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Employer brand

Employer brand

What Does It Take to Be Known
as a Great Employer?

Melanie Hache,
HCM Strategy Director Southern Europe at Oracle @mhacheB

 

Building a strong employer brand is the key to attracting the best talent, but how do you get there?

Melanie Hache

Melanie Hache, HCM Strategy Director Southern Europe at Oracle.

Gone are the days of enticing job-seekers with a good salary alone. People still want to be paid fairly, but they also want to work for a company that shares their values and has a reputation for putting its people first. 

This focus on reputation is key. A strong employer brand has become the ultimate recruitment tool. There’s a reason people constantly share lists of the “top ten places to work” and the coolest employee perks all over social media.

In response, HR teams are being asked to think like more like marketers. They are not only the voice of employees within the business, but also to the outside world.

In Oracle’s new guide “The HR Marketer’s Guide to Talent Acquisition”, we asked recruitment experts from the likes of LinkedIn, Monster.com and Oracle itself to share their thoughts on how HR leaders can take on these new responsibilities successfully.

Bridge the digital gap

The first thing to remember is that job seekers are consumers. They’ve grown used to the convenience and personalization offered by today’s leading brands, and if your company offers an exceptional customer experience potential candidates will expect the same level of interaction when they are being recruited.

 If an organization is honest about its work culture it will naturally attract the right
people.  

And yet, there remains a significant gap in many businesses between the way marketing teams engage customers and the way HR communicates with prospects. A company’s employees are its most valuable asset, and therefore the most deserving of VIP treatment. Especially the good ones!

But how do you showcase your employment culture for people outside the organization? It’s one thing to highlight traditional benefits like health insurance and paid sick leave, but it’s more difficult to give candidates an accurate impression of day-to-day life as an employee.

The most effective tactic can be as encouraging employees to create and share candid photos and videos on social networks. Larger companies may not have such a clearly defined employer brand, and many need to first establish what their culture looks like across the organization before rolling out a coordinated recruitment initiative.

Know thyself

Defining your employer brand is no small feat. The most common mistake is to imitate organizations that are widely seen as cool by the public in the hopes of attracting young talent, even if they have a completely different work culture and ethos.

 It’s also important that your employer brand aligns with your customer-facing brand.  

Sure, a workforce of 20-something coders in a tech start-up might need a ball pit in their conference room, but the workers in a manufacturing plant might place more value on floor space.

As Andrew Warner, Monster.com’s VP of Marketing points on in our report, an employer brand needs to be an authentic reflection of your company’s culture and values. Today’s professionals are looking for a place that is aligned with their own aspirations and ethics, so if an organization is honest about its work culture it will naturally attract the right people.

Think like a marketer

It’s also important that your employer brand aligns with your customer-facing brand. If the two are at odds with each other, candidates won't know what to think about your work culture and question any communication you send them, no matter how compelling it is.

According to Warner, the best way to keep everything aligned is by giving HR and recruiters the chance to work closely with internal marketing teams. This will ensure they understand the messages they’ll be going to candidates with and help them learn marketing principles to apply in their recruitment efforts.

A note on social sourcing

Here is a figure from LinkedIn’s Digital Transformation Leader, Anne Dobey, that should give you pause: while only 20% of the workforce is actively looking for a job, 90% would be interested in moving for the right opportunity.

An overwhelming proportion of happily employed people are open to a change if you can build a strong enough case. Step one? Put opportunities right in front of them, and that increasingly means reaching out on social channels like LinkedIn or another recruitment portal.

If HR leaders are to think like marketers, they also need to get more strategic with data from social media. Just as the marketing department uses customer data to target prospects with relevant content, businesses can access a wealth of information that will help them engage the right people the right way. From trends on which industries employ relevant candidates to insight into what draws a particular persona to a job, these data points are invaluable in the battle for talent.

Attracting good people is not easy in a competitive job market. Building a strong, genuine employer brand is crucial to making a positive impression on potential candidates, and to keeping your existing employees engaged. After all, everyone prefers to work for a great employer. HR teams that apply the right marketing principles to recruitment and retention will find their employer brand does much of their hard work for them.


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