Building a great employer brand isn’t just a matter of pride. It’s also integral to boosting your recruitment marketing efforts.
LinkedIn research finds that “a company’s employer brand is twice as likely to drive job consideration as its company brand.” So, improving your reputation as a great place to work, for example, could have more impact on talent acquisition than improving your company’s reputation for having great products.
Like with any form of branding, however, it can be hard to pinpoint an exact, replicable formula for success. Some companies might excel by being known for their employee perks, like Google’s fabled nap pods. Others might stand out for a unique work culture, like how hedge fund Bridgewater Associates has a polarizing emphasis on transparency and accountability.
That said, you can look at what other companies are doing well and try to apply similar tactics and strategies to your own employer branding efforts. You can also ask employees and applicants what they think of your employer brand and use that data to uncover areas ripe for improvement.
Technology such as recruiting software and onboarding software increasingly make this type of data collection and analysis easier. Emerging technologies like AI are also starting to get more integrated into talent management software and other tools that make it easier to lift your overall recruiting efforts.
Here, we’ll take a more in-depth look at how tech can improve your employer brand.
Provide a Great Applicant Experience
Your first impression with a prospective candidate can go a long way toward shaping what they think of your employer brand. And as applicants progress through the hiring process, it’s important to use tech that creates a smooth experience.
“Delivering a positive candidate experience cultivates a strong employer brand. This reputation becomes a powerful asset, attracting talented candidates and setting your organization apart in a competitive market,” says a LinkedIn article from Amish McDonald, founder and CEO of The ATherapee Group; he’s also worked as an employer branding lead.
To deliver this positive experience, he writes, it’s important to focus on areas like making it easy to apply to openings. Technology like an applicant tracking system can help, and candidate management systems can automate areas like providing candidates with updates.
That said, it’s easy for tech to work against you. If you’re trying to mold the application process to fit a particular tool, like making candidates fill out all of their work histories so that it aligns with your software, that can cause frustration and abandoned applications. Or, if you use a particular type of video interviewing software that applicants are unfamiliar with and need to download, that could hamper your efforts.
So, focus on tech that makes the process easier for candidates, not just for your recruiting team.
Case Study: Deloitte Personalizes Careers Pages
Before candidates even apply to an opening, they might browse your careers page to see what positions are available and learn more about your employer brand. Sometimes, however, these pages are hard to navigate, especially if an employee is unsure how they might fit in at your company.
Yet Deloitte offers a unique, interactive tool on its careers page that enables a more personalized experience. Called “Explore Your Fit,” the tool presents prospective applicants with a series of questions about what they’re looking for in their work. The quiz does not require inputting any personal information nor does Deloitte use it as an assessment.
Instead, the responses are used to create what’s essentially a personalized careers page.
“Once you’ve answered the questions, we’ll create a custom guide to help you navigate career opportunities. Your guide has an overview of your core fit area (for example: tax, consulting or analytics), and lots of information to explore—people to meet, other fits to consider, professional development,” explains Deloitte.
Bridge the In-Person/Online Gap
Another aspect of building a great employer brand is being able to engage candidates in different formats. If you have a hybrid workforce, for example, the hiring process might involve a mix of remote and in-person interviews. Having high-quality recruiting software can help your internal teams better manage this process, while also making it a smooth experience for applicants.
For example, having a tool that enables you to easily share notes about candidates across interviewers can make the actual interviewing process more enjoyable for applicants, as they can spend less time repeating information and more time getting to know your brand.
One such tool is Workable, which offers a candidate timeline feature that tracks everything that happens with a candidate throughout the hiring process.
“See exactly when actions were taken and stay up to date on what’s next. Interview feedback, file uploads, notes and every action is logged so you can reduce errors and improve accountability,” the recruiting software provider claims.
Case Study: Circles.Life Gets In-Person Recruits into Digital Ecosystem
Some companies place a strong emphasis on building relationships with colleges to recruit new grads, but showing up at an in-person jobs fair typically isn’t enough. You also need to be able to engage these candidates online as they apply to openings and move through the hiring process.
Circles.Life, a telecom company, uses talent management software Beamery to bridge this gap. The software offers features for in-person recruiting events, like a digital check-in and lead capture form.
“As soon as candidates are added to our community, we nurture them through Beamery’s automated email campaign functionality – sending them monthly newsletters, information about Circles.Life, company updates, job openings, and internship opportunities,” explains Alex Png, Global Head of Employer Branding, Diversity and Campus Hiring at Circles.Life, in a case study for Beamery.
Tech doesn’t always have to be new or advanced to improve your employer brand. Existing tools like social media apps shouldn’t be overlooked.
Being active on social media is a great way to show and grow your employer brand and attract high-quality candidates, but doing a good job of integrating social media into your recruitment marketing strategy is easier said than done. You need to do more than just create an account and post about job openings.
The best advice among recruitment, talent acquisition and employer branding specialists for using social media for these purposes is to be authentic and credible, according to a survey commissioned by Content Stadium.
“Authenticity is key in building your brand. Share photos and posts that offer a true-to-life glimpse of life in your company to pique interest and bait talent,” notes a LinkedIn newsletter from Aegis People Recruitment.
Getting your employees involved can be a great way to show authenticity and credibility. In addition to showcasing employees on your own channels, you can also encourage them to share your content and perhaps even their own content about your employer brand (though some companies might take a stricter approach for compliance purposes).
The Content Stadium survey finds that 77% think content shared by employees is more effective or the most effective compared to what they share on company channels.
Many software solutions exist to help you engage employees to become social media advocates for your brand.
For example, Sprout Social’s employee advocacy feature “lets employees share brand content within a few clicks and stay compliant with pre-approved copy. You’ll be able to easily validate their impact with clear storytelling data,” the social media management software company explains. Employees can also suggest their own content ideas through the software, and you can review analytics to see what’s working and what you need to improve.
Case Study: Hilton Features Employees
Hilton does a good job showcasing its employees in various ways, such as on the company’s Instagram profile dedicated to careers (separate from the regular Hilton Instagram page). The hotel brand’s posts celebrate employee milestones, share what employees’ jobs look like, highlight philanthropy efforts that employees get involved with and more.
Hilton even launched an employer brand social media campaign earlier this year, called “Every Job Makes the Stay,” which highlights the roles employees see themselves playing, beyond their official job titles.
“We chose to make team members the stars of this campaign because who better than them to speak authentically about [what] it’s like to work at Hilton,” says Laura Fuentes, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at Hilton, in a company press release.
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See What Works for You
Following these types of actions can potentially help you improve and better showcase your employer brand. But it’s important to remember that every company is different. Like with consumer-focused marketing campaigns, sometimes some trial-and-error is needed to find what works. Whatever steps you do take, however, there’s a good chance that software can help you along the way.