An important aspect of an organization’s reputation is its employer brand – how the employment market views an organization as an employer. This article dives into what an employer brand entails and how developing a positive employer brand can enhance your recruiting and retention efforts.
What Is Employer Branding?
Every organization has a unique employer brand whether it’s formally managed or not. Employer branding has the goal of promoting an organization as being an employer of choice, with the targeted audience being both prospective and current employees. It encompasses a variety of elements, including both intangible benefits (e.g., workplace culture, values, community involvement) and tangible benefits (e.g., salary, benefits, physical workspace). Employer branding is a core component of recruiting and retaining employees.
A strong employer brand speaks to the organization’s mission statement, taking their outlined values and principles and turning them into an external-facing message. The following sections highlight these elements further.
A mission statement speaks to who an organization is, the core beliefs and principles the organization aims to exemplify, and a pledge to live up to those self-instilled values. A mission statement is aspirational – but always attainable – and is a guiding light for organizations throughout their growth and evolution.
A mission statement answers the following:
- What does the organization do?
- How does the organization do it?
- Why does the organization do it?
An organization’s mission statement should be visible in the workplace, on the website and throughout marketing and recruiting materials. Keep in mind that the mission statement is both internal- and external-facing.
Core values are extremely important for any organization regardless of the size. Even if there aren’t formal efforts, organizations hire based on their values, whether intentional or not. Best-fit candidates will embody the values of the organization. Human values have the potential to support a positive employer brand. Values represent the common beliefs of the organization and engaged employees. Values answer why the job matters and what the organization stands for.
Values should be demonstrated in daily operations and communications both internally and externally. When employees respect and believe in an organization’s values, they often have a greater understanding of their job role and how they can help achieve and contribute to organizational goals.
Why Is Employer Branding Important?
Employer branding is critical to winning top candidates, while retaining the strongest current talent. A strong employer brand helps your organization stand out from the competition with neutral or negative employer brands.
By displaying an employer brand that tells an authentic story about what it’s like to be a part of the workplace and how employees collectively work toward the company’s mission, organizations can attract candidates who think, feel and strive for the same.
LinkedIn research found that a strong employer brand reduces turnover by 28% and cost-per-hire by 50%. Additionally, LinkedIn explored the benefits of investing in employer brand and found that it can also have a positive bottom-line impact, as organizations whose reputations excel can spend less on recruiting and retention efforts:
- Decreased Recruiting Costs – Organizations with positive or favorable employer brands can get up to twice as many applications as companies with negative or unfavorable brands. This can make a great impact on how efficient HR can be, especially when battling skills gaps and staffing shortages. When top candidates want to work for an organization, recruiting costs can drop by approximately 43%.
- Decreased Retention Costs – When organizations fail to invest in their employer brand it can end up costing them an average of $5,000 per employee. Further, almost 50% of workers said they wouldn’t work for an organization with a bad reputation, even with a big increase in competition.
Additionally, when an employer brand is strong, recruiters experience less friction when introducing the organization to top talent and during the offer stage.
Organizations cannot afford to pass up these benefits.
However, like most aspects of the workplace, the needs and desires of employees and candidates change. Organizations who ensure their employer brand evolves to meet these changing wants and needs can continue to boost their recruiting and retention efforts.