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The Importance of an Employer Brand

10 Oct 2014
Michelle Lownie

Importance of an Employer Brand

What exactly is employer branding?

A brand is an intangible asset that differentiates a company from its competitors. For years marketers have been measuring brand equity, striving to improve it in order to gain market share and encourage consumers to choose their brand over everyone else’s.

As the war for talent intensifies, businesses are looking at methods to create and define their employer brand. An employer brand can be defined as the intrinsic attributes which communicates company culture, its presence, position and quality, in order to attract the best talent in the market and to retain employees in the business.

Why is it important?

Do people want to work at your company? As talent acquisition becomes more complex and candidates become less dispensable, your business’s employer brand is what assures job seekers that your company is the one to work for.

Digital and social media have made access to employer brands much more accessible. Job seekers can gather information about the company’s culture, employee benefits and social activities, all from doing their own research. If a job offer is made, then it is this information that can determine whether they accept the position or not.

But it is not just about attracting new people into your business. Your employer brand is also important for employee retention, particularly when they feel they’re part of a distinctive workforce, with attractive career prospects and outstanding brand values.

It’s time to innovate and differentiate. As Generation Y begins to move up the career ladder, people will be attracted to companies with the best reputations, enhancing a company’s position amongst competitors.

A good example of a grass roots business that has built up a strong employer brand is Skyscanner. Formed in 2001, Skyscanner understands the complexities and the value of attracting the top talent to their business, creating an area of their website to communicate what it’s like to work for the company. Potential employees are engaged straight away and are able to watch videos, view pictures and read testimonials to showcase what life at Skyscanner is like, and why they should want to be a part of it.

It is also worth considering the tangible benefits; an increase to the talent pool, generate employee advocacy and reduce staff turnover and recruitment costs. Companies with a weak employer brand tend to have to pay a premium to attract and retain employees, whereas those with a strong employer brand do not.

Re-energise your employer brand

There are several benefits to having a good employer brand, however how do you build one?

The first step is to research. Take a dispassionate look at your business and answer the following questions:

  • What makes the business a unique workplace?
  • Is your company a good employer?
  • What is important to potential and existing employees?
  • How are your competitors perceived? 

Once all the information has been gathered, it’s time to action change. Some quick methods to improve your employer brand are:

  • Get active on social media. Be where the people are and encourage advocacy. Go that step further and allow employees to use social media whilst at work.
  • Consider how and what you communicate. Select the right images and use a tone of voice that encourages trust and respect. Whilst you should engage, it’s important that it suits your business type and sector.
  • Be as open and transparent as you possibly can be. Share successes and milestones. Has your business recently celebrated an anniversary? Tell people about it – it all forms part of your employer brand.
  • Create a section on your website where you showcase the people of your business, their feelings and experiences whilst working with your company.

Author

Michelle Lownie
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