What do your website and social channels say about your company as an employer?

Amid shortages in the UK labour market, you really need to be selling your business as a great place to work.

According to the calculations of thinktank the Learning and Work Institute, Britain’s workforce has shrunk by some 1.1 million over the course of the pandemic. A third of the million retired, a third fled back to their home countries, and a third were younger workers who dropped out for a career break.

Office for National Statistics data shows what this means for the different sectors. In each of transport, mining, finance, energy, education and media, more than 50,000 vacancies are being advertised. Healthcare and hospitality have more than 150,000 roles needing to be filled.

You get the gist.

Job seekers are now job shoppers

Talented workers are hard to come by at the minute. To stand a chance of snaring the talent that’s right for your business, you need to be properly proactive with your employer branding.

I say ‘properly proactive’ because the employer branding tactics of yesteryear now won’t cut it. It’s no longer enough just to write a kooky job advert, or list off all the things that make you a ‘great employer’.

You need to be much more strategic than that, to appeal to both active applicants (who everybody is looking to snare) and, more importantly, candidates contemplating their next career move.

Job seekers are now job shoppers – they research an employer online before deciding whether to apply for a position there.

In research collated by Glassdoor, 86% of employees and job seekers say they research company reviews and ratings to decide on where to apply for a job. Three-quarters said they are likely to apply to a job if the employer actively manages its employer brand.

Actively managing your employer brand

Look, I totally get why employer branding plays second fiddle to consumer/buyer branding. I’m not advocating that you spend as much time targeting candidates as you do customers.

But it’s important to remember that the two go hand-in-hand. And just as with consumer branding, if you live up to expectations, your employer branding starts to take care of itself (at least to some extent).

So, let’s look at how you can actively manage your employer brand:

  • Nail your employer value proposition

Employer brand and EVP are often used interchangeably – but that’s not quite right.

In simple terms, your EVP is the theory – what you tell people you offer employees. It’s the expectation, based on the values and culture that you promote.  

The employer brand is the reality – based on real opinions and perceptions. It’s the sum of the EVP’s parts, if you like – the outcome.

Your EVP sets the tone for what someone can expect working for you, so it’s crucial that you nail down what image and values you want to project. Once you’ve defined your EVP, make sure you communicate it on your website, recruitment materials, or LinkedIn company page.

  • Leverage current employees

Just as your current customers are the best way to spread the good word about your products/services, your employees are key to your employer brand perception.

Employee interviews and testimonials always make for great content to share on your website and socials – they are easy to generate and can go a long way to piquing the interests of potential candidates.

Ideally, employees will also post this kind of content on their socials. Not only does it play into employer branding, but your employee referral program, too. To get employees to post, you might have to dangle the odd carrot or two!

  • Blog about work

It’s easy to post about the fun stuff – the nights out, the office games corner – that makes you a great place to work. But, as important as that stuff is, potential candidates want to grasp what their day-to-day might look like – that’s often the hardest bit to envision as someone looking in.

Depending on your recruitment priorities, reach out to department heads and ask to create some content around the projects they’re working on at the moment – the challenges, the skills required, the satisfying wins.

If they’re short on time to create the content themselves (as they’re likely to be), can you capture their insight in a podcast, vlog, or get a content writer to write-up their words in a blog?

  • Plan your output

The whole thing about employer branding is that you’re working ahead of time. You’re building up a pool of talented candidates, who already know you, like you, trust you, and want to work for you when the time is right.

So, everything needs to be mapped out and planned. Content, social posts, business objectives, recruitment priorities… all need to be synced to ensure that you’re communicating the right values, at the right time, to the right audience.

If you fail to plan it all out, you’ll be in the fight with the rest of ‘em for the applicants who don’t really know you from Adam.

Ready to start managing your employer brand? Here at Q Content, we can help with everything from defining and communicating your EVP to interviewing employees and sharing their testimonials.

Ben Hollom

May 5, 2022