It’s not just the world’s first AI-driven robot citizen Sophia that’s doing its best human impression. In this digital age, brands are also beginning to cultivate corporate personalities in a bid to positively converse and connect with consumers. But there’s an unexpected perk here: the better a brand knows itself and its audience, the better equipped it is to attract and retain the best talent.
Most, if not all, brands have a strategy for reaching their audience, but fewer approach recruitment in the same way. Why is that? Think about it, do you have a problem with hiring the ‘right’ employee? Do you often struggle to locate a good culture fit, or find that a few months in, the new-hire is already halfway out the door? This could be because of inconsistencies in employer branding.
Much like consumer campaigns, employer branding is all about connecting with employees’ emotions and making them feel like they are part of something greater. It’s about becoming a community that shares values and morals, and works towards the same goals.
Corporate ethics is a growing area of interest for many prospective employees. In fact, according to research by consultancy Global Tolerance, 62% of millennials want to work for a company that has a positive impact on the world, while 36% said they would even work harder if their company benefitted society. Similarly, 50% of millennials believe that doing meaningful work was more important than a high salary.
So, where do you start?
Much like the ever-dreaded question of ‘describe yourself in three words’, employer branding is all about identity and begins with inward reflection. Ask yourself, what does my company stand for? What ‘values’ do we have? And, most importantly, what makes us different? These questions transcend products and services, and boil down to the very foundations of what makes your company, well, yours.
The latter question is especially important. Your company’s inventory or stock may be similar to another’s, but every business is unique, so think about what sets you apart from the rest. Do you pride yourself on your sustainable practices? Have you got a long history with the community you’re based in? Is your brand health-centric, or do you provide perks that aim to realign the work-life balance of your staff?
From here, you can start to build your corporate identity. Once you have the core established, you can think about what benefits you could give your staff to ensure they stick around, and what extras you could include to make your company more attractive to candidates.
For a brand that’s doing it well, just look to Google, whose creative and unconventional approach to technology is reflected in its workplace. Its friendly image manifests in free lunches, chill-out zones and nap pods, and while the slides are optional, the laid back culture both rewards current employees and attracts pioneering thinkers.
How do you express it?
Fortunately, it’s never been easier to convey company culture; we have content, social media and marketing on our side. In the past, we built relationships through purchases alone. Now, consumers don’t just converse with brands online, candidates discover potential employers through their social channels.
Innocent Smoothies is another great example – its Twitter page is full of jokes, its social pages are filled with topical content and it even has a compliment generator on its website. But its employer branding goes even further. Its fun-loving and prone-to-puns personality is reflected on everything from its packaging to its ‘bored?’ tab (which features a number of interesting and amusing nature-related links… no honestly – check it out).
The point is to create a unified, cohesive brand image that is apparent across all areas of your company. From your emails and Instagram to your workplace’s décor, every part of your company should be permeated with personality. From here, brands can do just like the good book (kind of) said and hire in their image.
Where do you go from here?
Not to sound like a greetings card, but once you know who you are it all gets a little easier. Take your vision to everyone from the boardroom big dogs to lower-ranking employees, this way you can ensure they’re all on the same page. If they’re not, something has got lost in translation.
Next, re-examine your recruitment process. Is grumpy old Larry in HR really the best person to represent your newly branded, fun and informal company to prospective candidates? Does your arduous, hours-long application process reflect the innovative identity you want to communicate?
Consider introducing new elements into your recruitment procedure; for instance, you could create ‘a day in the life’ blogs or shoot video tours of the office. Or, write up profiles for all of your employees and feature their testimonies on your website.
The key is consistency. That and a very clear idea of what makes your company so special. Here at M2 Bespoke, we’re experts in crafting content and social campaigns that really embody the best of your company. Get in touch today to see how we can help.Ben Hollom
December 11, 2017