“The way in which candidates search for their next opportunity has evolved” – we caught up with experienced recruiter Stephanie Brennan to discuss employer branding and why it matters more than ever for the Placed blog.

Read on to discover the bottom-line value of an attractive employer brand and some simple ideas for bringing your company culture to life online.

What’s the importance of creating an employer brand and why should employers invest in it?

“In short, a strong employer brand will help you to 1. Attract top talent and talent that aligns to your values and mission and 2. Retain the A-star talent you already have in your business. Not to mention it also helps reduce hiring costs. It’s a no brainer!

The way in which candidates search for their next opportunity has evolved: the focus has shifted from just the company, job title and salary. In today’s talent attraction market, it’s about the culture of the company. What do you stand for? What’s your mission, vision and values? What are you doing to give back – from Corporate Social Responsibility to employee perks and benefits?

A prospective candidate, especially Gen Z, will look for a new job in the same way they book a hotel or restaurant. They’ll read reviews, look at pictures, and gather as much information as they can before they decide to hit that all important ‘Apply’ button. Gen Z candidates that recognise and relate to a company are more likely to apply.”

So, you are going to place employer branding at the top of your recruitment strategy for 2021 – where do you start?

“It can be a minefield! In order for your employer branding message to be effective and have some real ROI you need to demonstrate social proof. A jobseeker will want to find out exactly what it’s like to work at your company and the only way they are going to find out is from your current or previous employees.

The platform Glassdoor has become hugely popular for employees to leave their honest feedback while remaining anonymous. I have to admit, I was turned off progressing my application with a company before because all the reviews I read were negative.

I recommend scouting out new joiners across all levels to write testimonials on why they joined your brand and how they have found their experience so far.

An employee testimonial needs to be real and authentic – you need to accept both the good and bad feedback that is left. Once you have your testimonials, post it across your different social and recruitment platforms to make it visible to all potential candidates. Make sure you get testimonials regularly so this is a constant flow of new content going live.”

On the subject of social and recruitment channels, do you know which one attracts the most candidates for you?

“For your employer brand to be successful in engaging both passive and active candidates you need to be reaching them on the right channels.

LinkedIn is hands down the main job platform but what about the smaller niche job boards? I often found recruiting for Sales Consultants in the retail sector, I would have to think outside the box to attract them. It was job platforms like Placed where I could specifically target and reach out to talent that came from specific industries. It was more than posting a job but a platform that allowed me to share our employer brand story with those searching on the site.

For recruiting talent of the future, it’s about being present on social sites such as Instagram and TikTok, the platforms they can relate to and spend copious amounts of hours on. Plus it puts your employer brand as forward-thinking. It allows you to be creative and fun with the content you produce and gives the opportunity to shine the spotlight on your employees in a real way.

A great way to do this is to build employee takeovers into your social media content planner. One week it could be a member of the Finance team and the next the Marketing team, allowing for each week to be different. If you are recruiting a role for a particular team, it’s a really powerful way for potential applicants to get the nuggets of insight into the team and work they do.

A number of brands now have a separate Instagram account from their consumer page focussed on their staff and what happens behind the scenes. A brand that does this really well is retailer Next (handle: @lifeatnext). It’s definitely one to check out for inspiration as the content they post is raw (no glossy images) and a true reflection of the people working for the brand.”

If you remember anything about this article, remember this:

  • All staffed organisations have an employer brand, whether they actively take steps to develop it or not.
  • An attractive employer brand brings real bottom-line benefits – according to Hubspot it can reduce turnover rates by 28% and cut your costs-per-hire by half. Additionally, 75% of active job seekers are likely to apply to a job if the employer actively manages its employer brand.
  • Be present on the platforms that your candidate audience are using – and have fun with it! Share behind-the-scenes action, post testimonials, encourage staff takeovers. Do everything you can to make your company feel like an aspirational place to work.

Boost your employer brand with Placed. Get in touch today to book your free demo.