Companies spend a lot of time creating a compelling brand story that showcases their products or services. But have you ever stopped to think about whether you are also spending time building a strong employer brand? I’ll tell you what – employer branding is becoming increasingly important in attracting and retaining top talent, but also in reducing marketing costs and making the company grow!
Surely when you think of ways to strengthen your company’s presence most of the actions require a high budget investment… The good thing about employer branding is that it is an infallible strategy to reinforce your brand and how it is perceived externally while optimizing costs to the maximum!
In this article we leave you with 6 strategies that will improve your brand presence in an almost organic way without the need for large investments. You will only need the collaboration of those who make your company what it really is, the employees.
Prepare employee surveys to audit your employer brand
You may not have thought about it, but are you fully aware of the reputation your company has among its own employees? The perfect way to find out how employees feel about your company is to ask. Partner with HR and send out employee surveys to get as much feedback as you can – anonymously of course! Use employee survey software tools to create surveys in minutes and get instant feedback.
When you’re preparing your employee surveys make sure they:
- Help you discover employees’ favorite aspects of company culture to highlight those aspects in your communications.
- Help you detect areas for improvement to ensure your employer branding strategy is honest and aligns with employee values and interests.
- Help you measure employee satisfaction to understand the current strength of your employer branding.
Create a compelling employer brand story
Think of it this way, would you ever go on a date with someone who is boring? A person who has nothing interesting to say? The same goes for employer branding.
Positioning your company as a desirable employer is very important. But beware, here we can fall into the mistake of believing we are superheroes and selling what we are not! For a story that reinforces your employer branding to work, it must be based on two fundamental pillars: it must be honest and meaningful.
In order to develop your story start by asking yourself the following questions:
- What differentiates your company from others?
- What is your work environment like?
- What can you offer that is more valuable than what other similar companies can offer?
Leverage your blog and social media to tell your story
At this point, you’ve already created a unique story that represents the company that all your employees have built. You have highlighted the architects of your company’s growth, the employees, and tell how teamwork has helped you to become what you are today. And if you haven’t done so, check the previous point!
What’s next? Just as you use your company blog and social media to promote your product and share content that can be useful to your buyer persona – and help you improve conversion – you can use those channels to nurture your employer branding.
What better way to get your brand story out there than through the channels you use most, right? And you know what the best thing about using the same channels is? Your audience is already there!
Define a robust onboarding process
Marketing must partner with HR to promote the company’s brand, especially in the hiring and onboarding phase – The importance of first impressions!
What should you look for when working with HR on employer branding? What you present to the outside world says a lot about the kind of company you are, from your website to your job ads.
But, we can’t forget about onboarding new hires – a negative impression can have big consequences. In fact, people who have a negative onboarding experience are twice as likely to look for another opportunity and bad-mouth your company, meaning it will have a huge impact on your employer branding and the perception of your brand itself!
Instilling a positive image of the company’s brand starts with a good onboarding process. Marketing and HR have to go hand in hand! It is critical that you get employees engaged and excited about their tasks, projects and their teams from the very beginning.
With a good onboarding process marketing gets to reinforce the company brand and HR gets to drive engagement and retention – everyone wins!
Ensure employees are engaged – and share it!
When it comes to your employer brand, there are some things you can control, but some things you cannot. You can control the messages and tone with which you communicate on your social media and company website. But you can never control how employees talk about where they work. However, there are things you can do to encourage everything they communicate about their workplace to be positive.
The key is: the more engaged your company’s employees are, the better they will talk about their workplace and the greater the strength of your employer branding strategy.
It is the same rule that works with clients’ reviews – it is more powerful to have others speak well of you rather than yourself. If your customers speak well of your company, you’ll share it, won’t you? For an employer branding strategy it works the same way, if employees are happy and engaged they will speak well of their workplace, don’t miss the opportunity to show it to the world!
Here too you will need the help of the HR team, in the same way that marketing works with the customer success team. Between the two teams, gather ideas to improve employee engagement, with a focus on satisfaction and retention. Take the opportunity to give visibility on social media, or even your blog, to those initiatives that go ahead!
Encourage your employees to become brand ambassadors
As we have discussed in previous points, if a company’s employees are engaged and happy in the workplace, they will speak well of the company. The brand ambassador strategy goes hand in hand with this idea.
Now, how do you turn employees into brand ambassadors? There are 3 easy steps to follow to achieve this:
- Encourage communication and transparency: working your employer brand strategy is a team effort. Keep employees in the loop to ensure everyone fully understands the focus of your strategy. Be prepared to answer questions, offer guidance and, above all, always say thank you. Every small gesture that demonstrates employees’ commitment to the company counts. Reinforce that commitment by thanking them for their participation and recognizing the value.
- Give employees a voice through official channels: some employees may prefer not to use their personal social networks to talk about company matters. But one thing you can do is allow employees to create content for the company’s official social networks. Set up a content calendar and be open to receive tons of those suggestions – a picture about lunchtime or a story about the latest team building activity, anything that reflects your company culture is great to share!
- Make it easy for them: Offer guidance so that everyone knows how to communicate company matters – whether it’s through an official channel or their personal networks. You can, for example, set a policy for social media writing and images, offer ideas to talk about or even lend yourself to listening to their stories and being the one to put them into words – chances are other teams aren’t as used to writing as you are!
What makes a company desirable to hire their services, consume their product or work for them is the perception of their brand. Just as you need to have a solid product and service branding strategy, you also need an employer branding plan to differentiate your company from the crowd.
A strong employer brand gets good people, and if you have good people working in your company, you’re probably going to get good clients. You have to make sure that everything is in place to attract those good people and that they are aligned with the vision and values of the company. That will ensure that they will do everything they can to attract good clients and grow them for the benefit of the company.
Remember: more than any other strategy, an employer branding strategy is a team sprint. It’s not about telling people what you do or “forcing” employees to do it. It’s about making sure that through a positive company culture and true employee engagement the desire to share all the good things happening in the workplace happens as organically and naturally as possible!
Andrej Fedek is a digital marketer. He recently started his own blog about digital marketing called InterCool Studio. His passion is to help startups grow and thrive in a competitive environment.