Building an Employment Brand is a Long-Term Solution Designed to Provide a Steady Flow of Applicants
You know that all the money you spend on your employment brand (e-brand) needs to generate successful outcomes, while having a positive impact on your bottom line. Promoting your e-brand is not only about where you place your job opportunities (newspapers, job sites, the careers page on your company site) but it is also about what you are saying to potential employees that will make a positive impression.
E-branding isn't just about running ads when you need employees, but also when you are not hiring. Sound a bit crazy? Think about it. You may not be hiring right now, but that does not mean that you shouldn't be building your pipeline for your next star employee. The best candidates are almost always passive, so the only way to pull them into your recruiting process is to develop and promote a compelling and differentiating image of your organization as an employer. Conventional wisdom dictates recruitment advertising stops when hiring stops. You may think your company doesn't need candidates, so why bother to recruit them? Why waste our recruiting budget. But that is the farthest from the truth. Actually, it's a really great time to attract your next hire.
E-branding is the process of placing an image of being a "great place to work" in the minds of the targeted candidate pool. It is a concept borrowed from the business side of the enterprise. Product branding is designed to create a statement and develop a lasting image in the minds of the consumer so that they start to automatically associate quality with any product or service offered by the owner of the brand. An e-brand does the same in that it creates an image that makes people want to work for the firm because it is a well-managed firm where workers are continually learning and growing. Once the image is set, it generally results in a steady flow of applicants. E-branding uses the tools of marketing research, PR, and advertising to change the image applicants have of "what it's like to work at your firm."
A successful e-branding strategy does the following:
- It develops a common theme so that current workers tell friends and contacts a similar story about what it is like to be an employee of the firm.
- It builds and reinforces the public's image of the firm's culture, work practices, management style, and growth opportunities.
- It coordinates the e-brand with the company brand and its different product brands.
- Drive more qualified candidates to your open positions.
- It continually monitors the firm's employment image both inside and outside the firm to ensure the brand image remains strong.
- It energizes the best potential candidates to apply for jobs at the firm.
A strong e-brand will even attract even the most passive prospects to an organization and predispose them to consider its employment opportunities even when they wouldn't consider openings anywhere else. Brand management, therefore, is now among the most important tasks for Staffing Departments. It involves the development, promotion and oversight of an organization's value proposition as an employer.
When job seekers looks for a great place to work, they want to know what makes your company special. To be effective, an e-brand must be a complete expression of
the attributes that characterize the employer's workaday experience. It is not a cumbersome mission statement, but a window into what it's like to work in and for
Be Real. An e-brand is not the place for wishful thinking or spin. It must be believable to both the external audience and, equally as
important, to an organization's employees. Use key phrases like "work/life balance"; "leadership opportunity"; "recognition"; "challenges
and responsibilities"; "job security". These are some things that define a Great Workplace.
Be Relevant. An e-brand should highlight the attributes that are most important to the high caliber workers an employer most wants to
recruit. The best way to identify those factors is to ask the consumer. What made the organization's best performers say "Yes" to its employment
offer and what keeps them there? Use testimonials from current employees in your e-branding efforts.
Be Recognizable. An e-brand must differentiate an employer and set it apart in the minds of the top talent the organization is trying to
recruit. It should be a unique combination of attributes expressed in a way that is unique to the employer.
Where to Promote your E-brand
E-brands are meaningless statements if they are not seen by the "consumers" an employer is trying to reach. Be sure to brand your Career Center!
Make sure you have information on the benefits of working for your organization as well as any awards you have won for being Great Workplace placed prominently
on your home page AND your "careers" page on you company web site.
Be sure to keep your Career Center updated with current openings and respond to applicants quickly. Keep job descriptions concise and appealing.
Since the best talent is often employed and/or passive in nature your e-brand ads must be visible far beyond the "Career Center" on your corporate website.
Aside from advertising on your site:
- Promoting your E-brand in the key places where your target demographics hang out, both online and off, is imperative. Posting your career opportunities on
industry specific career sites (like SeniorHousingJobs.com) or an industry association job mart (ALFA, AAHSA and AHCA) is your best bet.
Advertising where your target audience hangs out is the best 'bang for your buck' and will save you lots of time and money.
Niche sites deliver senior living talent right to you (weeding out those with no Eldercare experience) and will increase web traffic to your company website.
- Print newspapers, print professional journals, and commute time radio programs.
- When all else fails, you can advertise on the large, generic career sites, just beware of the quantity of resumes will certainly outweigh the quality if
seeking professionals who work in retirement homes and aging services. If industry experience is not important, the big job boards can attract tremendous
traffic to your postings.
It is important to be sure that your e-brand is promoted constantly, even when your organization is not hiring. Building your e-brand and branding your
organization as a great workplace is not easy and can be a very involved process. Done well, it will add value to your company.