Employer branding; it’s a term you probably heard about a lot lately. Especially since working from home became a wide adopted system and companies are trying their best in making this new system suitable for all their staff.
So, what is Employer Branding exactly? What specific problems is it answering and what should you, as an employer make out of it?
1 – Definition and general presentation of EB
First of all, we need a brief summary of the term. Employer Branding encompasses everything related to your branding as an employer. From your website career page (or the lack of it), the reviews from your staff on Glassdoor / Indeed, to your LinkedIn page and wider social media platforms. In essence, how employees, candidates and key stakeholder perceive your brand as an employer is defining your employer branding.
So after going through this definition, it is easy to understand that employer branding can be managed and needs to be managed, but we will go through this in the second part of this article. For now, I will present for you, the main components of your employer brand:
Main portal between you and your audience. The website will be the first place where potential candidates look for information about your brand, your values, mission statement and hopefully get a window into your work environment.
Web users are used to easily finding a large amount of information online, the first mistake would be to not use this tool as your first platform of communication. Do not limit your website to customers or stakeholder’s information only; try to get a sense of what potential employees would like to know about your company.
Your social media:
Your online presence management should not be limited to your website and LinkedIn. Most serious candidates will look at all the platforms available during a job search. Limiting yourself to the main ones will limit your communication to this target. Don’t refrain from posting several types of content; enlarge your possibilities by targeting all type of audiences.
Your online reviews:
Your online reviews management strategy should be a top priority. Ignoring the problem of bad Indeed or Glassdoor reviews, won’t make the problem go away. You must be proactive. Responding to those testimonials is impacting positively your employer branding, thank those who said a kind word and ensure the unhappy ones that you take into account their feedback. Listening to them is a way to improve not only your online reputation but also your company itself.
Your job postings:
The job market changed and with it, the employee’s expectations. People want an inclusive, empathic and comfortable work environment. Before applying they will check online if your company is compliant to their needs. Communicating about your values and ethics as an employer is a necessity when publishing a job ad online.
Now that you understand what your employer branding is made of, we will speak a bit about why it is important for you, as an Irish business, to manage it in order to attract talents.
2 – Irish labour market
The labor market in Ireland has been profoundly changed over the last 20 years. Irelands corporation tax politic brought on the multinationals, who were offering way more than just a job with a salary.
With the presence of those tech giants on the market, a talent migratory flow quickly followed. We have now in Ireland a wide network of highly skilled workers with a very diverse background. Which makes hiring way more interesting right? Well, not so much if you don’t understand what the workers are looking for.
Google, Facebook, Amazon… those companies seem to be far away from being your contender, but it’s closer than what you think when it comes to recruitment.
Between your job posting and their job posting, there is a world. How can an SME compete with them when it comes to free food, state of the art offices, comfortable salary and stock option?
It’s hard and when you don’t communicate enough about what makes you a good employer it’s even near impossible.
Now, your company obviously has distinctive factors that will help with talent attraction. But you shouldn’t wait for the interview phases to communicate about it to potential future employees. You need to deliver that information as a first and necessary element of your job offer.
You need to identify a few points in order to put in place the best talent attraction strategy:
-What are people looking for when applying; outside the job description and the salary?
-How many qualified candidates are looking for a new challenge?
-How many companies are offering the same position?
-What perks and benefits those companies are offering?
After answering those questions, you can now start to develop your Employer Value Proposition, in a way, that makes you unique as an employer. The HR Daily Advisor gave a good definition of it: “EVP encompasses everything an employer is doing to attract and retain employees. It includes all of the pay, benefits, rewards, and perks that come with being an employee of that organization. Basically, it’s the reason why an employee would want to work there as opposed to finding employment somewhere else”.
If you don’t answer the questions mentioned above and develop a strong EVP, you will easily be in a position where talent attraction is a major challenge for you. Especially with the current talent shortages, which, unfortunately, won’t disappear overnight. As it stands, it’ll be the defining feature of recruitment for the years to come.
3 – Talent shortage
This term is not new and if you have been hiring for the last 5 years you are probably well aware this. Our current labor market is dominated by a massive problem to which we don’t have a miracle cure for, unfortunately.
The talent shortage has almost doubled for the last decade and it won’t go any better (cf Manpower report 2020). Especially not after the recent crisis made emerged a new standard when it comes to working, the flexibility requirement. As a business, you will face more employees asking for more flexibility in working remotely, part-time or full time. You will need to prepare a strong answer and adapt to that new challenge.
But for now, we will give you a quick outlook, without going into full details here and letting us more focus on the different solutions you can apply.
As it becomes more and more difficult to find highly qualified talent in the current market place. This eventual shortage means the internet is canvassed by companies offering themselves as the “Best Place to Work”. If you have a senior open position you need to be filled quickly, you will probably end up having to screen a lot of unfit applications and have real difficulties filling that seat, no matter what you are offering or in the end, you’ll have no choice, but to outsource the role to a recruitment agency, which can be a big cost to an SME.
For 2021 and after, let’s keep in mind that this will be even harder, as people will be looking to work remotely (WFH) and will demand that flexibility for certain industries and positions. Which, let’s be honest, a lot of companies still need to catch up on that part.
But you can also see this as an opportunity! By promoting, with efficiency your EVP( Employer Branding Proposition), by developing perks and benefits that other SMEs don’t offer at the moment, you can play on this talent shortage to secure the people your company needs.
4 – Solutions
I’d to quickly present the different solutions that you can apply to your business, these require a lot of strategic thinking and planning, but overall, it will offer you results on the quality of talents attracted and a chance to overcome the talent shortage.
-Know your brand and communicate on your strength.
Candidates can’t guess what makes you a great employer; you need to deliver this information with consistency. Developing this strong EVP is the first step. Ask your current employees for feedback and widely communicate around it. This can be done through anonymous staff surveys to putting pictures on your social media of internal events, such as staff promotions, birthdays or Staff events (whenever Covid-19 goes away).
-Recognise and understand the right platforms.
Get to understand how your potential candidates are using social media and other job boards during a job search and use it to your advantage. It’s important that you take ownership of online Indeed or Glassdoor accounts that are already there and have reviews or current or ex staff on them. Don’t shy away from bad reviews, take accountability. A litmus test for any business owner, who maybe isn’t aware of what information is out there about their company. Just type your company and “indeed” and “glassdoor” into google. This in turn will allow you to develop content that will present accurately your brand and EVP. Remember, post online with intelligence and track the results to improve your future campaigns.
-Understand your target audience.
The job market is changing; employees are getting younger and they have a different set of motivations to older employees. Try to identify and understand these motivations to know how to attract and retain them as staff.
-Always be learning.
Post Covid-19 will be a time of new work habits and behavior, be sure to keep an eye on the new trend in order to be able to identify the solutions your company needs.
Yala took an opportunity to reflect on what 2019 and challenges the Covid-19 crisis created. We saw an opportunity to help SME in Ireland promoting their EVPs on a unique platform to allow them to compete with the tech giants when it comes to talent attraction and retention.
Yala connect will allow candidates to take on information around what makes you a good employer through employees and c-levels testimonials as well as a window into your work environment.
You can visit our platform here or ask for a call back from our sales team here-
We are looking forward to help you develop a strong employer branding and improve your talent attraction strategy.
- EVP definition from the HR Daily Advisor: https://hrdailyadvisor.blr.com/2016/01/18/what-is-an-employee-value-proposition/
- Manpower – Talent shortage 2020 : https://go.manpowergroup.com/hubfs/MPG_WhatWorkersWant_2020.pdf?hsLang=en
15 years’ experience recruiting senior managers for major international consultants and contractors. Barry is one of the founding directors of Propel. Prior to this, Barry worked for 10 years for Randstad, the 2nd largest recruitment organisation in the world. Managing teams across the UK and Ireland & delivering recruitment solutions to major clients. Barry is a graduate in International Business from Trinity College Dublin. He has a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the Smurfit School of Business.
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