10 Tips for Building a Strong Employer Brand Before a candidate comes in for an interview, or most likely before they even apply for a position, chances are they will have looked up your organization on Google, your website, and any social media channels you have (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter). Candidates are curious. They want to know what you do, what you’re all about, and how you promote yourself. What they see is incredibly important, because it shapes their perception of your organization. This is your employer brand. Your brand is your reputation as an employer, and it’s also how you articulate and describe what it’s like to work at your organization. In other words, it’s how you show your workplace culture online. Take Apple for example. Everyone knows what they do, what they stand for, and the kind of employees they want. Why? Because they do a great job promoting their culture and what they’re all about. If your employer brand is strong and attractive like Apple’s, then recruiting top talent is easier than ever. According to a leading applicant tracking system provider, 94 percent of job seekers said they would be more likely to apply for a job if the organization is on top of their brand online. A good reputation and online presence can help you stand out from your competition. Here are 10 steps to building a better employer brand: Use Social Media Candidates aren’t only using job board to look for jobs. SHRM revealed that 84 percent of organizations now use social media to recruit employees, and is increasing by 54 percent over the past five years. And, in an Aberdeen Group survey of job seekers between the ages of 18 and 34, 73 percent said they landed their last job through a social media platform. To reach this segment of social media job seekers, you need to be using social media to engage and attract them. That means filling your pages with ads, videos, and more. If you have marketing content or a blog, this is a great place to promote that. If you don’t currently manage your social media accounts or don’t have any social media presence, now is a great time to start. Think about some content that your organization has created in the past. Could you post about it and share it? Post Regularly Speaking of social media, get on a regular schedule of posting and sharing content. Whether it’s once a week, twice a week, or every day, post on a regular basis. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are great places to share what your organization is up to and how you’re making a difference. Talk About What you do and Your Business Impact In your regular posts, make sure you’re talking about what your organization does, and how it impacts your customers. Why does your organization matter? How does your organization benefit others? Everyone wants their work to have meaning and make a difference, so show how your organization does that. Have a Consistent Message As you’re posting regularly and sharing what your organization does, keep it consistent. Obviously, you don’t want to say the same thing every time, but when talking about what you do and who you are, don’t waver. Conflicting messages can lead to confusion and disengagement. If you say that customers are your biggest asset, but then the next week you say that your employees are, you’re showing that you have a brand crisis. Be consistent, don’t contradict your brand, and your audience will see that you know your organization and know who you are. Promote Internally Building a strong brand takes more than social media. It’s also about your workplace culture and creating an internal brand that promotes inclusion, recognition, and positivity. One way to do that is to promote internally and allow your employees to be the first to have an opportunity to apply for your open positions. This demonstrates a dedication to professional development, growth, and successful career paths. It also shows employees that they can advance up the career ladder right where they are. Show off Your Perks Does your organization have some unique perks, such as pet insurance, discounts, deliveries, or car detailing? Then brag about them! Tell candidates, post about them on social media, and advertise them internally. Be Crystal Clear A brand that’s confusing is not strong at all. In everything you do, be clear with how you communicate. Especially be clear when talking about what your organization does. Make it simple for candidates to understand what you’re all about. Provide Above-Average Salaries Everyone wants to be paid more. And while giving everyone a raise may seem like a pipe dream, start by paying your employees fairly. These days, employees do their research and know the average salary in their position, so compensate them accordingly. If you want to retain your top talent, you need to start with fair pay and move up to competitive pay. Streamline Your Onboarding One of the first experiences an employee has with your brand is during the onboarding process. Make this experience as painless and simple as possible. Provide information packets with everything they need. Keep the onboarding short. Onboarding should be complete and comprehensive, not overwhelming for your new hires. Have Fun Too many organizations forget this part. Your employees don’t just want to do their work, they want to have fun doing it. So, loosen up a little bit and host a work party. Play games. Promote team-building events. A strong brand is one that can relax and enjoy some good, lighthearted fun every now and then. A strong brand can be hard to build, and definitely takes time, but utilizing these tips can help get you on the right track to recruiting top talent and making your organization a great place to work. How are you currently talking about your organization online? Katie Roth Katie Roth has been in a leadership role in the employment industry for the majority of her career. Currently, she is Manager, Talent Acquisition for Oasis, a Paychex® Company. Katie is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is certified by both the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), as a Senior Professional in Human Resources, and the National Association of Personnel Services, as a Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC).