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You may be wondering what Employer Branding is, how it relates to recruitment, and why you should care. Read on for the answers to all of these questions.

What is Employer Branding?

An employer brand represents the culture, mission, and values of your organization. It tells potential candidates what it is like working at your company in an attractive way that makes them want to work for you.

In TA Trendsetters - Winning Strategies from Talent Acquisition Leaders, Katy Theroux, CHRO and EVP of Corporate Marketing for NCI Building Systems, now Cornerstone Building Brands, provides insight into this topic saying, “For our organization, we have one message to the marketplace about who we are and what value we bring. Those values get translated into a set of behaviors and how we work with each other….That voice is what ties us all together, defines who we are together and what that means to our customers, our employees and our NCI brand.”

For Theroux, employer branding differentiates her company at a time when it is still so hard to find talent. She explains that job seekers are looking for jobs just like they shop on Amazon: they research, compare, and look at the data. "This means we must consider how many places job seekers can gather insights on our organization and brands. We need to think about and address the many digital places where they are going to access our brand and present a clear picture of who we are as an employer and a place to develop one's career."

Additionally, Theroux examines how to cultivate a stronger employment brand that can help better attract quality candidates. These candidates become strong hires who get the job done, support the customer to the best of their ability and live out the company’s brand commitment and values. She suggests employers remember the following:

  • Your brand is in every connection. Pay close attention to interactions and engagements, because these are the heart and soul of your employment brand.
  • Employer Value Proposition is as much about the journey as it is about the destination. Take time, research and interaction to create an authentic and genuine EVP.
  • Ensure your employment brand story is strong on all digital platforms. Job seekers are smarter and more resourceful than ever, and will look closely at your employment brand when researching your business.


The Importance of Employer Branding in Recruitment

Compete in the war for talent

As Theroux mentioned, a strong Employer Brand is an asset in the war for talent. While the pandemic may have changed a lot, it did not change the need to attract quality candidates, particularly in a market where more people may be searching for jobs.

One way to compete is to use employees currently working for your company as Brand Advocates for your organization. Who better to represent a day in the life at your company than someone who is excelling at their job and happy to represent the company.

Another way to compete for talent is to remember that content is king. The more content you can release in places where prospective candidates will find it, the better.

Retain your best employees

Once you've hired that star employee, you then need to know how to keep them and having an authentic Employer Brand can help with that. To address the best ways to retain employees, Orion Talent went to the experts-HR leaders, talent acquisition experts, hiring managers and recruiters who work on the front lines of workforce management and created the e-book, "7 Rules of Retention: Expert Insights on Keeping Your Top Talent." Tips include competitive compensation, eliminating bad managers, being flexible, and always being truthful among others Download the e-book here to gain more valuable insight.

Orion Talent CEO Mike Starich also addressed retention in his article for Recruiting Daily. In it, Mike discusses how important it is to offer training opportunities. “According to a recent survey from McKinsey & Company, executives now see ‘investing in retraining and ‘upskilling’ existing workers as an urgent business priority that companies, not governments, must lead on,’” writes Starich, “On-the-job training and team development not only safeguard your ability to stay competitive as a business, it sends the message that you are dedicated to helping your employees achieve meaningful careers.”

Reduce cost per hire

Employer branding also helps with reducing cost per hire, particularly in conjunction with outsourced recruiting. RPOs typically charge a monthly management fee to manage the entire hiring function, along with some transactional fees to fill individual positions.The total cost of an RPO ends up being 60% to 75% less than what some agencies charge, plus companies get the added advantage of freeing up the internal team to accomplish other tasks, like establishing and maintaining your employer brand.

New team members costs far more than you might think. Both internal and external resources affect your cost-per-hire. This ratio, calculated as the total dollars spent for sourcing, recruiting and staffing for the total number of hires during a specific time period.

Tracking your cost-per-hire by hand can be a cumbersome process, however. With this in mind, we have developed a simple resource for you to use to help you calculate your cost-per-hire and better understand your recruiting budget needs. Download your free Cost-Per-Hire Calculator spreadsheet to get started calculating your total cost to hire.

Employer Branding vs. Recruitment Marketing

An Employer brand is part of an overall recruitment marketing strategy. Developing an Employer Brand that will attract candidates is the first step toward recruitment marketing. You then need to consider where, when, and how to deliver it. You may even include ‘who’ if you have a strong Brand Advocate.

How to improve Employer Branding

A recent blog post on Social Talent titled, “Use Employer Branding to Build Outstanding Talent Pipelines” explores the importance of Brand Marketing and Outreach. In his article, author William Ryan writes, “According to a recent poll by Glassdoor – 84% of candidates would leave their current position for a company with a great employer brand.” This stat drives home the importance of an Employer Brand.

In his article, Ryan lays out four steps, for improving Employer Branding. Like Ryan explains, Employer Branding is about more than finding the right talent, it’s about “keeping the relationship warm until it’s time to close.” Having provided Brand Marketing and Outreach services for more than a decade, Orion Talent has seen success in Employer Branding through the following methods:

Develop a Target Candidate Persona

What type of candidates do you want to target?

  • Create a customized careers microsite for that segment and direct all online marketing efforts to it.
  • Advertise on websites on which your target candidates are likely to be spending time.
  • Send targeted emails to candidates that showcase your Employer Brand.
  • Make sure your social media properties align with your Employer Brand. And don’t forget to engage and respond to your audience, as your next superstar employee could be watching closely.


Define Employee Value Proposition

An Employee Value Proposition is very similar to Employer Branding. Decide what it is about your company that makes it unique and desirable. Do you offer excellent wages, generous benefits, or an engaging culture? Once you have that, you can arrive at your EVP. Digitally brand it to targeted markets, like we advise above, and train your Talent Acquisition and HR Teams accordingly.

Content Strategy

Once again, content is king. Write about your open positions in newsletters, blogs, and podcasts. Like Katy Theroux advises, think about all the places your ideal candidate is likely to be online and make sure you are there, too.

Connect Offline

Make sure you are able to connect with talent offline, as well. Targeting military? Consider base visits. Looking for college candidates? Go to a career fair at a university.

People also ask:

How does employer branding help recruitment?

Katy Theroux has taught us that Employer Branding ties an organization together, defines who they are and what that means to their customer or employee. Pay close and thoughtful attention to how your teams engage candidates and employees because those interactions are the essence of your employment brand.

The rise of Employer Branding changed the way she recruited, and it should help your company evolve to attract the right candidate, as well. “Employer branding has the potential to differentiate us at a time when it is still so hard to find talent. What I do know and see is that job seekers are smarter than ever,” explains Theroux.

How can an employer improve branding?

If you are seeking to create or improve your company’s Employer Brand to help with your Recruiting Strategy, consider these ten steps, as outlined by Mike Starich in Orion Talent’s 10 Steps You Must Take for a Proactive Recruiting Program Infographic:

1. Align Human Resources, Talent Acquisition, and Hiring Managers on hiring the best and on the realities of the talent market today.

2. Identify key positions and what those types of employees value.

3. Create an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) based on #2. (Read more: TA Trendsetters: HR’s Role in Productivity and Branding, with Katy Theroux of NCI Building Systems)

4. Make the EVP real (e.g. market wages, benefits, culture, etc.)

5. Optimize Talent Acquisition model based on the needs of your organization. (Read more: TA Trendsetters: Efficiency & Engagement in Talent Acquisition, with Malaika Kattke, Human Resources Director, Corporate and Field Operations at QAD.)

6. Digitally brand your EVP to the targeted markets.

7. Broaden your candidate talent pools for sourcing. (If you aren't yet hiring Veterans, learn more about hiring from this talent pool here: TA Trendsetters: The Business Case for Military Hiring, with Mary Collins of S&C Electric Company.)

8. Adopt new HR/TA technology that makes sense. (More on this: TA Trendsetters: Look Out! Disruption and the Future Ahead, with David Pollard of PredictiveHR)

9. Optimize your sourcing channels.

10. Train TA and HR on the tools, the EVP and how to win the best.

While these ten steps take strategic implementation, team effort, and creative thinking, they can lead to a robust candidate pipeline, immune to the effect of a skills shortage and even a pandemic.

And, if you don’t have the manpower or time to create an Employer Brand, Recruitment Process Outsourcing from Orion Talent can do that for you. We hope you are able to use our tips as a blueprint for recruiting success!

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