In the same way a successful brand attracts customers and clients, employer branding attracts employees and partners. Effective employer branding depends on how a company’s internal and external messages align and complement each other, as well as how they are strategically communicated. This is the place where an organization’s human resources (HR), public relations (PR) and executive communications teams should align under one strategy.
Forbes contributor, William Craig, names a few factors that contribute to a company’s culture: vision, values, norms, systems, symbols, language, assumptions, beliefs and habits. All of which support the core purpose of the organization. If its culture is enthusiastic and innovative, it will attract like-minded employees who fit that demographic. If a highly-professional and bold, the same thing happens.
Having clarity and understanding here is a huge competitive edge for an employer. Craig also specifies that culture is intrinsic to the organization: employees cannot change the philosophy of an organization. But what they can do is reflect it. Here are a few ways to activate employees to reflect your company culture as a way to attract new, aligned talent.
Social media reveals a personal layer to your business. Live video is a great opportunity to communicate employee life – recorded employee testimony, while effective, cannot beat the candid insights that come with live video. Periscope and Facebook Live Video are viable options, each having advantages and disadvantages based on social media following. Branching off of live video is the popular Snapchat, which reveals vignettes of everyday employee life. The informality of Snapchat is an opportunity to circulate raw, conversation-breeding content.
A recent social media trend, one that is a bit more undefined, is the account takeover. A staff member taking over a social media account for a day or for a special event gives an authentic view into company culture. Have a project manager use the company Instagram account to showcase his or her current project or team. Have a member of the staff live-tweet a company event allowing them to add their personal perspectives. Account takeovers are not right for every organization, but they can show a potential employee the kind of people who work there and the type of environment they would step into.
A strong reputation as an employer leads to referrals. Job candidates can judge the organization’s employee experience based on social media and websites like Glassdoor, but ultimately will be swayed by a referral from a friend or colleague. One company benefiting from a referral system is our client partner, Hire Dynamics. They grow their workforce by offering monetary incentives for current employees to recruit like-minded individuals to their team.
Before deciding on a strategy, there are three questions to pose to both your HR and communications teams.
- What perspective does the organization as a whole support in terms of communicating its culture?
- Seperately, do the HR and external communications teams have an employer brand strategy?
- Where do these strategies intersect between the two organizational divisions?
At the intersection of these goals lies the key to a purposeful and impactful employer brand strategy. We will explore these questions further in blog posts to come. The industry-wide conversation about employer brand strategy is constantly broadening its scope to include more companies and methods. Want to explore the potential of your employer brand? Call us at 404-388-7047.