Employer Branding

October 4
Hero empower-employees-social-media

It can be difficult to involve your employees in your social media endeavors. Employees may not feel comfortable with social media, or may be reluctant to connect their personal social profiles to their work. Both are completely understandable reasons and you should always be respectful of your employee's comfort. However, there is no better brand ambassador than your employees. Nobody knows your company better than those who have worked there every day. Nobody can better represent your company culture than those who contribute to its very identity. For these reasons, you need to persuade and inspire your employees to participate in your company's social channels. Here are five ways you can empower your employees on social media!

  1. Lead by example

You can't expect your employees to hop onto social media and integrate their personal brand with your culture if you aren't doing it yourself. Demonstrate to them how you share fun materials through your personal network. Show your future brand ambassadors examples of the posts you share that promote your brand vision, and the positive response that comes from it.

  1. Provide adequate training support

It's very possible that your employee may not use social media in their personal lives, and come out not understanding the system at all. Throw away your assumptions and ensure that every employee has access to training when asking them to represent your brand on social media. Let's be honest, Twitter to a first-time user can be quite daunting. Most social platforms were designed to be fairly intuitive in their use, so most employees should be able to flourish after a small amount of guidance.

  1. Promote discussion

Social media should not be a daily obligation to post x posts about y subject between the hours of 9am to 12pm, at which point another employee will take over. Social, as the word implies, should be an ongoing conversation. Emphasize to employees that they are free to voice their own opinions to promote the business - in fact, it will sound more organic if they do so! Organize something like weekly meetings or a private online network for your social media ambassadors to gather and discuss together on, generating valuable new ideas for your brand.

  1. Show how social media can be fulfilling

One great thing about social media is that your followers can leave direct, immediate, and honest feedback about your company at any time. It can be very inspirational and provide a sense of achievement to share company news or accomplishments and see the feedback right away. Being a brand ambassador can be self rewarding.

  1. Reward your employees for sharing

Take a moment to notice and congratulate your employees if they are doing a good job. Recognizing employees for effective social sharing is no different from recognizing them for a job well done elsewhere in the company. This will inspire excitement and motivation within your company about your social media ventures, as well as interest others in joining your social team.

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August 3
Hero 6-reasons-video-rules-for-recruiting

Every individual in marketing today recognizes the importance of video. They know that video is the most effective medium for selling a product via social media. When it comes to marketing your jobs to top talent, video is just as effective. Recruitment videos can increase applications by a third and they are 12 times more likely to be shared on social media than text only job posts. But many companies are still ignoring this powerful hiring tool. Use these six ideas to jumpstart your video recruitment.

1. Highlight your employer brand.

Explain your company’s core values, give candidates a virtual tour of your facilities, and introduce job seekers to their potential coworkers. Strong talent brand leads to 2.5x more applicants per job post. And millennials often employer brand as being a more important factor than salary when applying for a job. Giving job seekers access to this information about your company in a video creates a level of trust and connection that you cannot achieve through other mediums.

2. Show off perks and benefits.

Video is the perfect way to show candidates all the bonuses of working at your company. Film snippets of staff events or parties and all the everyday stuff that makes your employees love coming to work. Like staff lunches, after work drinks, or an attractive workspace. Share interviews of employees where they talk about their favourite perks of working for your company. Or what benefits they enjoy. Again, video is much more compelling than texts for this type of content because showing always carries greater weight than telling.

3. Explain your hiring process.

This is a win-win situation. You’ll help job seekers understand how and why you hire so that they can make more informed decisions about which jobs to apply for and what to include on their resumes. In turn, you’ll see a higher caliber of applications come across your desk… Or, more likely, your computer screen ;) For content like this you can try using an animated video or a quick whiteboard explainer ideo. They’re relatively inexpensive and excellent for conveying a process or giving instruction.

4. Have employees give you a glowing review.

In the vein of employee referrals, this tactic is highly effective for encouraging job seekers to apply. Reviews the most powerful piece of content for persuasion in social media marketing because people are 71% more likely to make a purchase if they read a recommendation via social. Having an actual employee sing your company’s praises is recruiting gold! These testimonials are even more meaningful when candidates can see and hear the employee delivering this message. These are easy videos to make as all you need as a happy employee and a smartphone with a good camera.

5. Answer job seekers’ questions.

You probably get a lot of questions during the interview process. Chances are the job seekers considering applying to your company have a lot of the same questions. So why not answer them with a video? Have your hiring team compile the questions that interviewees most frequently ask and then answer those questions in detail in a video.

6. Share your company’s biggest wins and coolest projects.

Potential for advancement, and job satisfaction are two major deciders for potential applicants. Job seekers want to know that your company is growing because that means they’ll have an opportunity to grow with you. They also want to feel pride and fulfilment in their work which means the type of project that your company undertakes matters a great deal to them. Using blog posts or Facebook posts to share updates like these  is very effective, but when you have something extra special to show, then a video is worth the time investment. Don’t be intimidated by video recruiting, have fun with it. Even if your videos are shot simply with a smartphone, a little creativity and confidence are all you need to create and awesome video that will engage job seekers!

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July 20
Hero how-your-employer-brand-can-harm-your-talent-acquisition

Passive candidates make up three-quarters of global candidates making them an essential part of all recruitment strategies.

Unfortunately for HR, these candidates are not checking job boards.

But they are reading blogs, Tweeting, and checking their Facebook. And that is how these candidates find you.

This is why HR pros believe that recruitment will become more and more like marketing in the coming years.

And why “75% of global Talent Acquisition leaders say talent brand has a significant impact on their ability to hire great talent”. (Source)

An enticing, prominent employer brand is the key to attracting top talent.

On the other hand, an unappealing employer brand with send top talent running for the hills!

LinkedIn’s 2015 Global Recruiting Trends Report, surveyed 4,125 talent recruiting decision makers in 31 countries.

Making it the largest report of its kind.

The report devotes an entire section to employer brand because the data shows that it plays a crucial role in a company’s’ ability to attract qualified candidates.

One of LinkedIn’s central findings is that an unattractive employer brand can lose companies up to half of their applicants.

LinkedIn’s Winning Talent report found that no amount of money could convince 50% of UK workers surveyed to accept a role at a company with a poor employer brand.

Having no employer brand will also hurt your bottom line. Not as much as having a bad one, but enough to significantly affect your recruitment.

Investing in employer brand is shown to cut back employee turnover by a third.

A robust employer brand can reduce cost per hire by 50%.

Employer brand is vital to reaching passive candidates.

And, if your competitor’s employer brand is stronger and more prominent than yours, then they’re reaching more talent than you are.

Thankfully, LinkedIn’s research doesn’t focus entirely on the negative!

The Winning Talent Report includes some actionable information that you can use to improve your employer branding.

The research shows that offering flexible benefits and perks is the most valued benefit for candidates.

36% of employees say that flexible work will persuade them to take a job with a company.

Almost as many (34%) say that evidence of a positive company culture is what most influences their decision to accept a job offer.

And 28% are looking to work at a company that has a good reputation within their industry.

Job security, professional development opportunities, and a high caliber internal team are the other top motivators for recruiting top talent without offering any increase in salary

“Finding the best people remains the number one driver of success for any business. Better communicating the benefits and attractions of their business to potential recruits has to be top of the agenda for recruitment, resourcing and talent professionals.” – Chris Brown, director of UK talent solutions at LinkedIn.

Your employer brand is the first impression that you make on potential hires.

Make that impression a good one!

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July 6
Hero the-5-essentials-of-building-your-brand-on-social-media

Whether you want to hire new talent, sell products, or grow your audience… You need to focus on your brand because none of these things is possible if no one knows who you are! Your ability to generate any of these results is based on your brand. In an era where the average person spends so much of their time online, the best ways to build that brand is through social media. This is why 78% of companies now have a dedicated social media team and why 76% of companies choose social media to communicate their employer brand. Although the use of social media branding is ubiquitous successful social media branding is not. Many people still struggle with using social media. I get emails and calls every day from people who have been tasked with growing their organization’s employer brand on social, but don’t know where to start. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by social media or want to expand your knowledge, then this list is for you!

1. Choose the Right Social Networks.

There are hundreds (possibly thousands?) of social networks out there. Trying to create a thriving brand presence on all of them would be exhausting, expensive, and ridiculous! Yes, social media is a great tool for branding, but the majority of social networks are not worth your time. Instead of trying to broadcast your message to as many networks as possible, find the platforms that align with your brand and are frequented by the audience you want to reach.

Here are a few things to consider when making this choice:

  • LinkedIn is a great place to build credibility. It’s worth having a company page on LinkedIn just to show job seekers and potential partners (investors) that you have one. Whether you make use of any of the networks social capabilities should depend on your desired audience and how they use LinkedIn.

  • Facebook is still the best platform for promoting brand awareness. The network has over 1 billion users and makes sense for most brands because of its diverse user base.

  • Instagram and Pinterest are both excellent choices for companies with highly visual brands. Instagram tends to work a little better for brands targeting a younger demographic and Pinterest is best for brands looking to grow their popularity amongst women.

  • Twitter is awesome for having a conversation with your audience. The network is best used in combination with Facebook and/or blogging as you can use it to promote the longer form content that you share there.

2. Share Valuable Content.

You can’t build your brand without engagement. Creating content that your audience thinks is valuable will make them want to share, comment, and like. This is the key to growing your brand, not witty calls to action or flashy logos.

Here are a few things to consider when crafting content for social sharing:

  • Tailor your content to the social network. Twitter demands short, snappy copy whereas Facebook user tend to prefer longer more detailed posts… And remember, you can’t share to Pinterest without an image!

  • Everything you share on social media must reflect your brand. For example, emojis are fun, but if you use them in your employer branding, don’t be surprised to see your candidates use them in job applications!

  • Use visual content as much as possible. Content with engaging images gets 94 percent more views on average than that without. Facebook prioritizes posts with images and Twitter users are twice as likely to click on tweets that include a picture.

An excellent way to find content inspiration is to look at what your competitors are doing! Pay attention to what types of content they tend to focus on and what content is most successful for them. I’m not advising you to steal their blog posts word for word, but if you notice that infographics work well for your competitors, then you may want to start posting some yourself.

3. Get Help

If you have a relatively unknown brand or are new to social media then you’re likely getting lost in the noise. Being consistent with your content will eventually remedy this, but it will take a while. You can speed things up by getting help from your team, your current audience, and, ideally, influencers in your industry.

Here are a few different ways to reach these influencers:

  • Mention influencers on Twitter and engage them in a conversation. You can also reference them in blog posts and then let them know so that they can Tweet about it.

  • Connect with them on LinkedIn and let them know why you think that they are worth connecting to and what you respect about their work.

  • Tag any influencers you’ve referenced when sharing content to your social media profiles.

  • Ask influencers if you can interview them for your blog or website.

  • Email influencers after you’ve published your content to let them know they’ve been referenced in your work.

It takes time to build up relationships with influencers in your field, but it’s  the second best way to get your content shared to a large audience.

4. Spend a Little to Get a Lot

This is the best way to get your content shared to a large audience! Social media used to be free(ish). This is no longer true. Facebook and Twitter ads, especially if you carefully target those ads so that they reach people who want to hear what your brand has to say. Always use your most valuable content for paid ads and tailor that content to the audience that you are targeting so that you get the best ROI for your ads.

5. Be Authentic

The word authenticity gets thrown around a lot my social media professionals. But it is often used as more of a catchphrase than it is to provide people with real, actionable advice. When I say be authentic I do not mean be yourself. What I mean is: Do not lie. If your company is not young and hip, then don’t try to deceive people into thinking that it is. If your product will not bring about world peace, then don’t say that it will (I’m looking at you CocaCola!) You’ll get the best results by emphasizing the things that truly are amazing about your brand, not by trying to trick people. Social media is one of the most powerful ways to reach people, but it’s also an easy way to  alienate people if you don’t use it appropriately. This is what makes having a robust social media strategy in place so important. If you choose the right networks, share valuable content, reach out to influencers, advertise intelligently, and stay true to your brand then your hard work will pay off. Sources:

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May 4
Hero 6-ways-to-build-employee-trust

Employees in any organization are heavily invested in their time at work.

Trust is often cited as one of the main hallmarks of a successful company and building employee trust is essential to the running and success of any given team.

According to Harvard Business Review, “Your employees must believe in each other. When they don’t, communication, teamwork and performance inevitably suffer.”

So how do you go about building a winning team that trusts each other and your organization as a whole?

Be Consistent

Consistency is a key factor of any successful organization.

How a place runs – including the rules around processes – are ways to communicate an organization’s visions, goals and ideals.

It is important maintain consistency from the regulations governing annual leave entitlements to which team is in charge of the kitchen roster!

Staff need to have a clear idea of what they can expect to encounter on any given day. Consistent rules and directives help employees to feel more in control of their working lives, as they are aware of the parameters that surround them.

Consistency helps employees to achieve their goals by freeing up headspace so that they can think about the future instead of stressing about what the day-to-day framework of the organization is going to look like.

Have Firm But Fair Policies

Every organization needs to ensure that the employee policies they set down are firm but fair.

There is an increasing move towards more flexible workplaces, where people can take advantage of lifestyle improving factors such as flexible start and finish times, the option to work from home, casual dress policies and open door access to upper managers.

While all these policies make for (generally) better workplaces, it is still valuable for employees to know the rules and regulations around these benefits so that they are used appropriately and judiciously for the benefit of all.

If employees feel like there are no firm policies, many will become disengaged and may feel that some people are taking advantage of the system, while others keep their nose to the grindstone.

Having firm but fair policies and communicating these effectively is key to any organization’s long-term success.

But Stay Flexible

The Work Life Balance Organization believes strongly in the benefits of providing a flexible workplace.

“Flexibility in where, when and how work is undertaken is a priority for most employees at different times in their careers,” and “If employers are to attract and retain staff they need to offer and support flexibility at their workplace.”

If your employees trust that you (as an organization) will support them when they require flexibility in their lives, such as when an unforeseen emergency comes up, they will be more likely to go the extra mile for you when they need to.

Demonstrating flexibility can be a great cost free (or low cost) incentive for staff members and one that has shown to have long-term value.

Never Badmouth Others

Toxic workplaces have become so common that there is even a Wikipedia page devoted to the subject. A toxic workplace could be defined as one that is “marked by significant drama and infighting, where personal battles often harm productivity.”

Bullying, backstabbing, and badmouthing are all signs that a workplace has become toxic.

Badmouthing others is never an acceptable workplace practice for an HR department. This may seem like an obvious point, but it is too often ignored. It is also one that is difficult to weed out once a culture of negativity has been established and allowed to grow.

Deal with staff members who badmouth their colleagues or upper management in a firm but fair way and communicate that the entire team and company at large demands a higher standard of engagement.

Be Transparent

Marc de Grandpre, senior VP of marketing for KIND was recently interviewed for an article the necessity of maintaining a transparent workplace.

In it he states, “It is absolutely critical to have both an authentic and transparent work environment.” – Click to Tweet

He also beg the question, “How can your company learn, grow and succeed if people are afraid to be themselves, voice their opinions and genuinely show that they care about the brand and team?”

Because, according Grandpre, transparency is essential for idea-flow and allows staff to flag problems early on, without the fear of recrimination or rebuke.

Set an Example

Older siblings set examples for their younger siblings and so should upper management set examples for their team.

An HR team should be the driving force behind the culture, the ethos and the values of any organization. It must enforce these guidelines judiciously.

How can team members be expected to uphold the best practices for their workplaces when they see management slacking off or behaving badly?

Leading by example is one of the most important ways organizations can foster employee trust.

“As a leader, part of your job is to inspire the people around you to push themselves – and, in turn, the company – to greatness. To do this, you must show them the way by doing it yourself.”

– Diana Vanbrabant

This is relevant whether you are a manager fronting a team or an HR department that is driving the organizations’ culture as a whole.

Alyce Vayle is a career writer, journalist and blogger for a major education brand. She is also a content producer, digital communications copywriter and media geek. You can contact her through her blog.

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April 20
Hero how-to-build-an-award-winning-team-culture

Creating and maintaining a successful team culture is one of the most effective ways to retain staff, keep them engaged, and ensure your company is meeting its targets.

Today, workers place a higher importance on the culture of an organization – if they don’t feel valued, appreciated and that they are a good “fit” they are more likely to move on.

Equally, hiring managers seek to fill roles with staff that enhance the company’s image, personality and ethos.

A team member who does not fit with the general culture of his or her organization will struggle to perform.

They may begin to feel restless and start to cause problems for the rest of the team, either deliberately or unintentionally.

Astronaut, engineer and military man Chris Hadfield said:

“Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It’s about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high.”

Here are some techniques to build an effective team culture in your organization.

Have a Distinctive Personality

Every organization, even when only made up of a few individuals, needs to know what it represents to its customers and clients.

Paul Meehan of consulting firm Bain and Company says that turning commitment into strong performance relies on the fact that “a company’s personality needs to be complemented by behaviors that motivate employees to excel over and over again.”

Make sure that every employee from entry-levels staff to the chief executive team knows what is expected of them, so that they can be as productive as possible, while still maintaining a sense of individuality.

Hire the Right People

This is a simple point, but hiring correctly in the first place saves time and money.

It also prevents serious workplace issues such as disengagement.

Rather than just looking at a candidate’s experience and resume, consider how they are going to fit in with the company as a whole.

Remember that diversity is an essential part of any well-rounded workplace. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you need to hire a certain gender or age group for a role.

Every department benefits from a good mix of people, older and younger, parents and singles, ethnicity and gender diverse.

Have Open Communication Channels

Are you team members working in a silo? How accessible is upper management to the wider team?

When a worker has an issue, how easy is it for them to get assistance and how likely are they to seek out help from the correct channels?

Ben Kirshner of American Express’ Open Forum says:

“When employees feel they can engage directly with leadership, they’ll build a stronger sense of community with your organization as a whole.”

He also says that at Amex, this has been imperative to building a strong and solid team culture and an iconic brand.

Set expectations for your staff

Every team member needs to have a clear picture of where they fit, this should not be set in stone, but be flexible and constantly under review.

Team dynamics shift and change as new members are added and this affects the expectations placed on every worker.

According to Simon Moss, TRC Group’s Managing Director:

“Every employee should have clear expectations as to what they need to do to advance. They should know what that advancement will look like. If you begrudge it then you’ve foolishly set the standards too low.”

Keep Your Team Motivated

What sort of rewards systems do you have in place for when your team achieves goals?

Workers are placing an increased importance on other motivators.

Flexible/remote work, time off, incentives and “perks” like free meals and a decent coffee machine factor into their engagement.

Review the motivators that are in place to see if they are effective. Survey your teams frequently to find out what they value most because this will change as staff join or leave the team.

Foster a Team Mentality

John Keyser is the creator of a company called Common Sense Leadership.

He is an expert career motivator and works with executives to develop organizational cultures.

Keyser’s aim is to assist them to produce outstanding results and organizational improvement.

He says, “This fosters a stronger sense of interdependency and encourages everyone to share new ideas.”

And that “Viewing an individual by what they do fails to take into account many attributes and talents that an individual can contribute to creating a winning team.

Engaging others as partners in the success of an organization shows that you value people for who they are and not just by the results that they produce.”

How’s your team culture shaping up?

Finding and fixing gaps in your team culture strategy is a great opportunity to make their mark on your organization.

No winning team culture is built overnight and sometimes a few tweaks in the right direction can have an impact felt company wide.

Surveying current staff can be a great way to get started, either informally or as some sort of structured venture. Don’t be discouraged if what you discover is not 100% ideal – these “culture gaps” are golden opportunities for growth.

Alyce Vayle is a career writer, journalist and blogger for a major education brand. She is also a content producer, digital communications copywriter and media geek. You can contact her through her blog.

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March 30
Hero how-to-tell-your-employer-brand-story

Communicating your employer brand is crucial to attracting candidates. Being authentic in this communication and honest about your company’s culture is essential to ensuring that the candidates you attract are a good fit. Telling your company’s story in a cohesive, transparent and engaging way throughout the entire recruitment process is the best way to accomplish both of these goals.

73% of recruiters said that to compete against other employers they highlight company culture. (Source: Jobvite) Employer brand storytelling is an elegant form of marketing. It gives your company a face and a soul, which is refreshing in a world full of post and pray job ads. It isn’t easy to create an engaging story or to tell it consistently throughout your candidate’s experience, but the rewards far outweigh the time involved.

Start with an outline

Every good story has a simple narrative arc at its core. To find your narrative, ask yourself and your team: What is the essence of our company? What are our core values? What must potential employees know about our culture? Write out everything that you want to convey to job seekers and potential employees, then take all of those points and put them into a logical order. Approach ordering your points with candidate experience in mind. Think about what would attract a job seeker initially and progress from there. This will help your story unfold naturally and in a way that makes sense to your candidate.

Choose Your Channels

The social networks and platforms that you use to promote your employer brand will influence the content that you create, so it’s wise to choose them early. Blogging is a wonderful way to show candidates what your company is about. Unlike most social networks, blogging allows you to write long form stories that are great for giving candidates detailed information about your culture, your application process, and your current team. A blog hosted on your company site can also be used to drive more traffic to your job postings and blog posts can be easily repurposed into shorter content that you can share on social networks. Companies are effectively marketing their employer brand on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and even Snapchat. They’re all fantastic resources, but you do not have to, nor should you, use all of them. Choose your networks based on where your candidates are. To determine where they are you can research surveys such as Pew Internet’s Social Networking Fact Sheet, and/or ask your current employees about their own social network use.

Gather Intel

Compile as much supporting information as you can. Employee profiles, party photos, quotes from happy customers, videos from team building events… Anything that you could use to give candidates positive examples of what it’s like to work at your company is potential content for marketing your employer brand.

Turn Intel Into Content

Once you’ve gathered everything that you can from your team, it’s time to take the raw material and turn it into shareable content. Write up employee profiles, blog posts, and short messages that convey your company culture. Edit all of your photos and size them properly to share on different social networks. Create images with relevant text overlaid such as inspirational quotes, messages from you CEO, or your company’s core values. For more ideas about what content to create, here’s a guide to best practices for posting on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Make Your Content Work Overtime

Creating content for your employer branding is the most time-consuming part of the process. The most effective way to save some of this time is to repurpose your content. For example, start by writing a blog post profiling an outstanding employee that features some great quotes. Add some well-edited images of that employee, such as a headshot, pictures of them working, and photos of them interacting with their colleagues. Edit these photos and add them to the blog post. Then create a Facebook post that includes one of the images that you’ve already made for your blog post and a bite-sized write up about that employee.

Next choose an awesome quote from your featured employee to Tweet with some relevant hashtags and a link to the blog post. And finish up by adding a fun filter to one of the photos from your blog post and sharing it on Instagram with #hiring and a quick caption that lets your followers know that they can read more on your blog. That’s how you can take one piece of original content and turn it into 4 pieces of unique content that you can share across multiple platforms.

Enlist Help

Getting your team involved in your employer branding works on multiple levels. Not only will your message sound more authentic when delivered by actual employees, but also personal social media accounts tend to get more engagement than company accounts so your message will reach more potential candidates. Ask your team to share your employer branding posts on their social networks, to comment on your Facebook Page, and like, retweet, and favourite the content you share.

Engage with Your Candidate

Building a strong employer brand isn’t just about broadcasting your message; it is also about listening to job seekers and candidates and offering them the support, feedback, and answers that they need. Stick around after you share a post on Facebook to respond to comments, thank people who retweet your Twitter posts, and send quick emails letting applicants know about the status of their application. These interactions are crucial to your employer branding as this is where you prove that your company is as awesome and employee friendly as your blog posts say it is! Check out this case study for an awesome example of employer branding with Facebook!

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March 16
Hero 5-innovative-ways-to-build-employer-brand

In today’s complex job market, employer branding is essential for all companies that want to attract and hire top talent. Convincing potential candidates in the value of working at your company is the core of every employer branding strategy, especially on social media.

Studies show that companies with strong employer brands attract at least 3.5 times more applicants per job. (Source)

Here are five innovative ways to build your employer brand and communicate it through digital channels:

1. Detect your uniqueness

What makes you different from other organizations? Drive to innovation, workplace flexibility or promoting leadership?

Answer these questions to define your message and then spread it.

Employer Branding with Earls Restaurant 

2. Create a specific working culture

Employer branding isn’t only about prospective candidates – it is also about nurturing your current employees and developing a great working culture that they will portray through their own channels.

After all, your employees are the ones that really know what it is like to work at your organization. That’s why they make the best brand ambassadors.

You can create a great working culture by fostering a sense of community and connecting employees on a meaningful level through a variety of dedicated activities. You’ll quickly see how this kind of positive working culture will become attached to your employer brand.

3. Involve company employees

To continue the point above, you can inspire your employees to take an active role in promoting your organization’s employer brand.

Every time your employees are asked about what they do, they’re in a position to communicate your employer brand. Provide them with a clear message about how to express your employer brand to others.

You can also promote great stories about your top employees and encourage workers to share these stories and other content that you have created with their online industry communities.

When it comes to social networks, including company employees is essential to make any news resonate with the largest audience possible. For instance, if you plan to launch a special recruitment video, ask your employees to share the video through their social channels like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. This is an effective way to make sure the news gets lots of attention.

Learn the Basics of Social Recruiting With Facebook

Try helping your team to develop their individual brands as well. If they have their own blogs you can encourage them to share positive stories about work and they most likely have social media accounts where they can share messages that help grow your employer brand, don’t be afraid to ask for their help.

4. Coordinate with marketing

Get in touch with your marketing team to come up with an efficient strategy for leveraging the potential of social networks for employer branding. More often than not, your goals and those of the marketing department go hand in hand. Fostering a strong and mutually beneficially collaboration is one of the best things you can do to grow your employer brand.

5. Use visuals to build your employer brand

Social media users love photos!

Photos drive more traffic and promote engagement with brands across the board, so why not use photos for communicating your employer brand as well?

Including images or video with the content you tweet or share to Facebook is an excellent way to increase engagement. You can also try using social networks that are visually based like Instagram or Pinterest.

With Pinterest, you can create a company board where you’ll pin content like photos from events, awards or workplace life. All this will give candidates a good sense of the internal life of your organization.

How to Use Pinterest for Recruiting 

Building an employer brand online is easier than you think. All you need is a strategy, motivation and patience to see your branding efforts take off!

Tess Pajaron is a Community Manager at Open Colleges, an online learning provider based in Sydney, Australia. She has a background in Business Administration and Management.

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February 23
Hero 11-questions-to-better-your-employer-brand

Employer brand – an organization’s reputation as an employer – is the deciding factor for job seekers when selecting a new employer (LinkedIn’s Talent Trends 2014).

Employers’ cannot ignore the importance of their company’s reputation as an exceptional place to work… Especially considering the mounting war for talent!

The US is closer to full employment than it has been since 1999. – Click to Tweet

According to George Bradt, this has caused a seismic shift in the war for talent.

With options expanding for employees and declining for employers, emphasizing employment brand is critical.

The war for talent is not the only change in today’s recruitment landscape necessitating robust employer branding.

The rise of the social and mobile job seeker demands that companies build employment brands with social reach as, according to Jobvite, 76% of social job seekers found their current position on Facebook and 43% use mobile in their job search.

Companies with attractive and social employment brands will win the war for talent.

So if think that your employer brand is in need of improvement, then there’s no time like the present.

Here are 11 questions to ask yourself in order to build a better employer brand:

1. What does your company stand for?

This question goes to the heart of your employment brand. You, your employees, and anyone involved in talent acquisition for your company should be able to answer this question with clarity and confidence.

2. What do your employees think your company stands for?

The answer may not be what you think! Learning more about what your employees think your company stands for will help you ensure that everyone is on the same page and may even provide a source of inspiration for your employer branding efforts.

3. Why would someone want to work for your company?

Great perks, flexible work arrangements, competitive salaries, a supportive team, a chance to make a positive difference… Not only do you need to assess what it is that makes your company a great place to work, but you also need to know which of these benefits appeal to the candidates you want to attract.

4. Do your managers receive employer brand training? (On how to deliver the brand experience, how to promote the employer brand)

Managers need to understand your company’s employer brand and their interactions with employees should reflect this knowledge.

5. How do your current employees perceive your employer brand?

The answer to this question will help you assess the authenticity of the employer brand that you are trying to project.

6. What percentage of your employees would recommend your company as a great place to work?

Word of mouth is still one of the most effective tools for building a trustworthy brand, if your employees wouldn’t recommend your company to their colleagues, then you need to know why and you need to make some changes.

7. How visible is your company’s employer brand?

Whether your company relatively unknown to potential job seekers or well known by candidates in your field should influence how you structure your employment branding strategy so you must have some idea of your company’s employment brand reach.

8. Is your employer brand social?

Being social means more than just having a Twitter account and a Facebook Page, it means actively sharing content and engaging with potential candidates via social media! If your answer is no, then check out this article on how to grow your employer brand on Facebook.

9. Does your brand reach and facilitate mobile candidates?

If your employer brand is social, then you have the means to reach and engage with mobile job seekers, but you must also make it easy for them to apply for your jobs via mobile.

10. Who owns your employer brand strategy?

This is a bit of a trick question as the answer should be your entire company. According to Brett Minchington “The traditional siloed approach to managing the attraction, engagement, and retention of talent is out of date and out of step with today’s candidate and employee needs.” In short, a more inclusive approach is needed in order to achieve cohesive employer branding.

11. How are you tracking ROI and using the data that you collect?

You need to know the metrics on your current employer branding efforts in order to make an educated decision about the direction of your future brand strategy. Number crunching may be boring, but it’s worth the effort and the extra shots of espresso!

Answer these questions and you’ll see the steps you must take to create an employer brand that will effectively attract top talent.

For more on employer branding check out how this company used Facebook to grow their employer brand and social reach by 500%.

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August 4
Hero caring-is-sharing-why-corporate-storytelling-is-important

During the course I teach in Creative Writing at Utrecht University, I tell my students one thing when they’re considering the protagonists of their stories: make me care. For readers to want to become engaged with your story, they have to like your character – flaws and all.

I tell them that when I’m at a party and I’m talking to someone I don’t like, I politely find a way to excuse myself and exit stage left.

The same can be said of businesses: if I don’t like your business, I’m going to take mine elsewhere. If I don’t trust your business, I won’t engage with it. If I don’t care about the company I work for, I won’t be stimulated to go the extra mile for them. Which is why it’s important to focus on company branding, but more importantly on storytelling.

In AdWeek, Jon Hamm has recently argued that the two are not the same, encouraging businesses to focus on stories that require engagement, rather than the consumption of prescribed content. 

Why tell a story?

Knowing what your business stands for and communicating that to your employees can help boost your Employee Referral Programmes or attract the talent you’re looking for. But most importantly, when people care about your brand, they’ll advertise it and want to be part of it. 

It allows your employees and consumers to tell your story for you.

Also, studies by Melanie C. Green and Timothy C. Brock at Ohio State University have shown that people can be influenced more effectively through storytelling than through logical arguments.

Explore your company’s journey.

It’s vital that the message you wish to send out into the world as a company is clear. In stories, protagonists who don’t seem to go anywhere or who lack a clear identity are confusing, if not downright boring. So for your company to appeal to people, it needs to uncover its values to share a consistent story.

During my lectures on plot development I always refer to Aristotle, who has said that a man is his desire. And as much as this also holds true for a woman, it holds true for your company. 

Ask yourself what you hope to accomplish through your business. If you know where you’re going, you can figure out how to get there.

How to include a story on social media and stimulate people to co-create?

Samara Parker has already pointed out three ways to share your employer brand story with Facebook.

Apart from discussing where you want to take your company, talk about your past and explain the motivation behind starting your business. Consider where you started and what choices you have made to get where you are.

Decisions define character.

When McDonald’s decided against using ‘pink slime’ in their burger recipe, they changed their company’s story.

Albeit a tad late…

Make the story bigger than yourself.

It’s always good to share your causes and show that your company is also about other people. But most importantly, let employees know that they are part of your story.

Tell your brand story through your employees.

Encourage participation.

Hamm states that “stories rely on the intended audience to develop their own imagery and detail to complete and, most importantly, to co-create (…). The truly great storytellers have long embraced the fact that the most powerful stories happen in the mind of the audience, making each and every story unique and personal for the individual.”

Nothing is more powerful than a story in which you can partake. Interactive narratives have always been appealing in the gaming industry and have already crossed over to television, with series allowing you to choose your own ending. The idea of having had an impact on a narrative is one of the most powerful tools in creating engagement.

Make your company’s story personal and interactive by showing how individual employees, even through hobbies and interests, represent and complement your corporate identity. It allows them to imagine how they as individuals could help expand the company narrative.

I always include on my CV that I’m a powerlifter, because apart from that it makes clear that I am one awesomely strong woman, it says I’m goal-oriented, focused, result-driven and can roll with the big guys. Sharing my personal interests and accomplishments as a powerlifter through your company’s social media would say that you employ rock solid staff, making you a rock solid company.

Embrace visual culture.

We live in a time in which the written word is losing territory to the image. One look at popular social media is proof of this: Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Vine, Snapchat, and of course Facebook exert a visual culture, and one that is moving away from image, and towards video.

ComScore reports that in October 2013 189 million viewers watched 49.1 billion content videos online in the United States alone.

On top of that, there’s a hierarchy in trusted communication. Napoleon has said that “a good sketch is better than a long speech,” and he was right.

Seeing is also believing, which is why video is often more powerful than the written word.

Take a look at Apple’s employee recruitment video as an example:

Apple's employee recruiting video

Whether you are using storytelling for recruitment purposes, corporate branding or marketing strategies, the story you tell should build trust, understanding and most of all create engagement.

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