Whether you’ve made an effort to create one or not, your company project a brand to potential employers, and it plays a critical role in attracting and retaining talent. Most companies spend a large amount of time and effort creating and promoting their consumer brand, but here’s the thing: building an employer brand helps you gain great talent, which can ultimately improve the bottom line. Even just from the hiring cost perspective – employers with a strong employment brand see a 43% decrease in cost per hire.

So what is an employer brand? Essentially, your employer brand answers the question “why should potential employees want to come work for you?”. A strong employer brand demonstrates your company’s culture, mission and values. Job seekers today spend a lot of time doing online research before applying to a job or accepting a job offer. In fact, 38% spend one to two hours researching a job and 18% spend two to four hours. By making employer branding a part of your company’s marketing strategy, you will build a positive image of your company which will give potential employees a reason to want to work for you and will create a pipeline of informed and excited prospects.

Building an employer brand is definitely a long-term game, and you need to continuously provide recent, relevant, and accessible information on your website and social. Conveying the right message is important, and we’ve established seven steps to get you started:

  1. Know Your Audience

Do you know who your ideal employee is? It shouldn’t be just about their skills, abilities, and experience. To find the right employees and to retain them, you need to make sure you’re hiring people that fit into your company’s culture and that will succeed in your environment. Think about what you value most in your current employees, what interests them, and what challenges they face. Write these things down and create personas of ideal employees for your company. Build your brand around these ideals and traits, and target people that fit them.

  1. Make it Relevant

Once you’ve established your ideal employee, begin to build content to engage them and capture their attention. Concentrate on the values that you find valuable and that you connect to your brand and culture. By doing this, you will target the employees that fit these same ideals. And of course, don’t forget to practice what you preach! Misleading employees will lead to quick and high turnover and will tarnish the reputation of your brand.

  1. Say it with Pictures

Using imagery is absolutely obligatory in this day and age. Just as in consumer content marketing, using images in employer brand marketing is essential on a biological level –90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual and marketers can use this to their engagement-boosting advantage. A study by MDG Advertising found that articles with images get 94% more total views, and visuals make content more memorable. Social media is a great forum to tell your company’s story in a visually-driven way.

  1. Tap Your Current Employees

Your current employees should be your biggest cheerleaders – so why not use them to promote your business? Collect first-person accounts of what it’s like to work for your company and use those stories to create videos, blogs, social posts, etc. Then encourage sharing of that content through social and professional networks.

  1. Keep Your Careers Page Current

Create a well-informed careers page on your website that includes up-to-date job openings, as well as static information about the benefits and perks of working for your company. You can also use this page to highlight all the cultural aspects of working for your company. The more information, the better – employees are looking at that site, and giving them good information will help them make the best decision in the long run.

  1. Narrow Your Focus

If you are looking to hire specialized talent, it may be beneficial to look at specialized job boards and online groups where your job posting won’t get lost in the mix. Targeting specific employees on Facebook and LinkedIn can also help you focus your search.

  1. Engage Directly

Capitalize on every opportunity to engage in conversations with your ideal potential hires. Social media is a great platform to hold conversations – you can speak about issues in your industry, share stories about your company and colleagues, or comment on industry-related posts.

Building an employer brand will take some time and effort, but the end-game is that you will find employees that not only fit your needs, but fit your culture which will ultimately lead to a better functioning workforce with lower turnover.

Want to start building your employer brand? Contact Advance Ohio and let’s chat about how we can help.