How do you increase your employer brand? It’s a question every internal recruiter is asking themselves on a daily basis; particularly in growth industries where talent is in short supply.
Universum recently researched “the Most Coveted Employers For Engineering Students” and, unsurprisingly, this overlapped heavily with our own unscientific survey of engineering dream jobs. Why?
These companies have a reputation for working on projects that engineers think are important or exciting – and they enjoy a reputation for being a “great place to work.”
A robust talent brand is an essential tool for both talent acquisition and retention – regardless of size. Factory Five Racing, one of the “Dream Employers” mentioned by engineers in our unscientific survey, has less than 50 employees! Engineers are difficult to come by – particularly mid-career and more senior. So to help shorten your talent acquisition funnel, we compiled a big list of 43 tools, tips and posts you can use to increase your employer brand.
Employer Branding: 6 First Steps
- Understand what “Employer Branding” is and is not.
- A Strategic Approach to Recruitment and Retention [Randstad.ca] This brief slideshow gives a broad-stroke overview of what employer branding is, what it’s not, and common mistakes employers make in their branding efforts.
- Build a business case for Employer and Talent Branding. Get buy-in from your C-Suite.
- Outline your Employer Brand strategy.
- Define your Employee Value Proposition.
- Communicate and Promote Your Employee Value Proposition.
- Ensure that that message is consistent in tone, message and delivery.
- Don’t neglect the Candidate Experience.
- Measure and Refine for Success.
- Ask, “Are we attracting and retaining the best talent?”
- In employer branding it’s what you measure that counts! [BrettMinchington.com]
- See our 11 KPIs to Measure Employer (and Talent) Brand Growth below.
8 Must-Read Blog Posts & Articles on Employer Branding
- Employer Branding Without Borders – A Pathway to Corporate Success [ERE.net]
- “While most global brands have evolved to at least a Tier 3 employer brand status, there is so much more potential for these corporations to continuing making profits while contributing to sustainable impacts on communities or contributing to solving some of the global issues which have the potential to change the world as we know it today. This includes issues such as climate change, poverty, child slavery, people-trafficking, and environmental damage. A successful global employer brand strategy which drives value creation will require a collaborative approach between business, industry, and governments and an ability to connect a company’s employees across borders through effective management of cultural diversity.”
- 2014: Year Of The Social Employer Brand Ambassador [SAP.com]
- “I think that organizations are ready to give their employees the right tools, so they can easily represent the company as brand ambassadors on social media. In other words, employers will actively explore and implement cloud-based solutions that make it simple for employees to curate and share high-quality, on-brand content with their connections.”
- 18 Innovative Ways to Build Employer Brand [Dice]
- “People take jobs (and stay in jobs) to work for great managers and collaborate with other great people. If you have great people with great stories, get them outside the walls of your company,” says Dan Arkind, CEO of JobScore. “Set aside time and money for top performing employees to blog.”
- Tips to Make Employer Branding More Effective [on LinkedIn]
- “Employer branding strategy is not the sole responsibility of the human resources department. A successful employer branding program is a team approach which starts with the leadership – CEO or Managing Director, executive team, and includes all departments – Human Resources, Marketing, Finance and so on.”
- Your Employer Brand Owns The Candidate Experience [Forbes]
- “Actions, as our moms have told us, do speak louder than words, and in the world of work they separate good managers, and great companies and truthful branding, from the mediocre.”
- Employer Branding – Define or be Defined [Edelman]
- “Given the growth in access to this type of information, the importance of a company’s own employees as part of the employer brand should not be underestimated. The 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer highlighted that the views of employees are a more trusted source of company information than the CEO (50% compared to 43%).”
- Does Your Company’s Branding Really Matter in Recruiting? [Entrepreneur.com]
- “…everything a candidate has ever heard, read or witnessed about your company will enter into the decision of whether to work with your company. Before a job candidate ever knows you, he or she will know about your company.”
- New Survey Finds Honesty Really Is the Best Policy for Companies Looking to Attract More Workers [Randstad.com]
- “The Randstad study reveals the majority of workers (78 percent) look for an employer that is—first and foremost—honest. Also significant to job hunters is finding an employer that is reliable (71 percent), secure (62 percent) and well-respected (51 percent).”
4 Tools to Monitor your Employer Brand
- Google Alerts – Monitor the web for mentions of your company. As a start, create alerts for your company name, your company URL as well as key stakeholders – the CEO and any (publicly mentioned) C-Suite executives, for example.
- You can also use Google Alerts as a competitive intelligence tool by setting up alerts for their names, or names of their key stakeholders. This is also a great way to reverse engineer how they may be obtaining publicity.
- Suggested alerts: your company name, public-facing employees, your company URL (including the extension – .com, for example)
- GageIn – Dubbing themselves “Google Alerts on Steroids” this tool is an excellent way to monitor your company as well as prospects and competitors — GageIn tracks all public US & Canadian companies, Fortune 1000 private companies, and a growing number of ‘hot’ companies. It can be customized to your unique set of trigger alerts, and will cull the Web for relevant news items, sending real-time sales opportunities to your inbox or mobile device.
- Suggested alerts: your company name, competitor company names
- Übersuggest – When you enter a search query in Google it propagates a list of suggested searches you may be interested in – Übersuggest scrapes and compiles those. When you enter your company name, the name of a public-facing employee or even one of your recruiters – this suggestion tool will return keyword ideas based on real user queries.
- Suggested searches: your company name, company name + “jobs”, company name + “careers”, any public-facing employee
- Mention – A solution to discovering how your brand is being mentioned on the social web. This tool allows you to “react quickly, collaborate, and analyze your online presence.” Though there is a limited platform available for free, to effectively use this tool on a company-wide level you’ll need to adopt one of the paid solutions.
- Suggested searches: your company name, your company URL, your public-facing employees, your company’s social media handles and any common misspellings of which you may be aware.
11 KPIs to Measure Employer (and Talent) Brand Growth
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” – Peter Drucker
KPIs, or “Key Performance Indicators”, aren’t just for the marketing department. Your KPIs are a measurement tool used to evaluate the success of the Employer Brand Growth strategies you implement. Here’s a list of ten ways to measure your employer brand growth:
- Applications (raw number).
- How to Measure: Track raw number of employee applications every month.
- Applicants from organic search (percentage).
- How to Measure: Using your web analytics platform (for example, Google Analytics), obtain the number of employee applications every month.
- Offer Acceptance Rate (percentage).
- How to Measure: Divide number of applicants who are offered positions by number of applicants who accept, multiply by 100 and arrive at Offer Acceptance Rate (Percentage).
- Unique visitors to your Careers page (raw number).
- How to Measure: Using your web analytics platform (for example, Google Analytics), obtain the number of unique visitors to your corporate career page specifically.
- New vs Returning Visitors to your Careers page (percentage).
- How to Measure: Using your web analytics platform, obtain the percentage of new vs returning visitors to your career page. Compare increase in “new” visitors month-over-month.
- Employee Retention Rate (percentage).
- Employee Engagement
- Employee Referrals (raw number).
- Social Media Account Followership (raw number).
- How to measure: Aggregate the number of followers you’ve increased across all social media accounts you’re currently using.
- Important: some platforms <cough, Twitter, cough> have many bot/spam accounts, so determine “real” followership increases with care.
- Internal surveys.
- This will need to be adjusted according to company, but on an annual or semi-annual basis, conduct an internal survey to confirm your employees are excited about your company as a place to work.
- You should also stay abreast of unsolicited, anonymous employee reviews on sites like Glassdoor.com and RateMyEmployer.ca – these are places a potential applicant may look before deciding to apply.
- Customer Loyalty/ Satisfaction.
- Great hires should mean great product and satisfied customers. However you currently measure customer loyalty and satisfaction, don’t forget to take a monthly inventory of it. Examine how your employer brand growth initiatives may be impacting your customers.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and a vibrant employer brand won’t be, either. But using these KPIs as a guideline, you can build an internal tracking system to identify what’s working, measure success, and optimize your employer and talent brand successes over time.
(We know this isn’t a complete list – please share the ways you measure your employer brand with us below in the comments section or via Twitter @HireEngineers).
10 Employer Brand-centric Twitter Accounts to Follow
If you want to stay up to date (or just continue the conversation), these are the folks to follow on Twitter if you care about Employer Branding.
- @brettminch – Brett is the Chairman/CEO of Employer Brand International. EBI “provides research, guidance and thought leadership in employer branding including consulting, publications, events/training, research and think-tanks.”
- @StacyZapar – Stacy is the “Social Recruiting, Sourcing & Employer Branding” head at Zappos. Agree or disagree with Zappos removing job postings, there’s no question they are building a formidable employer and talent brand.
- @CyndyTrivella – Cyndy is an Employer/Employment Brand, Talent Sourcing Strategist & Marketing Communications Professional.
- @JeffWaldmanHR – Jeff is the founder of StratifyCo, a company that “helps organizations solve their HR & recruitment challenges with social media solutions.”
- @ThisIsLars – Lars is the Founder of AmplifyTalent and is currently consulting with SpaceX on several employer branding and talent initiatives.
- @chrisrussell – Chris, the “Mad Scientist of Online Recruiting,” is the founder of Career Cloud and Talent Acquisition Manager at Goecart.
- @bryanchaney – Bryan is the Founder/Event Director at CareerConnects and an employment branding/strategic talent attraction professional.
- @willstaney – Will is the “Head Talent Warrior” at Glassdoor.com.
- @beckygloyne – Becky is the Global Employer Brand & Social Media Manager @Microsoft.
- @seerysm – Shannon is the VP of Digital & Social Strategy at Findly.com.
4 Advanced Resources to Improve your Employer Branding Efforts
- Review the 2014 Employer Branding Global Trends Study [Employer Branding International].
- Attend, network (and ask a lot of questions) at an upcoming recruiting conference.
- Read The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly
- Effectively communicating with people is at the heart of both marketing and recruiting; it follows that many lessons from internet-based marketing can be applied to anyone who has to use the web to communicate and promote messages. This book is a great resource for that.
- As a recruiter or HR professional, you may find that building and leveraging your personal brand can be a tremendous business asset. (Bonus: it’s an asset independent of your employer that follows you forever.) A few resources on developing personal brand:
Phew- What a long post!
But our list is nowhere near complete. How are you working to increase your employer brand? Are there any tools or tips we missed? Let us know in the comments below or @ us on Twitter @HireEngineers.Photo Credit: My Buffo