The way others perceive your company can be critical to attracting, engaging, and retaining top employees. A strong message that clearly communicates why you're an employer of choice can set you apart from your competition and help attract like-minded employees. That's why many successful companies actively develop an employer brand to highlight their reputation as a great place to work.
Here are some guidelines for developing and communicating your brand:
Your culture and brand are unique to you. Consider conducting surveys among applicants, new hires, and long-term employees to find out how they perceive your company. This will establish a baseline by which you can measure the effectiveness of future employer marketing campaigns.
While not every employer can offer the highest pay, you likely have strengths that are attractive to certain workers. Think about what makes your workplace unique and what you value. For example, maybe you give employees greater flexibility, promote diversity, foster a culture of social responsibility, encourage creativity and innovation, and/or empower employees to be involved in decisions that affect their jobs. Use these unique attributes to develop your brand.
Ensure policies and practices support your brand.
Review your policies and practices to determine if they accurately reflect your brand. If there is an inconsistency in what you are presenting as your brand and what employees are experiencing on the job, your efforts may come across as inauthentic. For instance, if flexibility is part of your brand, make sure supervisors support that (such as, scheduling meetings when all employees can participate and approving flexible schedule requests when appropriate).
Communicate your brand.
Once you have a clear vision of your brand, develop a strategy for communicating it and make sure supervisors and upper management are reinforcing it. Use multiple platforms to get your message out, including social media, videos, your company's website, and job advertisements. It can be especially effective if you have testimonials from current employees.
Evaluate whether there are positive changes in attitudes about your company and whether there's a positive impact on employee retention. Compare data from surveys and exit interviews, employee referrals, turnover, and the time it takes to fill open positions.
Employers that have a strong brand are generally able to attract and retain employees with shared values and have an easier time filling job vacancies. Decide what makes your company unique and develop a strategy for communicating why you're an employer of choice.