Coca-Cola, Disney, and Starbucks all have the same thing going for them: They’re easily recognized brands. When a consumer sees one of those logos, certain expectations are associated with it, right?
As consumers we are inundated with brands on a daily, hourly, every minute basis. But, branding isn’t just necessary for marketing products, it is imperative for recruiting talented employees as well. Over the past 10+ years we’ve seen employer branding become crucial in this competitive job seeker market. More and more employers are focusing on it, but why?
Dr. John Sullivan (www.drjohnsullivan.com) provides a concise list of excellent reasons for employers to focus on their employer brand:
Advantages of Becoming an Employer of Choice
- Ease in attracting quality talent
- Retention rates for current employees
- Maintaining the corporate culture is relatively easy
- Customers and strategic partners are also attracted by your favorable image
- Employee motivation can be easy to maintain because of a shared pride/vision
- A positive image often results in a higher returns
Where Your Brand Begins
Identify what factors impact your employer brand. These items, or ‘touch points,’ are those places where a potential applicant interacts with your company. Employees can be the most influential, but there are a number of other touch points such as point-of-sale material; corporate website; giveaway items; signage on your buildings; tradeshow exhibits; advertisements; job postings; etc. The list is long, but the goal is to reflect a consistent message about your organization among all touch points.
Big Bucks Not Required
Employer branding doesn’t have to be costly. In fact, a number of tactics cost very little at all. For example, a standard follow-up procedure for applicants that apply to job openings is a start. After all, the number one complaint we hear from job seekers is that they don’t hear from an employer after they submit their resumes.
Developing a Message
At the recent Ag & Food HR Roundtable, Michael Turley, with Osborn Barr, shared some interesting insight about the employer brand of our industry and messaging being used to attract talent into agriculture and our organizations. It appears that many of us have been using the concept of ‘Feeding the World’ as kind of our mission statement for many, many years. While that is true and a noble endeavor, Michael’s point was that we aren’t doing a good job of molding our message and keeping up-to-date with the times and the things that matter most to our customers, which in the case of employer branding is potential employees. As I think about it, customizing the message is probably more important for employer branding than it is for any branding strategy.
As you begin to develop a message for your employer brand think about what sets you apart; how you articulate that in daily practice; and what your value proposition is not only to your customers, but to your employees as well. Then work on a strategy to intertwine this message consistently through a variety of touch points, keeping in mind that a lot can be accomplished with little investment! Become a brand that positive expectations are associated with when a candidate encounters YOUR employment brand!
For more insight, check out this article from our Newsletter Archives: Employer Branding: Attracting Talent.