Companies may spend a wealth of time and resources to recruit promising candidates, but many don’t put as much emphasis on employer branding as they should. Though branding may seem more of a passive method of recruitment than actively seeking out candidates, it is often just as valuable, and perhaps more effective and efficient in the long run.
With the right branding, companies can automatically attract the best fit candidates, eliminating more than a few who don’t fit the company culture, despite qualifications. A special report by LinkedIn released in 2012 called The State of Employer Branding indicate that 83% of companies recognize the impact of employer brands, and 54% have a proactive brand strategy. Company websites are believed to have the most impact, while word of mouth and social professional networks also have a fair amount of influence.
For effective branding, it’s necessary to solidify the company’s business plan. Be sure of the company’s current state of affairs and have a clear idea of where it might be headed in the future. From this business plan, develop a target workforce – identify the desired skill sets and experiences you need to fulfill your business goals. In short, define and know the type of people you want.
The last step is the actual branding plan and execution. In order to attract your desired candidates, you need to convey an attractive company personality and promise. Create an emotional connection through multifaceted campaign platforms so that candidates see more than just a one-dimensional workplace. Don’t be afraid to be bold, so long as you live up to your brand promise. Set expectations and make clear potential opportunities for advancement. Communicate the company’s values, purpose, and culture through outlets such as company webpage, social media, print, industry events, and PR. Face-to-face contact often leaves a bigger impression on candidates than a myriad of text on everyday inanimate objects, so make absolutely sure that recruiters and current employees are fully aware of the brand and know how to effectively convey it. Also, be strategic with the kinds of messages you send through different mediums – in other words, know and cater to your audience.
As recruitment becomes more competitive for top talent, company branding is a valuable and underrated tool that not only attracts better-fit candidates, but also mitigates recruitment costs in the long run.