This post by Parna Sarkar-Basu, CEO of Brand and Buzz Marketing, LLC, was originally published by Forbes.
This is the era for job seekers. They can choose who they want to work for or where to work from. They can also opt to start their own company or decide to stay at home. We’ve all heard about the Great Resignation, in which a record of more than 4.5 million people quit their jobs voluntarily in November alone. This January, businesses had more than 11 million job openings posted.
It’s time for companies to step up if they want to fill those open positions with the right candidates. It’s time for businesses to invest in developing purpose-driven employer brands to attract, retain and motivate top talent.
What’s an employer brand? Simply put, it’s the company’s reputation that’s presented to the workforce. A strong employer brand also makes a company attractive to customers since many want to do business with brands that care for their employees, along with their roster of diverse suppliers.
Here are some tips to build your employer brand and humanize your company.
The CEO must own the initiative.
If a company needs to pivot or focus on sustainability, the initiative needs to be spearheaded by the CEO. Similarly, if hiring and retaining strong professionals is important for maintaining a competitive edge, the CEO must make employer branding a priority.
Whether it’s the marketing or human resources (HR) team that takes the lead in building and driving the initiative, the primary responsibility of employer branding lies with the CEO. Your CEO needs to walk the walk. They should put in place rigorous measures to ensure it’s a priority for the leadership team and that they are held accountable for the success of the overall program.
Design an inclusive culture that matters to all.
Diversity is a business imperative, not a nice to have. According to Glassdoor’s 2020 “Diversity and Inclusion Workplace Survey,” 76% of participants said that “a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers.”
It’s not enough to hire women or women of color and write blogs about diversity. To move the needle, the company must tie the compensation and career growth of managers and executives to how well they support and foster diversity.
An inclusive culture helps to create a positive ecosystem in which employees are able to feel as though they belong and are appreciated for who they are. In addition to thriving in their respective roles, your employees may become your biggest advocates and promote the company without urging.
Finally, remember that diversity efforts extend past your employees, so don’t forget to develop a supplier diversity program as well.
Collaborate with corporate marketing.
It’s imperative that the HR team collaborates with corporate marketing to develop programs that integrate into the overall company strategy and deliver consistently positive experiences to employees and potential new hires. Brand marketing professionals are responsible for building and managing the corporate reputation, so why not take advantage of their expertise?
During my corporate career, I’ve worked closely with recruiters and HR teams to create programs, content and events to meet companies’ hiring goals while ensuring brand consistency. This collaboration between marketing and HR is a win-win for all parties, especially the company.
Humanize your brand.
A company’s success rests on its people. It’s the employees who are developing the innovative products, interacting with customers and planning what’s next. To be recognized as a best place to work, for example, depends on how your employees feel about working at your company, how they are treated by their managers and the attitude of your leadership team.
If you want to hire skilled professionals, bring your brand to life by spotlighting the amazing people who are helping to build the company and maintain its competitiveness. Celebrate employee accomplishments and milestones publicly, including birthdays and weddings as well as summer vacations and community involvement. Make your employees feel special and encourage them to share their stories on their social channels. Sharing their positive experiences on social media and networking sites will, in turn, help to attract new talent.
A poor employer brand can be costly (subscription required). So, especially as companies compete for talent, it’s wise to invest in your employer branding. Work with your corporate marketing professionals to get it right the first time. And create an inclusive experience for all, so each employee will be proud to serve as a brand advocate and make your company the very best place to work—for real.