Don’t underestimate the importance of employer branding in online recruitment.
Because the landscape of HR is changing, rapidly, and the focus is now on people, recruiters must up their game quite substantially. The sector is highly competitive and those that are reflecting a positive employer brand and are innovatively engaging with job seekers are without doubt attracting the better candidates.
According to an article¹ written by Richard Mosley for Harvard Business Review, the term “employer brand” was first defined in the mid-1990s. It referred to a company’s reputation as an employer, as opposed to its corporate brand reputation. Of course, so much has changed since the 90s. The dynamics of attracting and retaining top talent have become more complicated. The world of recruitment is increasingly playing in an online space, which, of course, means that reputation is very consumer driven. So, as an employer, how do you ensure you remain ahead of the pack?
Well, what have we learnt about candidates?
1. They are online;
2. They are more selective than ever; and
3. They do their homework.
The recruiters that understand this know that to speak to the right candidates you need to engage with them.
So how do you do that?
– You give as many details as possible in your ads;
– You do NOT place anonymous ads – candidates want to know who is speaking to them and they want to do their research into who you are;
– Put yourself in the shoes of the candidate – if you want to speak to the right people then you have to think carefully about what they want to hear. Think about using your current employees as advocates; and
– And have a compelling story to tell – it’s no longer just about the promise of a salary and a career. Good candidates are looking for company culture, interesting brands, a workplace they can believe in. So tell your story.
A strong employer brand strategy will pay dividends. It is your company’s reputation as a place of employment. According to Universum², employer branding is “the process of promoting an organisation as the employer of choice to a desired target group which a company needs and wants to recruit and retain.” If this isn’t enough to convince you of the value of good employer branding, let’s break down some of the benefits:
– It reduces recruitment costs by ensuring your messaging speaks in the right way to the right people;
– It attracts top talent (of course!);
– It creates a sense of pride with existing employees – the benefit is not just external it helps with retention of current staff too;
– It differentiates you from the competition;
– Improves employee retention (see above); and
– Enhances your company’s image in the community.
Basically, creating a positive employer brand has no downside. Online recruitment is now an essential tool in sourcing the right candidate. But I believe it’s no longer just about having a job-seeking presence online, it’s also about building an engaging and powerful brand that works to attract the right people. Employer branding is a game-changer. Compared to just a few years ago, the onus is now on the employer to attract the talent. So as a recruiter you need to think like a marketer and look at your employer brand like a candidate in order to convert more and better candidates. What is your employer brand saying about the company? Are you reflecting brand authenticity?
Always remember, the right candidate is in a position to choose where they would like to work.
Marc Privett is the Head of Careers24, www.careers24.com.
This article appeared in the December 2015 issue of HR Future magazine.