Gone are the days where companies could simply focus on the attractiveness of their product, service or brand name when hiring. Today, businesses have to consider how they are viewed as an employer as well. Otherwise, securing top talent could become a challenge.
The Importance of Building an Employer Brand That Attracts Competitive Candidates and Retains Top Employees
Companies need to build their brand and manage perceptions if they want to attract highly skilled professionals to join their business. This goes beyond traditional branding to include the employee experience and how information about the organization’s culture is shared.
This part of the company’s image must be carefully crafted and honed. In fact, it needs to be a part of the business strategy. If it is done well, it will go a long way towards ensuring your ideal professional candidates are enticed by your business and any open job opportunities. If you want to build a powerful employer brand, here is what you need to do.
Evaluate Your Reputation as an Employer
Before you can build an effective employer brand, you need to understand where you are today. To do this, you have to consider a number of factors, looking both internally and externally. Sometimes this can uncover displeasing information, but it’s better to know and address as soon as possible.
Assess Your Brand
Review your branding strategy, ensuring that it is clear and consistent across all mediums and that it is in line with the overall business goals. However, in today’s connected world, a company’s image goes beyond their business cards and website. They play a large role, but it’s just a small part in the overall online presence, which is still just a portion of the complete corporate image. When each aspect is considered, what message is being conveyed to the world? Would qualified job seekers want to work for you? Would other companies want to do business with you?
Take stock of external factors that could impact the company’s image as well. Are candidates and former employees leaving positive or negative reviews online? Are they venting about past work experiences or acting as advocates for the business? An overly negative outpouring of content, whether on review sites or social media pages, could hinder overall perception.
One of the simplest options is to survey a variety of individuals, including current team members, recent job applicants and professionals who are part of your target audience but are not employees today. This allows you to gather feedback regarding how you are viewed, taking into account a range of perspectives.
When you craft the questions on your survey, include points that are known to be of importance to your target audience. For example, most Millennial workers prefer employers who offer opportunities to learn, grow and advance, so you can ask participants whether they view you as being successful in that category. Similarly, you could request that they describe your culture based on their own knowledge of the company.
Create a Plan Based on Your Analysis
Once you review the company’s reputation, you can identify areas where you excel as well as shortcomings. Then, you have the ability to craft a strategy for overcoming weak points. This could involve either correcting public perception – in situations where a lack of awareness of what you have to offer led to negative feedback – or adjusting your company culture or programs to meet the expectations of your target audience.
In either scenario, it is important to understand that improving your employer brand is a marathon, not a sprint. You cannot overcome any perceived deficits overnight. Instead, you need to be diligent about showcasing what you have to offer and why you should be viewed as an employer of choice.
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