Having a compelling story to tell about why candidates should join and stay at a company is no longer optional if you want to compete in today’s talent market. A competitive employee value proposition and attractive employment brand balance the best parts of culture, career and experience to appeal to the hearts and minds of current and future employees alike.
A hyper-competitive talent market means we are living in a world of candidate’s choice. Candidates are inundated with recruiter messages, job postings and LinkedIn ads. Prospective employees often form opinions about a company long before their decision to apply, making your employment brand the single most important tool for grabbing the attention of the talent your business needs.
Consider this example. A national insurance company sets out to revolutionize its digital experience which requires aggressive hiring of technology talent. This company offers technologists an opportunity to work on the same cutting-edge platforms as the tech giants with greater work-life balance and autonomy. It’s an attractive value proposition for in-demand talent. Looking at their careers site, however, candidates would never know that, meaning this company was losing potential candidates before they even clicked “apply”.
An employment brand, also sometimes referred to as an employer brand, comprises how your EVP is perceived in the labor market — your distinctiveness, appeal and influence as an employer. A specific and well-articulated employment brand can help companies avoid creating an expensive and unproductive revolving door.
The successful integration of an EVP and employment brand not only attracts the right talent but repels talent who may not be a good fit. This both improves the quality and fit of candidates, and the engagement and retention of current employees.
All hope is not lost for companies currently underperforming in the employment branding arena. Four key considerations of an employment branding strategy can help move your company from underachiever into the winner’s circle.
#1 Define your “secret sauce”: Aspects of your company’s EVP that are consistent, attractive and valued make up an organization’s unique “secret sauce” to attract and retain talent. Understanding the combination of tangible (benefits and rewards) and intangible (culture and development) offerings that is most important to your talent and the talent you want to attract is critical to a best in class EVP.
#2 Picture your ideal candidate: Organizations need to hire many different types of talent to operate, and yet often specific roles or skill sets contribute disproportionately toward executing the business strategy. An employment brand should prominently feature the aspects of the employee value proposition and experience that are most compelling and valued by your most critical talent segments.
#3 Get the word out: Brand visibility and a positive candidate experience are key drivers in a candidate’s decision to apply and accept a role. Over 66%* of candidates conduct their own research, reinforcing the need for a transparent and consistent employment brand across recruiting collateral, social media and other candidate-facing channels.
#4 Deliver on the promise: Candidates are increasingly selective about choosing an employer offering an experience that aligns with their personal career goals, values and lifestyle. If an employee’s experience does not align with expectations or promise of the EVP, disengagement and turnover are likely to follow. Employees often share these realities on forums like Glassdoor and Facebook which can erode even the best employment branding efforts.
Don’t know where to start? Lotis Blue Consulting can help. And remember: Your current employees were once candidates who joined and now stay for a reason. Bottle what makes your company a unique place to work and the right candidates will surely follow.
Originally published in the Talent Board: 2019 North American Candidate Experience Research Report.