Don't Become Blockbuster Video: 5 Steps To Build Your Employer Brand And Attract Today's Workforce

Adapt.

You have to learn to adapt.

If you do not, you will go the way of Kodak, Blockbuster, and Research In Motion (Blackberry).

Their failure to be innovative and adapt to future trends are well-documented, and they were all doomed because of a simple premise:

“That’s the way we’ve always done things around here.”

This way of thinking is what kills companies. Things might be great now, and everyone might love going to the store to rent movies (as in the case of Blockbuster), but what about the future? How might the Internet impact the way people watch movies?

Netflix knew that answer. Blockbuster did not. The rest, as they say, is history.

Companies with smart leadership look to innovate in every aspect of the organization. Recruiting is no exception. With unemployment at its lowest level since August 2007 (4.6%), and millennials increasingly entering the workforce (up to 75% by 2025) with high turnover rates (average tenure of 1.6 years per job for those age 18-35 in January 2016), companies have to look to new ways to both recruit and retain the workforce of the current and the future.

This is where employer branding comes into play. Employer branding (or EB, for short) is how prospective and current employees view a company as an employer of choice. A number of factors come into play when determining how strong a company’s employer brand is, including but not limited to benefits, training and development, recognition, work-life balance, and corporate social responsibility. Depending on the person, profession, industry, and the like, some factors are stronger than others.

Employer branding is becoming an important part of recruiting strategy. According to LinkedIn, employer branding leads to 100% increased job consideration and 28% lower turnover. And the impact is also felt in the bottom line. Companies with strong employer brands enjoy 50% lower cost per hire, 2.4 times more revenue growth, and 1.8 times higher profit margin increases than those who do not.

So it is no secret that employer branding is gaining steam. 59% more companies invested in employer branding in 2016 compared to 2015, according to a LinkedIn study on Global Recruiting Trends. So how can your organization jump on board and adapt to the growing trend? Below are 5 steps to help get you started.

1. Make The Business Case

Employer branding can reap many rewards, but it will require an investment of time, resources, and dollars. Make the business case by showing to leadership why this initiative will pay off in the long run. Is your company planning to launch new, revolutionary software that will require a recruitment strategy around software engineers? If your current strategy of recruiting and retaining these people is not reaping the results you were hoping for, show leadership why EB is the solution since these engineers are in high demand and your firm needs to stand out among the pack. You can use the figures mentioned above to make your case. Getting buy-in will be crucial towards implementing a successful EB strategy.

2. Revamp Your Careers Page

Your careers page will be among the first thing prospective employees check when they want to apply to your company. Don’t just fill it with boring job listings. This is your chance to make the case as to why they should consider you over other companies. Don’t just list your Employee Value Proposition (or EVP...in other words, the values you bring to the table as an employer to both current and prospective employees), tell your EVP. Share stories from your current employees (more on that later) on why your company is awesome. Immerse them in the experience.

3. Rev Up Your Social Media

This runs along the lines of revamping your careers page. Sure, your company may have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn account, and it may be already doing a great job from a consumer branding perspective, but is your social media strategy effectively building the awareness of, and ultimately converting, prospective employees? Show them the cool things your company is building. Take them into the lives of employees and show them what a “day in the life” looks like. Engage them in fun activities by inviting them to caption pictures of funny moments. Show them how your company is making an impact in the community. All these things matter to the ever-growing millennial workforce, especially in social media, so you are going to want to incorporate them into your strategy.

4. Tell Stories

Everybody loves a good story, especially if it’s one they can relate to. EB is no exception. Storytelling is one of the most effective tools you can use to strengthen your employer brand. They cannot be made up, however. Your stories must be authentic so they can be relatable. They must allow for the consumer of that content to place themselves in that situation and say, “Yes, that company would be perfect for me!”

Here are some excellent examples of companies embracing the concept... Let employees share their experiences, both good and bad, about how it’s like to work at your company, and share those stories through your career page and social media. Create your own stories about why you and your team are passionate about the work they do everyday. Are you helping to save lives? Are you making life easier for your consumer? Are you helping to solve a world problem? Not only will prospective employees start to fall in love with your company and want to apply to it because of strong alignment to their core values, but you keep your current employees engaged because it says to them that their voice matters, which brings us to the final step…

5. Engage Your Employees

Keeping employees engaged not only helps in retaining them, but also helps in EB. People love to share cool things about what they are doing, whether it’s a new recipe they are trying out, a kitchen they are remodeling, or a new personal record in exercising. This includes work-related projects as well. If employees feel that they are being heard, that there are no small parts, only small actors/actresses (as the saying goes), that the work is interesting, meaningful, and impactful, and that they are getting recognized for work well done, then they are going to let their friends and family know. These people are going to become your brand ambassadors, and they will be the window into your company’s soul. Keeping these folks engaged helps to bring awareness to your brand, and will compel people to look into you further and eventually apply.

By telling stories and engaging employees, you never want to force employees to do those things, but rather encourage them. Incentivize their involvement with social media by perhaps awarding an employee Social Media Maverick of the month award for most shares, posts, and the like (obviously, your social media team would be ineligible for something like that!). Think of creative ways to encourage participation. And remember that it is imperative that the content be authentic, good or bad, especially if your company values transparency. This article shows how the use of unique corporate hashtags can hel...

Also remember that EVPs are revealed, and not created. Learning how you are perceived as a company on both the inside and the outside can help you take steps to establish an EVP that is attractive, unique, and credible. As Dustin Clinard, a Managing Director of the Americas at Universum... “Your employer brand is what people say about you as an employer when you’re not in the room.”

Employer branding is fast becoming the norm in the realm of recruitment, and your organization does not want to be the one lagging behind trying to catch up. Following these 5 steps will help lay the foundation to building a better reputation of you as a workplace, both inside and out, as you will need this to help recruit and retain the workforce of the present and future. Failure to do so will not land many Kodak moments for you down the road.

Anthony E. Gyamfi is a Universum certified Employer Branding consultant and entrepreneur based in South Florida. He holds two Master's degrees from Boston University and is passionate about recruiting and making employers attractive places to work. Contact him today at EmployerBrandingAEG@gmail.com for your Employer Branding and/or recruiting needs.

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