Why are so many skilled professionals clamoring to land a job with companies like Facebook and Google? While yes, these companies appear stable and lucrative, there is something much bigger fueling interest: their employer brands. The perks, the opportunities, the flexibility and the social environment – these are the factors job seekers want to hear about. So if your company isn’t attracting quite the right candidates or if your retention rates are lower than you’d prefer, consider tweaking your employer brand.
No false advertising here. Just start providing an honest look at your company’s work environment. That’s why it’s key to focus on the Employee Engagement Journey and help prospective employees understand what it means to become a vital part of your team.
While each job and each person is on a unique path, clearly defining what your employer brand promises can go a long way toward establishing trust. You might publish pictures from an office party or a sneak peek at employees collaborating on a new product. Just make sure the kind of content you publish aligns with how your company presents its brand identity and values.
Consider recruiting current employees to participate in communicating your employer brand. While you can talk about how wonderful the company is all day long, seeing social media posts or reading blogs from employees themselves often creates a stronger image of work culture.
There are a few key factors that will propel your brand from anonymity to popularity. As these factors are reiterated and established over time, candidates will come to trust your brand.
Being an “employer of choice” requires that you think of “compensation” as more than just wages paid. For a company with a strong employer brand and reputation, compensation includes the full range of benefits an employees enjoy. Broaden that scope to include things that move team members along in their journey with the company, including skill-building workshops, work-from-home opportunities and bonding and networking internally with co-workers. Be sure to present the full range of compensation (your employer brand) to candidates, as few will be fully aware.
Another thing to remember is to keep your compensation package open and adaptable. As you communicate more with employees, you may find that certain benefits need to be tweaked, added, or removed to be sure the brand is supporting their journey.
One of the most powerful forces that will make you an employer of choice is word of mouth. Your current employees are the best spokespersons for your brand – both during and after their time with you. Thus it is critical to continuously check in on employee engagement. Keep the lines of communication open so when a change needs to happen, employees have no problem talking to you about it.
Consider creating a “pre-hire orientation” message that will communicate all that is expected of employees. This way, your recruiting efforts have a better chance of resonating with the right candidates. If an applicant sees something they don’t like in the pre-hire orientation process, they (and you) know your company isn’t a fit for them.
Build a network of trust both within and outside of your company, and your brand reputation will shine through everything else. As Lindsay Nahmiache, co-founder of Jive PR eloquently phrased it in Forbes, “Building a network is a gradual process that takes months and sometimes years to pay off . It consists of continually providing support and value in two-way relationships.”
How do companies get a reputation for being a great place to work? In the past, it was all word of mouth. Employees would share stories with their friends, and your company slowly would build a reputation. Hopefully, a positive one.
These days, it’s possible to manage your own brand as an employer, and social media can be the driving force behind it. But how does a company leverage social media to demonstrate that it’s an attractive place to work? Here are a few things to consider:
If you have an account that just posts details of vacancies, you will only attract job-seekers. If you post content that’s interesting, informative and entertaining, you will attract everybody. This is the real aim of employer branding: to build a positive reputation on a large scale and to passively recruit people who may not be actively seeking a job. Video is an excellent way to catch the attention of passersby on social media, as are catchy viral articles. If you create something great, people will share it, increasing your reach by orders of magnitude.
Who knows more about your values as an employer than the people who work for you? They can provide you with stories, anecdotes, photos, cases studies and details of the social side of working life in your organization. They can help you give your company a personality, which is a key element of all branding. Talk to your people about your social media plans and see how they can help.
Social media places a huge emphasis on authenticity. To build a successful employer brand on social media, you have to talk honestly about who you are, where you’re going and how you intend to get there. Most of all, you need to talk about the values at the core of your company. Never try to advertise yourself as something you’re not. Instead, be proud of what your company stands for and let the world know about it.
Social media is not a broadcast. It is two-way conversation. Everything you post is an opportunity to start a dialogue, which shows that you are responsive, dynamic and approachable. It’s also important on a one-to-one level in terms of passive recruitment, as even minor conversations can help to form a relationship that may lead to that person applying for a job.
Companies (and employees) across the globe are realizing the benefits of creating a remote or “virtual” workforce. This trend has spread from successful bloggers to designers, web developers, and exploded from there. However, companies do need to plan carefully to train and guide employees that are not on-site, so that they can be as productive as possible. Here’s a look at the benefits of a remote workforce and how to build a culture that supports productive remote workers.
Telecommuting saves companies on costs in many areas. Leasing office space and other overhead expenses such as janitorial services, utilities, and phones often become less expensive. In fact, according to Global Workplace Analytics, a business saves $11,000 per year per employee who works remotely just half of the time. The cost savings for the employees are just as valuable. Without expenses such as work clothes, lunches out, gas and wear and tear on vehicles to worry about, people who work remotely half of the time stand to save between $2,000 and $7,000 per year (and the environment is better for the effort, too). Check out this calculator to find out how much an employee could save by working remotely.
In quite a few cases, productivity increases with a remote workforce. There are fewer distractions from people such as co-workers, and productivity tools can keep workers focused. Another reason for the productivity boost is an emphasis on results-oriented performance. People need not worry as much about clocking in and out at specific times. Their schedules are more flexible; they can usually take a few hours to exercise or go to their kids’ games, for example. Consequently, employees enjoy a better work-life balance and are happier. Definitely not least is the fact that working remotely minimizes situations such as being singled out due to issues such as gender, race or disability. Everyone is on footing that feels more equal.
Before a company can best enjoy the advantages of a remote workforce, it needs to plan for issues such as developing telework policies and how it will communicate with employees. Start with a powerful orientation video spelling out benefits of working remotely, company expectations and other topics such as the main points of the remote-work policy handbook.
Ongoing Web, video and e-learning tools via companies such as Projections help keep employees in the loop and foster the connection between employees and company, particularly when those messages can be delivered online, and on-demand. It is important that employees working remotely not feel isolated, and such communications emphasize the fact that employees are part of a greater whole. In your orientation and ongoing communications, you could touch on areas such as data security, ergonomics, reducing clutter and maximizing space.
Tools for Remote Workers
Build protocols so that employees can collaborate and interact, including use of Google Drive for the sharing of documents and information, Dropbox to access images and files from anywhere, and of course, the favorite tool of many completely virtual companies, Slack and Skype. Skype offers chat, live calls, screen sharing, file transfer and more – all at no cost to the company! Slack also offers outstanding options for dedicated conversations and can vastly increase the speed at which decisions are made and tasks are accomplished.
Businesses that allow employees to work remotely tend to have happier workers and higher retention rates. The key to effective remote work, though, is building and maintaining a proper communications infrastructure.
Call it your brand, call it your image, but no matter what you call it, it’s key to your company’s success: that personality and culture that is uniquely your company’s, that thing that your employees, shareholders, and the public perceive to be the true nature of your company.
Your brand is your company’s public face – and if you neglect this aspect of your communications, you’re asking for trouble. Without branding, your customers may not fully appreciate your company or its products. Recruiting and hiring the best employees becomes more difficult if prospective employees don’t understand who the company really is, and retention rates can even decrease if new employees find that the company just wasn’t what they expected it to be.
So, what’s the best way to begin work on your employer brand? First, identify your primary target audience(s). Once you know with whom you’re communicating, craft communications that will address the topics most important to your company. You may have a rich history, a backbone of unfailing ethics, the best benefits in the industry, or any of a host of other strong points.
How do you know if your employer brand is a strong one? The idea is to take those assets we talked about and communicate them in a way that makes your employees feel part of something bigger than just the job they do. In a small community, that may mean that the town’s identity is intertwined with the company’s – a sure point of pride. In medium sized towns and cities, it can mean that your employees’ friends and neighbors know its’ a great company and want to work there. In the biggest companies, it means that your employees speak highly of the company and the work that’s accomplished every day.
Your brand sells your products to customers, sells your company to potential hires and sets the tone for your all of your company’s interactions – so take the time to be thoughtful about what your company stands for, and commit to communicating that brand accurately to both internal and external audiences.
And that’s where we come in! Give us a call and let Projections maximize the power of your company’s brand with one-of-a-kind, custom corporate communications!