Employer Branding: What Is It and How Can It Grow Your Business?
A company’s provided service or product is important, but a company’s employer branding is even more important for long-time success. Read more below, including how this special aspect can grow your business.
Nearly everything has a metric. Even employer reputation, and how it affects a company’s chances of securing top talent. Data shows that most workers – up to 86 percent – would not apply for or continue to work for a company with a bad reputation, either among the public, or among former employees.
While the importance of a company’s reputation has never been higher than in the age of social media, where every product and service is at the mercy of the opinions and influence levels of the customers who have had experience with them, a company’s reputation among its employees is equally important, if not more so.
Your employer branding, which represents how your employees perceive your company and how they rate their experiences while working with and for you, can be key to gaining and retaining talent, building a productive company culture, and avoiding bank-breaking controversy.
Defining the Employer Brand
At its most basic, a brand as a concept is a way to distinguish one service provider or product from another. The more your brand can separate itself from the competition in a positive way – through better quality, a better experience, a better reputation – the more likely you are to take control of the local, regional, and even international market.
The same concept applies to hires and long-time employees. Your brand’s identity at work and to the people who work with you is important as both an incentive, and security. Positive employer branding means people want to work with and/or for you, to the point that they’d take a position at a company with better employer branding for lower pay.
When things do get rough, having a great employer brand can help you keep your talent around. They know that it’s worth wading through a crisis together to help the company survive, than simply take the opportunity to jump ship and find a better place to work. But building an employer brand is a different process from customer-facing branding.
Building a Better Brand in 2020
When top talent looks for a place to work, they want their value to be recognized. They want good incentives, including great pay and benefits. But they also want a work environment that they can be excited about.
And when they’ll ask around to learn more about what it’s like to work at your company, they won’t just be interested in your products and services, but they’ll want to hear about day-to-day management, workplace culture, work philosophies, and the company’s ambitions and values.
They want to get a sense of what it’s like to be part of the team. And if that experience doesn’t sound appealing or doesn’t make for a very good story, then your employer branding is lacking.
Creating a strong employer brand requires a multi-faceted approach. Some things you want to be aware of include:
- Understanding who you want to attract, and what it is that might attract them.
- Creating and supporting a compelling narrative on the company’s values and mission.
- Figuring out how your existing employees feel through tools like Glassdoor.
- Keeping tabs on how the competition builds their employer brand.
- Generating branding through shared employee experiences.
- Developing an effective onboarding process.
- Prioritizing personal and career growth and constant learning.
With the advent of the COVID-19 crisis in 2020, a successful employer brand will also include a forward-thinking and adaptive approach toward the difficulties of the crisis. This means offering innovative flexible working conditions, a widescale adoption of cutting-edge communications tools and policies, and a speedy retrofitting of all existing office space to accommodate new workplace requirements and create a safe and secure workspace.
While a lot of employer branding relies on utilizing your own means to create a better employee experience, not every company has the means to invest heavily in creating safer workspaces. However, that’s where companies can turn to coworking spaces, and leverage their services to fortify their employer branding, with a focus on flexibility and safety.
Coworking places like The Collection help small to medium businesses opt for safe and flexible working conditions during and after the pandemic. They make for an excellent way to transition into a work-from-anywhere workplace policy.
Coworking spaces are also an excellent option for larger companies seeking to minimize costs as they transition into a hub-and-spoke model (based on hub-and-spoke distribution), without compromising workplace benefits or eating into their employee’s expectations of a convenient and welcoming workspace.
Live and Breathe Your Brand
Customers spend time and money on your products and services. They expect quality on par with what they’ve invested. A successful business will go above and beyond those expectations and develop a relationship with a customer rooted in a product or service that is much better than the competition. And a customer experience that continues to outperform the rest.
But building a brand around that quality, and catering to a loyal customer base, is very different than building an employer brand.
Where your customers spend some time and money on your brand, your employees spend an inordinate amount of their time working to bring those results to the table.
Not only do they want to be appreciated and paid, but they want a company culture that reflects how they feel about their work – a sense of pride for quality, dedication to the end product or service, and a workplace they can be happy about. All of that requires a genuine relationship between the employer and the employee.
While marketing and a strong customer-facing reputation can mitigate the impact of a product’s weaknesses on a brand or minimize the drawbacks of an earlier-than-planned rollout, there’s no point obfuscating anything between a worker and their boss.
Employees know how a company operates better than anyone else, and any employer branding that doesn’t match the day-to-day reality and experiences in and out of the office will come off as disingenuous and condescending.
The worst thing you can do is try to sell your brand to your workers without the substance and culture to back up your material. It might work when it comes to attracting new hires – but if you plan on keeping them around, your employer branding should shed light on how great it really is to work at a company like yours.
Building your employer brand to attract and keep talent is a long-term process, one that requires identifying what your workers need, communicating often enough to ensure that they feel heard, and fostering a workplace culture and environment that makes your business the best place to work in town.