Building a strong employer brand is, hands down, one of today’s biggest HR trends. Not only does a powerful employer brand help recruit and retain top talent, but it also boosts your company’s reputation, raises overall brand awareness, and impacts your bottom line. As a result, hiring and recruiting professionals must think a little more like marketers to implement an effective employer branding strategy.
Regardless of your company’s size or branding experience, there’s still a great deal HR can learn from Marketing to establish your organization as an employer of choice. If you need advice on how to improve employer branding to attract qualified candidates, check out these seven tips – straight from industry experts:
1. “Sell” your company and your open positions.
“Savvy HR and recruiters/talent acquisition professionals have come to understand that recruiting is more like sales and marketing and less like HR. One has to sell the organization, the role, the upsides, and the value for the candidate, particularly in a hot labor market. Marketers are experts at branding and telling stories – not all HR folks are. Marketing help is generally well accepted and appreciated, provided that all compliance requirements (and there are a ton of them in HR/recruiting) are met.”
-Michael Trust, MPA, SPHR, PHRca, SHRM-SCP, Michael Trust Consulting
2. Know your audience – your ideal candidate.
“Hiring is 100% marketing. It starts with understanding your ideal persona, then crafting a message (your job advertisement) in a manner that helps your ideal candidate understand why the job is going to improve their standard of living. Next, it is all about getting that message in front of the right people. This is much easier to do when you know who they are after creating the persona.”
- Fletcher Wimbush, CEO, The Hire Talent and Wimbush & Associates, Inc.
3. Tap marketing for help writing job postings.
“HR is responsible for maintaining the vision and values of the company, but they might not be good at communicating it to the general public. The marketing department, however, does this every day. So, if you want to attract candidates who share your goals and values, it only makes sense to have the marketing department help out with job listings.”
- Jon Hill, CEO & Chairman, The Energists
4. Treat candidates like customers.
“HR departments can learn from marketers how to treat candidates more like customers instead of cattle. Job interviews can be stressful because they can be callous for scrutinizing reasons. Even the core language of HR is often worded in strict legalese and stern policy. Marketing, branding, and PR in the context of HR and recruiting can help soften and convince more people to endure the obvious discomforts of interviews, assessments, due diligence, hiring procedures, online paperwork, and background checks.”
- Baron Christopher Hanson, Lead Consultant and Owner, RedBaronUSA
5. Highlight your company culture across channels.
“Finding a job you love isn’t just about ticking the boxes of the right salary and job title; the company culture and feeling of being valued is often more important. One example of how we have worked on our employer brand is through a recent ‘meet the team’ video we created that highlights our fun internal culture and how each team member has their own personality and quirks.
We also felt this was an important campaign as it helps potential new hires see the people they’ll be working with – and get a true sense of the company culture and how they would fit into the puzzle that is our organization.”
- Jennifer Moseley, Recruitment Marketing & Communications Specialist, Nova Recruitment
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6. Use compelling calls to action in job ads
“The activity of writing a job description is much like the task of writing a company blog. Marketers will need to present information clearly in a blog, meeting search engine requirements and visitor expectations. They'll also need to sign off with a compelling Call to Action (CTA) that persuades readers to take action. Much of this is the same in recruiting where the goal is to get potential candidates to apply and understand the role through the information given.”
- Bethany Spence, Content Marketing Specialist, Exposure Ninja
7. Remember the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
“One way I've seen marketing work with a company to improve its brand image to recruit high-quality employees is to designate someone to take photos at company luncheons, birthdays, events, and parties, and then to post these photos on the company website and social media platforms.
This is an effective way to publicly show the camaraderie and friendship present in your company. And, any outsider looking in sees that as a ‘plus’ and a reason to at least consider interviewing with your company.”
- Stacy Caprio, Founder, Growth Marketing
For more tips and tricks for creating an effective employer branding strategy, check our free Employer Branding Toolkit.