Editor's note: This is a contributed piece by Eric Friedman, founder and CEO of eSkill Corporation, a provider of Web-based skills testing for pre-employment and training.
As you may already know, your competitive advantage relies on the job satisfaction and productivity of the employees who work for your organization. Companies that develop reputations for being great places to work have strong employer branding. Unfortunately, many organizations believe that successful branding is beyond their reach; they believe that the branding they see in other companies is impossible to replicate.
Fortunately, employer branding responsibilities do not fall only to HR, marketing or communications. It’s is a whole-business function, which any company has the opportunity to develop. Here are five myths that prevent many companies from creating a healthy employer branding strategy.
Myth #1: It's too expensive.
In reality, you can’t afford not to. If you have an existing foundation, it’s you’re in a good position to shape and implement a branding strategy for your company. You already have an army of brand ambassadors — your employees. When your company is seeking candidates, ask your current employees to share job openings through social media. This is an easy and free way to strengthen or create an employer brand.
Myth #2: It’s just for big companies.
Employer branding is even more necessary when you have a consumer brand that few have heard of — yet. You need to invest in your online presence and analyze how candidates find out about your company.
When they do a search for your company, what information does Google show on the first two pages? Would a job seeker see relevant information about job openings? Many candidates use information they find in a Google search as a factor in deciding whether to interview or accept a job offer from a company. And you don’t have to be a big company for people to look you up.
Myth #3: You can’t measure it.
Yes, you can. Whether you’ve been executing employer-branding campaigns for years or are just starting out, studying the analytics of your company website is crucial.
At the very least, you should analyze how many visits you have on your career landing page each month, the areas on your website where visitors spend the most time, and how many applicants apply for each job through your website. You can also analyze how many people interact with your social media platforms by using Google Analytics, Twitter Analytics, LinkedIn Analytics, and other analytics tools, which are all free. By setting goals and constantly measuring them, you can see how your branding strategy is working.
Myth #4: My company doesn’t need it.
Do potential candidates line up at the door of your HR department without any effort on your part to recruit them? If the answer is yes, then you deserve a statue. But if the answer is no, you need to analyze each step in a candidate's journey to find out how he or she interacts with your employer brand.
According to a 2016 Glassdoor U.S. Site Survey, 69% of candidates are likely to apply to a job if the employer actively manages its employer brand (e.g., responds to reviews, updates its profile, shares updates on the culture and work environment). Are you doing all you can to be responsive and current?
Myth #5: It is too difficult.
The good news is that your employer brand already exists. You don’t have to create a new one, unless you’re creating a new company. You can outline an effective employer branding strategy by calling on your current employees: Ask them what they like about their work, what they value most about the company and what directives they would like to develop. This allows you to access their insights easily and quickly and use them to project their positive image of your company on social media platforms, which are usually the entry point into employer branding.
Every company has an employer brand, whether it has been consciously or unconsciously defined. By tapping into the wisdom of current employees, company management and candidates who have interacted with the company, you can build a healthy employer brand — an absolute “must” as your brand is the reputation your company has with its employees and job candidates.