While its true marketing, human resources, and recruiting have different targets – their overall goals are the same: Attract. Retain. Grow.
Now more than ever, companies are focused on hiring key talent and realizing that just sifting through social channels and job boards will soon not be enough on their own. As competition for talent increases, strategic companies are focusing on developing employment branding strategies to help take their workforce to the next level.
What is “employment branding”?
Employment branding is not a fad, trend, or buzzword. It’s a something that drives what kind of applicants you attract – and ultimately who clicks that little “apply now” button on your job postings. A good employment branding strategy will not only save you time by cutting back on the number of unqualified (and in some cases, unwanted) applicants, it will strengthen your company image in the eyes of applicants and position you as a great place to work (this is important as attracting and retaining top talent forecasted to become more competitive in the near future).
Sounds good right?
Of course it does, but getting there isn’t as easy. Here’s the issue with employment branding: it’s a shift in thinking – destroying department silos, forcing managers and directors of marketing and human resources to work together under similar strategic goals. These kinds of changes aren’t always welcomed, but when they are – the results have a very big impact.
Building an Effective Employment Branding Strategy.
Whether you’re a growing small to mid-sized company or large organization – recruiting, human resources, and marketing are all functions essential to the success of your business. These functions sculpt the business, increases profitability and fosters growth.
Here’s how human resource professionals and recruiters can start developing an employment branding strategy:
Have a marketing mindset.
Start developing applicant personas. By segmenting and understanding individual wants and needs, you can better develop targeted employee value propositions. Create different messaging in job descriptions that will resonate with individuals with different skill-sets. Also, get rid of the one-size-fits-all career page and messaging – especially if you’re hiring for a variety of roles in different capacities. Promoting company details like culture, perks, work-life balance, and telecommuting are all options to include in job descriptions and company career pages.
Have a goal.
What are you trying to accomplish? Think about that. Well defined goals are critical to the success of your employment branding strategy. Without one, you’re like one of those sticky hands you get from the gumball machine – you know, the ones that you fling as hard as you can and wherever it sticks, it sticks? You don’t want that. Don’t execute activities and just hope for the best. Goals keep efforts aligned and on course for the same overall purpose.
Job descriptions, copy on career site pages, even social media messages are examples of areas that need to be written with employment brand goals in mind. General and broad messaging attract resumes from serious, to not-so-serious applicants which wastes time, effort, and resources. The more specific and tailored you can be on your job description, company culture (keeping in mind your segments) you’re likely to attract quality candidates that are right for your company, which in turn increases employee retention.
Build an employment brand that continues to sell.
Traditional marketing channels are not off-limits. Use digital channels and get creative on how they can support your brand. For example, using video to illustrate company culture will resonates more and is search friendly. Whatever the channel, using marketing tactics, channels, and resources will be your friend when attracting top talent.
If you haven’t invested in an applicant tracking system, now is the time. A good employment branding strategy will substantially increase the number of applicants you receive, so an ATS system is crucial to making sure you’re managing all your applicant information, communications with hiring managers, and messages – all in one place. If you’re not familiar with applicant tracking systems you can sign up for a free trial with ApplicantStack here or schedule a live demo with us. Applicant tracking systems can dramatically increase applicant process efficiency, leaving applicants remembering your company as organized, professional, and courteous.
Analyze & Measure.
This is another area your applicant tracking system (ATS) can help. Run reports on the success of your efforts and put data insights into action. Are you getting a lot of applications but none that don’t fit the requirements you’re looking for? If so, perhaps you’re being too general with your messaging or aren’t asking the right screening questions. These are things an ATS can help you execute in a fraction of the time.
If nothing else, remember that your employer brand should be communicating to the world that your company is a “great place to work.” Employment branding isn’t something that happens overnight and requires the collaborative work of human resources, recruiting, and marketing to attract a winning workforce.
How are you developing your employment branding strategy in 2014?