brand. They'll need data to determine their target audience and make content that speaks to them. They will need data to find the right people and give potential and current employees a personalized experience. They will need the information to make the process of hiring better and more efficient.
Deploying candidate experience.
Deploying a digital candidate experience means creating and implementing a digital platform or process that enables candidates to engage with a company's hiring process using digital channels. This can include online job postings and advertisements, digital application forms, video interviews, and digital assessments, use of social media and AI, for example, to automate the recruitment process and make it easier to find the right talent. AI will also be used to create content and a more personalized experience for potential and existing employees.
Lastly, it's crucial to utilize the power of Video. Video is becoming an increasingly important tool for employer branding. Companies will need to use video to create engaging content that resonates with their target audience. Video can be used to showcase the company’s culture, values, and mission and create a positive image. Companies will also need to use video to create personalized experiences for their employees. Video can be used to create virtual events, training sessions, and team-building activities. Video can also be used to create a sense of community among employees and foster collaboration.
2023 will be a crucial year for employer branding, and companies will need to use technology and social media strategically to create a positive image and attract the right talent. They will also have to pay attention to giving their candidates and employees personalized experiences and use data to make smart decisions. Employer branding will also become more and more dependent on video and AI. Companies that can build a strong brand as an employer will be in a good position to do well in the future.