Companies know they have to maintain a certain level of branding when dealing with consumers – but what about with prospective employees? Company branding is becoming a major element to the hiring process. In an age where social media has personified businesses to a level not experienced before, human resources must understand the company’s image must also correspond to the way it presents itself to candidates.
A Randstad survey from 2013 found an inviting company brand may be the key to attracting talent. It found 20 percent of employees under 30 would rather work at a lower-paying job with a brand they embrace than a position at a less reputable or welcoming company.
So how can employers establish a strong brand? Through many ways: from the literature a company gives to recruiters at conferences and tradeshows, to the applicant interview itself, how a business builds its brand directly contributes to how it builds an ideal workforce.
Begin through alignment
Before putting the brand out there, decision-makers must first think exactly what they want to convey in the hiring process. Often, companies want to highlight the fact they have a track record for success and personal advancement, while others may play up their small startup personality and put the spotlight on a quirky company personality and laid-back atmosphere. Whatever brand your company wants to push, it needs to align with the company mission and long-term plans.
That cohesive mindset also comes into play when ensuring there’s a big picture for the brand, with standards for representation. Think color schemes, logos and slogans, the font in brochures or even job applications. It all needs to come full circle.
The Internet, the tool that has furthered outward branding efforts the most, can also be used to establish company identity for internal purposes. Particularly, online job boards where companies can utilize forums to a social media-like extent provide a fostering environment for branding. Companies can engage with industry-leading talent and converse with other players, all while emitting a brand that the company and its recruiters feels best portrays them, and best attracts top-level workers.
There a number of ways to further a particular brand, including posting videos that highlight employee achievements or offering a peek inside the boardroom. Sharing content and responding in kind are all techniques to executing a well-rounded branding initiative.
The first physical impression a candidate gets of a hirer is when they come in for the interview. From the reception area to the conference rooms and the layout of the office and the people that populate it – each aspect is central to an employer brand. Researchers at Randstad found that a pleasant workplace was listed behind only salary and job security as major factors in deciding where to work.
To survive in the business climate where brand is as important as profits, HR professionals and recruiters need to engage in serious cultivation of a company image. To do so will sufficiently prepare them to thrive in hiring initiatives to uncover the best talent.