By Acara Regional Sales Manager Carrie Calamel
When it comes to employer branding, the concept is simple: Drive your brand. Deliver your messaging. Sell your company culture.
Easier said than done, though, establishing a winning employer brand requires a good deal of personability with a small dash of help—if you can swing it—from a friend or two in the Marketing Department.
While there aren’t many “quick fixes” to employer branding, there are a few strategies to jumpstart your employer branding efforts right now. Here are three of them.
1. Know your audience.
One of the main goals of employer branding is to compel people to work at your (or your client’s) organization. Either way, you need to know who you’re looking for. While your overall company culture ought to be universally appealing to all types of workers, you should still vary your messaging so it appeals to people with different backgrounds, experiences, talents, and interests.
Job descriptions, for example, should reflect the overarching themes of your universal corporate culture. But if you want to sell a particular opportunity to a specific type of candidate, you’ve got to mix up your language according to their needs.
Are you looking for a quirky up-and-comer who can energize your startup? Keep your tone somewhat casual, bright, inspiring, and fun.
Are you targeting a mid-level pro who likes to balance in-house excellence with after-hours enthusiasm? Perhaps a “work hard, play hard” message will do.
Are you in the market for a seasoned veteran who knows what works and how to deliver? Consider keeping your message straight-laced, professional, and results-oriented.
No matter who it is, you’re looking for top performers, and top performers want to hear from their peers—other like-minded employees who have already made the leap or embraced tenures with the employer in question. Think about what you love about your workplace and let it shine.
2. Know what makes you great.
Now’s the time to ask yourself, “What makes us great?” But don’t limit yourself to thinking about company picnics or lavish holiday parties (although these perks can be nice to mention later). Instead, consider all the different people or processes that help you:
- Disrupt your industry
- Create work-life balance
- Give your employees a voice
- Support career growth
Hopefully your mission, vision, and corporate culture are dialed into your organization. Once you have a clear-cut understanding of what you offer, how, and why it matters—and you’re ready to share living examples of these things—you’re ready for the next step: identifying your brand ambassadors.
3. Know your brand ambassadors.
Do you have brand ambassadors who have the insight, experience, and talent to tell your brand story across multiple media channels? Perhaps this person is a great corporate or agency recruiter who knows who you want to hire, how they will work with your team, and why they’ll be a great fit. But if you really want to set yourself apart among job seekers, you’ve got to tell your own story—and make sure it appeals to active and job seekers alike.
Here’s one way to think of it: Your company isn’t really selling a product or service; you’re selling an idea or a feeling. For example, Nike doesn’t sell sneakers—it sells peak athletic performance. Ben & Jerry’s doesn’t sell ice cream—it sells good vibes and progressive perspectives.
Ultimately, people want to join a company they believe in, care about, and trust. That means you need to tell a brand story that people can believe in, care about, and trust.
So, who is writing you story? Who is telling your story? It doesn’t necessarily have to be the same person—as long as you’re putting your story out there. To wit, organizations that get on board with good brand storytelling are seeing results. That means measuring favorable ROI and wishing they had gotten to work sooner.
In short, being proactive about employer branding is more affordable than being reactive to the empty seats around your table. With thoughtful employer branding efforts, you can reduce costs, curb employee burnout, and limit turnover.
Are you looking for some great resources to get started? Connect with Carrie on LinkedIn!