Recruitment is very much a candidate’s market at the moment. With an abundance of open roles and not enough good talent to fill them, these hiring market conditions make it difficult for businesses and recruiters to locate and attract top talent.
One of the best ways you can change the game is by investing in outstanding employment branding.
Other elements are at play, but employment branding is a major factor in any candidate’s decision. We’ve recently seen huge investment in this approach from human resource teams who are desperate to improve hiring metrics and employee retention, and know that it’s a trend that is only going to get more important as this year goes on.
It’s not just about how your career page looks. It’s much more complex than that.
So, we’re here to discuss the essential elements that make a good employment brand.
We’re also going to look at five brands that are actively pushing the boundaries with their employment branding and are a beacon of light for passive candidates who aren’t easily pried away from their current position.
So what is employment branding?
In simple terms, employment branding is a strategy that a company uses to position and market their business to make them an attractive employer to the very best candidates.
It encompasses a range of different elements, such as your online reputation, candidate experience and journey, culture and corporate values.
When you have an attractive employment brand, you’re guaranteed the highest quality candidates entering the hiring process and staying in the business long term.
According to a study conducted by LinkedIn, 72% of recruiting leaders worldwide agreed that employer brand has a significant impact on hiring. Interestingly, having a strong employer brand can also have a direct impact on you or your client’s bottom line, with an average 28% reduction in employee turnover, 50% cost-per-hire reduction and businesses hiring 1-2x faster. Businesses are seeing the effect in their pockets too!
Here are some important elements of an employer brand that your customers should be looking to establish and/or improve:
Employer Value Proposition (EVP)
An employee value proposition is a base for all employment branding work. It helps the business understand what they can offer new and existing employees, leading to better job advertisements and more effective recruitment processes.
The EVP is usually a selection of a few elements:
- Career Development
- Company Culture
- Team Culture (eg. sales vs development)
Business function alignment on these elements of the EVP is a vital part of the employer branding process, especially when it comes to the candidate experience. Different stakeholders in the hiring process delivering different messaging can create confusion and detract from the things that brought the candidate through the door in the first place, and a good EVP helps you avoid these.
Having a strong, well thought out EVP can have a variety of attraction benefits for your organisation. If you need help establishing your EVP, we regularly work with recruitment organisations to deliver EVP work directly to their customers.
You can learn more about building an EVP here.
An online reputation is difficult to manage, particularly as most of it comes down to customer reviews and case studies. But we’re also looking at company reputation from an employee standpoint.
Glassdoor, which has 67 million unique monthly visitors, is one of the largest tools that allows you to review employers, compare salaries and apply for jobs directly. As an employer, you can own your organisation and manage the way your organisation is perceived.
They’ve recently published some great statistics which show the importance of tools such as this and the effect they have on candidates before applying for a role. According to Glassdoor:
“75% of active job seekers are likely to apply to a job if the employer actively manages its employer brand (e.g. responds to reviews, updates their profile, shares updates on the culture and work environment).”
“Nearly 3 in 4 (74%) of Glassdoor users read at least 4 reviews before forming an opinion of a company.”
Candidates are searching Glassdoor for the lowdown on roles with your company, and how you’re perceived on these networks is crucial and is helping to form candidates’ opinions before they apply for positions in your business. You must take control and ensure your Glassdoor information is up to date, actively managed and reflects your EVP and the rest of your employment branding elements.
This also applies to social media networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. As we discussed above, having all of your teams aligned (including your social and marketing team) on your EVP and the brand image you’re trying to portray is key.
Candidate Experience and Journey
The candidate journey is every touchpoint (or lack of) that the candidate has with your brand and internal or external recruiting team throughout the hiring process. From application to offer, this journey should be mapped and iterated constantly, with your business frequently seeking feedback from candidates and employees.
Here are some gripes from candidates that have been through hiring processes:
- Lengthy and legacy application process. An example of this was asking candidates to upload a CV, and then asking them to fill out a huge form that outlines the information in the CV. Why not remove the friction?
- Poor communication. Candidates are unsure if the application was received, what the next steps are, etc. Some simple automation here can be used to ensure you’re sending updates and highlighting why your business is worth this whole process. It’s a great opportunity to keep the candidates happy and show off your employment brand with content, reviews and more.
- Drawn-out interview processes. We’ve heard candidate stories of 8 interview stages, requiring the candidate to repeat the same information over the space of a month. If you need that many stakeholders involved, cut this down and have panel interviews. Asking a candidate to dedicate 12+ hours (including travel etc..) is exhausting and very off-putting.
- All about you. Take a look at your job ad. Most likely it tells the candidate about your business and how great you are. But what’s in it for them? Why should they want to work for your organisation? Flip the script, stand out and attract more candidates.
Business Culture & Values
Knowing the business culture when walking into a company is key to a candidate’s day-to-day happiness. There are a ton of elements to building a company culture. Here are some questions candidates often ask:
- Do the company values align with mine?
- What does work/life balance look like at your company?
- What is the office vibe?
- What’s the business’s position on diversity and inclusion?
- How does the company celebrate employee success?
- Who are my team and how do they interact?
- How does the hierarchy operate?
- How driven is the organisation?
- What’s the day to day pace like?
Remember, culture isn’t all about going for that Friday evening knees up!
Does your leadership team have an open floor once a week that encourages employees to drive business change and direction? This is something you should be shouting about.
Is your organisation pushing for B-Corp status and doing all it can to give as much back to the community, with paid volunteering time and charity support? Again, something that you should be shouting about.
Every organisation is different and these elements should be ironed out throughout the employment value proposition piece.
There are a ton of other elements involved with building a well-crafted employment brand, but hopefully, this will give you some food for thought.
We can help you establish a strong employer brand and are actively looking for new organisations to work with. Please feel free to speak to us about employment branding if you’d like to reduce your time to hire and employee attrition rates.
Five Businesses with Fantastic Employment Brands
Bain and Company
Bain and Company have got their employment branding strategy right, and have done amazing work over the past decade to focus on the candidate to provide a workplace that employees clearly love and a business that attracts the top talent in the management consulting space. This sees them compete directly with the likes of KPMG, McKinsey and PWC.
Here are some things that stand out in Bain and Company’s approach:
- Rated number one employer on Glassdoor and are highly engaged on the platform. Of anonymous employee votes, “93% would recommend to a friend” and “97% approve of the CEO”.
- The career site provides a smooth and intuitive user experience. There’s a message from the CEO addressing the above Glassdoor award and the site offers a unique journey based on your current status.
- There are a ton of insights into the business with profile bios to read about team members who do specific jobs, in specific locations – this allows you to get a feel for the people specific to your desired role.
- They have a bunch of attractive benefits that are in place to make a difference in the employee’s life. Some of these include two months off to rejuvenate and/or fulfil personal goals, global transfers if you’d like to explore new cultures or parts of the world, gender-equal 52 weeks of maternity and paternity leave with the first 29 weeks fully paid.
- Interview assistance and support on the website that guides you through what to expect and how to prepare, this includes mock interview videos to watch
There’s a ton more I could talk about this brand, but you can check out the Bain and Company candidate experience here.
Salesforce always pushes its employee and social enterprise efforts to the forefront of all its employment branding pieces. Whether it’s their Linkedin Life profile or their careers website, these two elements are always key features. This makes the brand super approachable and has helped them win countless awards for their hiring experience and employee retention.
Here are some of the highlights:
- They have a 4.4/5 star rating on Glassdoor, with overwhelmingly positive feedback around the culture, benefits and leadership within the business.
- Big focus on interactive video features throughout all of their employment branding content and makes the business feel human and warm. It also makes information digestion much easier and you can get a feel for the culture and passion through these videos.
- They incorporate their employment branding campaigns into their day to day marketing which demonstrates how much of a people-first organisation they are.
- Leading employee programmes like the B-Well which focuses on building a leading wellness benefits package, to the Trailblazer programme where you’re allowed to give back to the community, develop leadership and speaking skills and much more. A real focus on people development.
- As a large organisation, they have multiple countries in which they operate and hire. They have bespoke, localised career pages for each country, providing more relevant insight into what it’s like working in each country, with country-specific social enterprise news and much more.
Check SalesForce out here.
Sprout Social is another business that has invested heavily in its employment brand and is doing a fantastic job. They have a ton of recognition including being one of the best workplaces for parents and women. They’ve also picked up awards for being one of the best workplaces in the Technology sector, and Chicago.
Some cool things about Sprout:
- They have a fantastic 4.8/5 rating on Glassdoor, with 97% of people saying they would recommend to a friend and approve of the CEO.
- They have some interesting employee benefits including unlimited PTO (paid time off), free lunch, progressive 4-month maternity and paternity leave and many more that aim to make the business an attractive option.
- Interesting job descriptions that provide deeper insight into the role based on time with the business, for example, “Within 1 month, you will” and “Within 3 months, you will”.
- They have a strong focus on their diversity and inclusion and get this across in all of their marketing collateral which adds a human side to their business and also promotes candidates from all walks of life to apply for their roles. They’ve also donated $500k this year to organizations fighting discrimination
Check out Sprout Social here.
The famous craft commerce company is a hit with its employees, and for good reason. Etsy has made huge strides to make its organisational culture and employee offering as human as possible. They boast a huge 4.6/5 stars on Glassdoor with 91% of employees saying they would recommend working at Etsy to a friend and 98% approving of the CEO.
They’ve developed some great things as part of their employment branding overhaul. Here are a few highlights:
- Etsy has moved to an enhanced hybrid work model to encourage flexibility and autonomy throughout the business. This is something they shout about heavily in their employer messaging.
- Employees online rave about the fantastic culture, work/life balance and the great people alongside a great product and community to serve.
- Strong focus on social and environmental responsibility and programmes outside the business that make an impact including climate and diversity with a huge push for employees to join them to make a real impact.
- They have a range of attractive benefits including 26 weeks of fully-paid parental leave to all employees, 40 hours per year of paid volunteer time to make an impact, Paid lunches and snacks, plus a ton more.
- They have won a ton of awards including best places to work for LGBTQ equality, top engaged workplaces, and workplace innovators to name a few.
Check out Etsy here.
Lower is a full-stack lender and platform for home financing that has put a lot of effort into attracting the best talent on the market. They are a rapidly growing fintech firm who are putting employee growth at the forefront of everything they do and it’s working. They’ve recently ranked in the top 10 best places to work in the USA in the small to medium business category and boast a huge 4.9/5 rating.
Here are some things we think Lower are doing well:
- They start their careers page with the large titles “Aim higher” and “Dream bigger” and then continue with tons of similar messaging. They are actively looking to attract ambitious individuals and their tone is built just for that reason. They understand who they’re trying to attract and they nail it.
- They highlight the amount of success and progression that happens within the business before you even get to look at roles. Stats like 275+ promotions last year, 15 new management positions, 88% started from entry-level roles etc…
- High energy videos showcasing team members speaking about the culture, team members, fun and much more. Gives candidates a glimpse of the business energy.
- They have a smooth and efficient 3 stage interview process which is expediated with 83% of candidates rating their experience as excellent. Strong communication throughout the process is part of this too!
You can check out Lower.com here.
I hope you can take some of the elements above and apply them to your brand. Or if you’re a recruitment business, perhaps you can help your customers apply it to their brand and hiring process.
We are now offering employment branding services for organisations looking to reduce their attrition and attract better quality talent. We have developed a winning strategy to create and develop a successful employment brand and we’d love to hear from you.
If you are a recruitment business working with clients that need an employment branding overhaul, then we can offer a white label solution, fully managed and delivered to your customers – simply get in touch and we’d be happy to chat this through.
You can contact the team here.