Last updated: 27th October 22
Applies to: Business Owners
Have you been thinking about how to portray your employer brand?
What exactly is an employer brand?
As business owners, we each have a unique story.
How did you get where you are now?
Why did you set up your company?
Who are you striving to help?
What difference are you making in the world?
And what’s it like to work at your company?
So why is it essential to think about this when hiring new people?
When looking to grow your team of employees, job-seekers want to have a clear understanding of what you do and whether they would like to be a great addition to the company. Potential new employees, and perhaps freelancers, are an audience that wants to hear from you.
All you have to do is tell your story in a way that truly resonates with them.
This is your Employer Brand.
It’s the equivalent of your marketing strategy aimed at a specific audience or customer avatar.
I was once told by an HR Manager of a successful high-end bathroom company in London that recruitment had nothing to do with marketing.
How wrong they were!
Your employer brand is all about how you communicate with your audience of potential employees.
And if your story doesn’t resonate, that’s okay… they’re not your next employees! There are plenty of companies that will better fit them.
The process of figuring out who you are and how best to tell your story to potential employees should remain constant for every company, even if it sometimes seems daunting.
There is no cookie-cutter answer on how best to communicate who you are, and what you do i.e. your employer brand. It all depends on what your company goals are and what matters most to your growing team.
Figure out what is important to your team
Initially, it’s best to start with who you know.
Your existing team.
Figure out what they value within their job role, the culture, the fun times and the environment during stressful, busy periods. You can do this by taking the following steps:
1. Ask your team members what they’re working on.
- This will help you understand the current state of your company and how best to portray it as such.
2. Audit of the company’s values.
- Ask your team what they value.
- Make sure you’re all aligned.
- Your team needs to know where their efforts are headed.
- Make sure that everyone is aligned with these core principles and use them throughout your hiring decisions
3. Identify which elements of the business are important to different stakeholders:
- Within your company, customers vs investors, they will have different values and needs.
Once you know which aspects matter most, use that information when creating content about yourself and your company culture.
These details will make you stand out from other companies who are also hiring
How do you want to be perceived as a company?
Before you start your hiring process, be clear about what you want to communicate and how. You also need to be clear about what you don’t want to communicate and how.
This is all about your branding – the process of creating a consistent identity for your company in the minds of your potential new employees.
Employer branding is an ongoing process; it’s not something that happens once and then continues on autopilot forevermore. It’s worth taking time every few months (or even every few weeks) to revisit your branding strategy and make sure that everything aligns with where you’re headed as a company—and how you want to grow with the right team of people.
Just as you share testimonials from customers and clients, share testimonials from your team. This alone will allow potential employees to get a feel for your culture, and what it may be like to be a member of your team.
Create a voice… your voice
A brand’s voice is the overall personality of your company as it communicates.
Your brand’s voice doesn’t have to be literal or even human; it simply needs to convey a clear tone, style, and voice through all of your content and throughout the hiring process.
However, for employer branding, given it’s aimed at human beings ie. your potential new employees, most companies opt for a human look and feel to their employer branding.
Here are some ways you can create a consistent voice for your business:
- Common terms:
- Come up with common terms that represent how you want to interact with potential employees.
- Are you going to use words like “fun” or “cool?” And importantly, do your team think working at your company is “fun” or “cool”? If not, please think again!
- Will everyone at the company refer to customers as “guys?”
- It might seem silly at first, but these small decisions make all the difference in how people perceive your company over time.
- Making impressions:
- Write down what feels right when talking about other companies in an effortless way (i.e., not too formal, or overly salesy).
- Better yet, ask your team to write down their thoughts and contribute to your employer brand.
- Think back on times when someone made an impression on you by saying exactly what they needed without being pushy—that should give you some direction on where your company voice/employer brand should go!
Don’t be afraid of being personal
When you’re talking to people, don’t be afraid of being personal.
Be yourself; this is who you are and what your company is all about.
Don’t try to put on a show or hide behind a persona that doesn’t feel right for you.
If it doesn’t feel right, ask yourself whether this is imposter syndrome rearing its ugly head or it’s simply not right for you and your employer brand.
You’ll find that being human can serve as an asset when it comes to creating connections with others and growing your team. It shows that you have the same flaws and struggles as everyone else does, and, in turn, people will relate more easily to your brand if they know there’s someone like them behind it all.
Being honest about the fact that we’re not perfect makes us more relatable than any other type of recruitment strategy could possibly do on its own; let people know who they’re dealing with!
And while there may be times when showing vulnerability might seem like a bad idea, it’s important not only because it makes communication easier but also because humans tend not only towards empathy but also compassion.
Both qualities are extremely important when trying to sell products or services and growing your company, and this is no different when exploring your employer brand.
Use your communication to tell a bigger story
When considering your employer brand, there are two things you should consider:
- Engage with your audience ie. future employees
- Tell a story about yourself or your company.
Your goal is always to get a potential new employee to feel connected to you, and imagine them being happy in your team for a long time.
Your employer branding is working if they can imagine themselves in your company and you being their number-one choice when looking for a new job role. The best way to do this is by giving them an entertaining narrative that resonates with them on an emotional level.
Use TikTok if that is where you feel comfortable and it’s an authentic platform to you… and just like with marketing to your customers, is this where your ideal candidate hangs out? Or is LinkedIn better place for you to focus?
Your internal culture influences your messaging
While you’re working to understand your potential next employee, think about what has worked before and what could work in the future.
Don’t be afraid to communicate!
If you, like us, have a regular team lunch, talk about it.
If you send a welcome parcel to new employees, say so. Better yet, ask your new employee to post about their experience.
If you, like us, have a rhythm to the working week, like a 9.15am Huddle each day, share about it.
If you are a hybrid organisation, what does this look like and how can you put out videos, photos and posts about how this works really well for you?
Equally, if you’re 100% remote as a company, share more about how this works well for you and your team members. Encourage your team to contribute to your messaging also. A post on LinkedIn about the merits of life/work balance from one of your team can go a long way towards contributing to your employer brand.
It’s important for your company’s identity and it’s important for your brand.
You want people to know what it is that you stand for, especially when trying to grow your team. So, make sure you’re accurately portraying yourself as a company with these tips in mind – they’ll help guide you through the process of creating effective external messaging that aligns perfectly with your internal culture and values!
So, will you be making changes to the way your company is portrayed to your potential new employees?
Please share your ideas with us by tagging @Your People Partners if you share on LinkedIn as we’d love to share who you are and what makes your company the awesome place it is to work!
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Still need help?
If you would like more advice regarding the recruitment process, feel free to get in touch with the team at Your People Partners. We love to help!10 Ways to Improve Your Employer Branding by Helen Sanders of Your People Partners by hwingrove