How a strong employer brand helps with both recruitment and retention

Taurus Marketing founder Sharon Williams.

Business owners may be more focused on keeping staff employed through the pandemic than hiring anyone new, but attracting talent is a key part of maintaining brand relevance, risk management, forward-planning and refreshing the team gene pool.

After all, employees are your most important asset. Your team plays a pivotal role in business continuity.

When it comes to recruitment and retention, a strong employer brand is one of your organisation’s most important assets.

It’s the value proposition that makes your company stand out to job-seekers and makes existing employees proud to work for you.

If your employer brand falls out of whack, or the expectation gap widens, people will start looking at other employers.

Notably, 72% of recruiting leaders worldwide indicate a strong employer brand has a significant impact on attracting the best quality in hiring and retaining talent.

Equally, 75% of job-seekers revealed they consider an employer’s brand before even applying for a job.

With current unemployment rates surging and the need for strong, resilient talent, having a reputable employer brand is key to the strategic business agenda, particularly as you re-invent post-COVID-19.

So how do you strengthen your employer brand to attract the right people, and more importantly, keep your best talent?

Employers want the best talent. Employees want the best job. Simple. Or is it?

Redefine your employer brand

The first thing you should do is redefine what you want your employer brand to look like.

Due to COVID-19, this will require leaders to reconsider what has always been, and factor in new post-COVID-19 realities, such as future-thinking, safety, flexible working conditions and work-from-home options.

Here, the secret is not necessarily in monetary perks, but in team culture, where people are heard, mentored, acknowledged and respected.

While it is important to provide the best financial benefits a business can afford, an employer brand is more about the simple and emotive things.

When redefining your employer brand, outline what your brand experience is and what working for your company looks like beyond the initial recruitment and employment offer.

You are more likely to attract like-minded people when you articulate core values with authenticity.

The real work begins

Your employer brand is constantly being shaped and influenced by online mediums, customers, competitors, the media and industry influencers around you.

Your employer brand is your company culture and identity. Whether discreet or ‘out there’, your presence needs to be seen.

It’s increasingly important to take responsibility for your own brand.

Where to start?

1. Tell your story and share your expertise

Here, all eyes will be on you. Boost your business’ voice in the media and your team member’s personal profiles.

Lead discussions and drive thought leadership. People invest in intelligence. Smart attracts smart.

2. Social media strategy

Visually share your values, people and culture. Present the benefits of your company to your targets within the online community.

3. Engage your employees

Do this via a consistent stream of online content, such as thought leadership blogs, company news, videos, website features, as well as events.

4. Industry award submissions

Get recognised as an employer of choice, from recognition for general company culture initiatives to hard work in successful client campaigns.

And celebrate these wins, of course.

5. Internal comms

Smart leaders know the importance of engaged internal stakeholders, and the impact this has on organisational culture, client relationships, product quality and business success.

Make it a priority to keep your staff in the loop.

Communication is business-critical in today’s era, so share company milestones, cultural activities, team progress, journeys, and learning and development initiatives.

The key is to keep your team feeling positive, optimistic and actively engaged with the ever-evolving work environment and your vision for the future.

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