The fact is that in many countries there’s a lack of good and talented employees and in order to attract the best ones, many factors have to be in order. Much talk can be heard about the employer brand and it has also become some sort of a buzzword that’s being used practically everywhere. However, many times the concreteness is missing and it’s talked about on a very general level.
WHAT IS A GOOD EMPLOYER BRAND?
I usually like to share the employer brand in two different categories and I often approach the matter from these two different angles: while recruiting and in general.
EMPLOYER BRAND WHILE RECRUITING
When recruiting, a good employer brand has a very crucial role. The way the company is communicating in and marketing themselves and the open task will determine whether they will receive enough good applications or not. The fact is that many companies are relatively unknown for most of the applicants especially as employers, and this is how everything from the job advertisement to the company website, social media networks and applicant communication determines the outcome of the recruitment.
Most of the job advertisements are very specific in describing the task and requirements but not so much about the job itself. I would turn the case completely the other way around and I would mainly focus on selling the company for the applicant, and describing the nature of the task and what kind of results the person should achieve.
I would also strive to bring out the information about what kind of job they’ll be able to do, with whom and in what kind of environment. After this, I’d leave it to the applicant’s consideration whether they have the necessary skills and whether they are the right person instead of putting up a long list of different skill, experience and education requirements.
That doesn’t mean there’s no need for those requirements, but it might not be necessary to list those in the job advertisement and instead just pick out the most interesting ones when actually receiving the applications.
Moreover, I would always add links to the company’s career page from where the applicant would get a better picture of the company specifically as an employer. Many well-known companies do have a great website where their products and services are well presented, but too often you run into the situation where there’s no information about what kind of job or workplace we’re talking about.
Some of the companies have also understood the need to take advantage of social media and they are bringing their own company out in public as an interesting workplace. For example, the Finnish airline “Finnair” is a great example of this. On Instagram people have gotten a chance to follow their different employees who have told about their job and tasks with pictures and stories. Once again, the implementation has been really successful and there’s no need to wonder why this particular company is always on the top of the list when looking for the most popular employers in Finland.
It’s crucial to remember that the role of the different social media channels and the company websites has huge importance when recruiting. All of the studies are pointing out that almost every single person is browsing them through before making a decision about sending the application or not.
AN EMPLOYER BRAND IN GENERAL
When it comes to the general level of the employer brand, it’s clearly more difficult to achieve. It all starts from the fact that the employees are genuinely enjoying themselves, they like their job, the work environment and their co-workers. With social media and increased openness, a good employer brand can no longer be “purchased”: you really need to earn it.
But how can you know whether the company has a genuinely good employer brand? Usually the best and the clearest signs are that the employees of the company praise their own workplace / company to their friends and people they know, share the updates of their employer and advertisements of the open tasks in social media and increase the positive awareness in their own network.
Nowadays much is also spoken about “employee ambassadors”, which is one form of a good employer brand. It refers to an employee who is maintaining and increasing their own expertise and a good reputation of their company with their own communication. An employee ambassador means much more than described in the previous chapter. An employer ambassador is seen as a person who helps others, expresses their own opinion, starts conversations and is often seen as an expert in a specific subject in their own area in their own network.
It’s important to understand that being an employee ambassador is always based on voluntary actions, but the management of the company, the superior of the person etc. can also guide and encourage them to take this kind of action.
So how can I know that there’s still a need for improvement in the employer brand of the company? Well, one certain sign is when the employees’ only updates regarding their work appears on Fridays together with the hashtag #TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday!).
Teemu is a Director of InHunt World and has been working in recruitment and headhunting industry since 2009. Teemu is from Finland and came to Spain in 2014 to set up and open new headhunting offices in Madrid and later in Barcelona. Since 2016 Teemu has been focusing to design, create and run the new InHunt World International Headhunting Network which already covers over 30 countries.