Does Your Employer Brand Work?
A common trend in recruitment – identified in numerous trends and predictions lists for employers, recruiters and HR professionals – is the need to build an ‘employer brand’ that attracts candidates to your company. This, combined with having a strong Employer Value Proposition (EVP), is not just for startups and hip technology or creative companies; it’s also important for technical firms, big and small.
In fact, in some ways it’s even more important for our clients because they operate in fields that are experiencing skills shortages and have to recruit in a candidate’s market. Just as job seekers are told that they need to stand out from the crowd to be shortlisted for job interviews, employers also need to differentiate their companies.
Below I share some of the key things candidates are interested in, and which employers should be communicating clearly to attract talented candidates.
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- People Don’t Only Work For Money
Work used to be perceived as purely a means to an end. We work to earn money which we can spend on the things that make us happy. But in recent years ‘being happy at work’ has become an important element of what employees want from their workplace and organisation. We want work to make us happy, perhaps because we spend so much time there.
To communicate to candidates why working at your company will make them happy, you need to understand what makes existing employees happy. Is it fulfilling work? Is it the culture and environment? Once you’ve identified the ‘happiness factor’ you can use that to attract employees who also want the same things.
- Candidates Want To Know What It’s Like Working For An Employer
Increasingly candidates are asking questions about what their day-to-day experience will be like with a new employer. Everything from whether they can work remotely on a regular or occasional basis (flexible working is highly desirable); organisational structures (flat, hierarchical, leadership style etc.); to whether there’s a decent coffee machine in the office.
People want to know whether they’ll fit in and can achieve what they want out of their job. They may know from experience that they work better with a certain type of leadership style, and they’re also looking for clues into how valued they will feel as an employee (perks like free healthy snacks or fresh coffee can be an indication).
Once again, highlighting the things that your existing employees value helps you build your company’s employer brand and attract likeminded candidates.
- Candidates Want To Work For ‘Good’ Employers
Reputation is increasingly important for candidates. First off they want reassurance that employees are treated fairly and with respect. They also want to know that they’ll be supported in a number of ways, including everything from occupational health, wellbeing, and health & safety, to professional development, career progression etc.
The company’s external reputation is also important to candidates. People generally want to work for employers that have good relationships with their clients, have a reputation for delivering excellent work, and are also making a positive contribution in other ways – investing in the local community, supporting charities, corporate social responsibility programmes etc.
Many of these factors are part of an organisation’s corporate brand, but can also be harnessed for the employer brand.
How Can You Communicate Your Employer Brand Effectively?
Your digital presence is really important to attract candidates. They’ll not only be reading your job description but also searching your website and social media profiles to learn more about your company, culture and work.
Ideally, communicating your employer brand should be part of your overall PR and marketing strategies, using various channels to attract and engage candidates. However, as a quick fix I recommend getting the camera out and taking photos of what it’s like to be part of your team. Take a photo of your morning coffee, the team meeting held in your breakout area, a snap of your ‘employer of the month’, employees’ selfies where appropriate, the team in front of a newly completed build etc. etc. Use these images to show people what it’s actually like to work for your company by sharing on social media and on your careers website or page.
If you’ve got great photos that really reflect your employer brand, also share them with your recruitment consultant so they can use them to market the opportunity to candidates.
For more advice and support recruiting candidates for your technical roles, please get in touch to discuss your requirements.