Become an Employer Branding Hero: Overcoming These 5 Common Challenges

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HR Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for HR pros

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Overcoming these challenges to optimize your employer brand will put you in a stronger position to retain valuable staff and attract new talent.

Article 4 Minutes
Become an Employer Branding Hero: Overcoming These 5 Common Challenges

People seeking new career opportunities use a range of criteria to decide what sort of business they want to work for and which roles they're most interested in.

Fundamental provisions like salary, benefits and paid holiday will always be important, but recent trends have shown that other, non-financial factors also have a part to play.

One big consideration for many jobseekers is employer branding. Research has shown:

  • 75% of candidates consider an employer's brand before even applying for a job
  • 52% of people look at the company's website and social media profiles to learn more about a prospective employer
  • 72% of recruitment leaders worldwide agree that employer brand has a significant impact on hiring
  • 39% of HR professionals see employer brand as a long-term trend that businesses will focus on in the future

Why is employer branding so important?

Your employer brand distinguishes your organization from others in your sector, putting you in a stronger position to attract the best and brightest candidates. This could prove critical to your productivity, profitability and long-term success.

With a strong, well-defined and distinctive brand, you can give prospective employees a good idea of what it's like to work for you and how you can help them build a rewarding career.

As well as boosting candidate attraction, this can improve staff retention. People who come on board with a clear understanding of the business and their role are more likely to stay with you for the long term,minimizing the financial and operational impact of staff turnover.

Other key advantages of a strong employer brand include:

  • Improved employee engagement
  • Better understanding of your people and what they want from their jobs
  • A boost to your overall reputation and business brand, which can be leveraged in your marketing

If building a more powerful employer brand is a top priority for you right now, you need to be prepared for some of the challenges you might encounter on this mission:

1.    Buy-in at every level

To build an employer brand that's truly coherent and delivers the benefits you're looking for, it needs to be understood and supported at every level. That means getting buy-in and backing from the decision-makers at the top of the business.

However, it also means ensuring that every team member and frontline employee is giving the right representation of your brand in their day-to-day conduct and dealings with customers.

When you need to convince people - whatever their level of seniority - of the need for a compelling employer brand, strengthen your case by:

  • Showing the connection between your employer brand and the wider strategy and goals of the business
  • Presenting a persuasive, data-driven business case
  • Using outside research and examples to provide context

2.    A true reflection of the business

In the current era of corporate social responsibility - with an increasing number of people expecting brands to take a stance on the issues that matter to them - it might be tempting just to say what you think your customers want to hear. However, these claims will ring hollow if they're not backed up by action.

It's crucial to ensure that your brand-building efforts align with the fundamentals of what your company does, the principles you stand for and the experience you're able to provide to job candidates and employees.

3.    Harmony with marketing

Branding is more commonly understood as a marketing concept than something that falls under the remit of the HR department. It's important, therefore, to ensure that the employer brand you're trying to build is in harmony with the image the marketing team wants to present to customers.

HR and marketing need to work together on a shared, jointly approved plan that guarantees everyone is focused on common goals. If you succeed, HR's employer branding activities will support the more traditional branding work of the marketing department and vice-versa.

4.    Consistency

If you want to succeed in presenting a strong and relatable brand to job candidates and the rest of the world, it's important that the messages you put out are consistent.

In the modern era of social media - when every member of your staff has a means of communication with a potential audience of hundreds of millions - maintaining this consistency can be difficult.

Appointing a team of brand champions or ambassadors who can focus on the job of monitoring your messaging and keeping it clear and coherent is a wise move.

5.    Time and resources

One of the challenges you'll need to be ready for in your employer branding efforts is making the necessary time and resources available to do the job properly.

It should be viewed as a long-term, gradual process that yields positive outcomes over time, rather than a 'quick win' or simply a box to be ticked.

It's vital that you have the proper support from the top of the business so you can give your employer branding project the attention and investment it deserves.

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