A long time ago, I was approached by a Human Resource Manager online offering me to apply for a role in their organization. I was not looking to switch at that time but I thought of reading more about them. As soon I Googled the company name, the low ratings came up on the screen and they lost face in my head.
If I replace myself with an interested candidate in the above scenario, they will avoid the company, like a plague. All because of some bad reviews by disgruntled ex-employees.
Let us take another scenario. I read an answer on Quora by the CEO of India’s leading food delivery portal. He had to post a three-page lengthy response to an answer given by an ex-employee. The reason was that the opinion shared by ex-employee had spread like wildfire and was impacting their hiring process dramatically.
What to do?
The answer to these problems is Employer Branding Strategy. Companies confuse ‘Employer Branding and Corporate Branding’ as the same. The latter focuses on building the company’s reputation in the industry and among its clients whereas the former is solely for building a positive brand image to attract culture-fit talent. For example, people want to work for Google, Amazon, etc. not just because they’re at the top but also for reasons like the state-of-the-art workspace, employee-friendly company policies, focus on employee development, etc. Though I want to say that we do all this and much more at Sarvika Tech, but that’s a topic for another day. I digress (oops!).
It’s high-time companies start taking employer branding strategy seriously. The reason — poor reputation, negative company culture, personal career goals not aligning with the company’s mission, etc. are some of the many reasons why job seekers do not apply for a specific job.
Enough about the problems, let’s talk about ways to start building your company’s employer branding.
Share people’s stories.Employees are interested in knowing about the people working in the organization. Often potential candidates reach out to existing employees to ask about the work culture, growth opportunities, etc. Why not the company itself share fun stories about their employees via interview sessions and publish them online? These practices help in building a strong human value for the company.
Talk about policies.Earlier companies used to guard their policies like some secure, internal communication document. Modern-day organizations are marketing their employee-friendly policies to attract top talent. Policies like the five-day working, WFH, engagement activities, etc. are promoted online to build a strong employer brand.
Appoint company ambassadors.As discussed above, potential hires reach out to current employees to get awareness about the company environment. Companies are now appointing current employees who maintain an active presence on job search platforms like LinkedIn, as their ambassadors. They are responsible for ironing-out queries of candidates approached by the company or are interested in becoming a part of the team.
Handle negative feedback maturely.Ever heard of the phrase: You cannot make everyone happy because you’re not Netflix. Few employees will always leave your organization carrying a grudge and vent out their frustration on social platforms. Handle these situations smartly because mud-slinging attracts a crowd like moths to the flame.
Build an alumni network.Start an alumni program and ask separating (or separated) employees to become a part. The alumni circle will multiply your brand-building efforts and come in handy in spreading the word about open positions.
Leverage social media.We start our day by scrolling through our Instagram feed and end it by posting pictures on Facebook. Having accounts on LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Glassdoor, Instagram, etc. is a must. In addition to posting about services offered, inform about the type of work culture the company fosters, team building activities, etc.
Never burn bridges.The point is for both: companies and employees. People leave organizations for better opportunities or higher pay or any personal reason. It is a never-ending cycle and both parties should separate ways on a positive note. Employees might share things they found wrong in the company, and the other side can point out their shortcomings. One must handle feedback smartly. A lot of time it happens when employees join back the system.
One plan does not fit all.
The alumni network is perfect for a company with more than 500 employees, whereas not-so-useful for a startup or a small to medium sized company. Social media promotion for a new organization delivers better results and is free, whereas large organizations have reached their social media saturation point.
Employer branding strategies, like any other plan or policy, are subjective. Small companies should try a mix and match of above mentioned to test what works for them. Big organizations should hire brand building professionals who can guide them and help in achieving results. No matter the size of operations, the fact remains unchanged: Do not take employer branding lightly, or the company will end up paying the price.
If you’d like to add something or share your own experience of how employer branding impacted the hiring process, then feel free to write to us here.