In the internet age, you can bet that everything said by—and about—your business reaches job applicants. Are you putting your company’s best face forward to attract and retain top performers? If not, it’s time for a makeover using the following brand improvement tips.
75% of job seekers check out an employer’s brand before deciding whether to apply for an open position, according to CareerArc’s Employer Branding Study.
Tip #1: Focus on leaders
Of all team members, managers have the greatest impact on company culture and employee engagement. Gallup found that as much as 70% of employee engagement is related to manager influence. When managers are highly engaged, employees are nearly 60% more likely to be engaged as well.
A word to the wise: focus on keeping managers happy and it will trickle down to the rest of your company, creating a stronger employer brand from the inside out.
Tip #2: Manage positive PR
Quickly addressing negative PR is a must so that a thoughtless Tweet doesn’t become a brand killer, but did you know that building positive PR is just as important when it comes to cultivating a strong employer brand? Share good news about your company!
- Show off those shiny trophies you’ve won
- Announce awesome new products and services
- Share great customer testimonials
- Recognize employee accomplishments—for instance, on Administrative Professionals’ Day, humblebrag on your Facebook page about how hard your secretary Tommy works
- Post information about your company’s philanthropic causes and why you support them
Tip #3: Stay competitive with salaries and benefits
An oldie but goodie: don’t offer weak salaries and benefits packages if you hope to attract great applicants. A great company culture is worth more than money to a lot of candidates but that only goes so far. If you’re well under average starting pay level, you’re playing with fire.
Plus, offering competitive salaries and attractive benefits shows that you care about your workforce, which is a huge brand booster in and of itself.
Tip #4: Ignore exiting employees at your peril
Every employee heading for the door is an opportunity for improvement. You may have already lost those exiting team members but there’s still time to retain other employees who are becoming disengaged for the same reasons. Make time for exit interviews to ensure that your company culture is on the right track and your employer brand stays strong.
Tip #5: Develop an EVP
An employee value proposition, or EVP, is a statement that articulates why top performers should join your organization over another. Basically, an EVP summarizes an employer’s brand and expresses what they’re offering to employees. For instance, beauty brand L’Oreal promotes “A thrilling experience. An environment that will inspire you. A school of excellence.”
Think about what differentiates your business from others—a goofy culture, an awesome 30-day vacation package, the ability to help others every day—and then transform those ideas into a one- to two-sentence EVP that resonates with the candidates you hope to attract and retain.
Tip #6: Screen for brand ambassador qualities
Employees are your company’s unofficial publicists—they will spread the word about your culture and company policies (good and bad) to their friends, family members, professional connections, pets. They may even share their opinions with strangers online; job search and employer review website Glassdoor features more than 10 million reviews... and counting.
How can you ensure that your “publicists” are spreading positive tidings rather than criticism? By screening for candidates who really connect with your company’s mission and core values, who love what they do, and who have the potential to become great employee brand ambassadors. They are the ones who will engage with your company after hiring and lead the positive PR charge via word of mouth and online.
When screening, look out for these 5 personalities that make the best employee brand ambassadors.
Tip #7: Onboard for lower turnover and a more appealing workplace
You’ve checked finding the right candidates off the to-do list. Next order of business: helping them become more engaged and committed to your company by onboarding from the very first day. New employees who experience a structured onboarding plan not only become more productive faster, but are also 58% more likely to stay with the company for three years.
That means lower turnover, better workplace culture, happier employees, and higher-quality applicants when a position does open up. Need we say more?