How to Build Your Employer Brand — and Why It Matters

As a business owner, you know that building a brand customers love is important. However, this isn’t the only brand identity that matters. You also have a brand as an employer.

Your employer brand can dictate whether you get lots of qualified job applicants when you’re looking to expand your staff — and it can determine whether talented professionals in your industry want to come and work for you. The impact of a positive employer brand can be astronomical, with a recent LinkedIn study indicating that a great employer brand reduces your cost-per-hire by 50%, helps you hire up to twice as fast, and reduces turnover by close to 30%.

While building a strong employer brand is clearly important, you may be uncertain exactly how your company can do that. Here are five tips to help.

1. Treat job-seekers with respect
Your reputation as an employer doesn’t begin the day a candidate comes on board — it starts with your hiring process. Candidates turned off by this process won’t submit an application, and those who’ve a bad experience are likely to tell others.

To avoid this, make sure your hiring process is fair and that candidates know where they stand. Write an accurate job description, avoid overly burdensome requests of candidates, and keep potential new hires updated. If you’ve interviewed a worker and decide he isn’t the right fit, do him the courtesy of letting him know in a timely manner.

2. Promote from within
Although job-hopping is more common than ever, many employees and candidates still value the idea of working for a company that provides opportunities to climb the career ladder. Your business could benefit from promoting within — not just to develop institutional memory, but also because ambitious workers will want to sign on if advancement is baked into your employer brand.

3. Stay competitive with pay and benefits
While pay and benefits aren’t always the deciding factor for job seekers, they do matter — and people likely won’t stay with your organization or accept offers if you pay below market rates. Pay attention to what competitors do, and be sure you’re offering at least industry averages when it comes to salary, benefits, and perks.

4. Foster a positive company culture
Your company culture also dictates how your business is viewed by current and potential staff members. You can build a positive company culture by leading by example, defining your expectations for upholding company values clearly, and hiring for cultural fit.

5. Do your research into areas for improvement
To develop a positive brand, you need to know what employees are looking for, where you’re succeeding, and how you’re falling short.

To keep tabs on how your company is viewed, consider conducting “stay” interviews with workers to ask them what they do — and don’t — like about their current work environment. These are similar to exit interviews — which you should also be doing — but involve regularly meeting with current staff members while they’re still on board.

You can also conduct anonymous employee surveys, provide a mechanism for employees to offer feedback and suggestions, and check out your company’s reviews on online websites. If you spot problems, take swift actions to make corrections before your employer brand sustains too much damage.

Building your employer brand matters
Your company is only as strong as its employees, so being able to recruit skilled candidates is essential. When you make the effort to build a strong employer brand, candidates will line up to work for you, and you’ll be able to bring the cream of the crop on board at your organization. The effort will pay dividends when your team takes your company to new heights.


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