According to Harvard Business Review employer branding is becoming strategically more important to Founders and CEOs. The ultimate responsibility of the employer brand resides with the Founder rather than HR. So how do companies boost their employer brand?
Evaluate our employer brand awareness and reputation. It’s important to know where your organization stands. A good place to start is with a poll or survey of external stakeholder and target audiences to provide insight into the attractiveness of your startup. Based on the feedback you can create a strategy to improve your brand reputation. Every startup should strive to include the following objectives:
- Securing long term recruitment needs
- Taking the employer brand to a global level
- Differentiating the employer brand from competitors
- Building the employer brand on a local level
Invest in learning and development initiatives. The current workforce is dominated by Millennials who will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025. They expect to be provided with opportunities’ to learn new skills and develop existing ones. Startups should be prepared to meet that expectation. Embracing e-learning platforms is a great place to start giving employees the chance to learn and grow on their own time and give credentials that are transferable such as certifications. This makes an employer more attractive than its competitors.
Capitalize on the value of your brand. Potential employees want to understand the strengths of the startup as an employer. To do this effectively you need to engage talent early and instill loyalty directly related to the brand’s overall mission. Startups need to be able to communicate who they are, what they represent, what their employees can be, and what they offer an as employer. The use of video effectively introduced perspective team members and shows them “a day in the life of…”. Be sure to rotate different roles.
Personalize the candidate and employee experience. A key factor in talent retention is nurturing your workforce and letting them know they are more than just a number. You can do this by mapping out talent progression, recognizing employees, and nurturing relationships by going deeper than just understanding their day to day but the person you work with.
Communicate. This is crucial to ensure everyone understands the value and need of building a strong employer brand and the role they play. Be intentional and frequent. Let your team know about innovations or developments so they can share the news.
Create an employee advocate program. Encourage employees to communicate on their personal networks and relay positive things happening at the company and the ethos of the brand. It’s about the culture of the company and how the company treats and values its employees. You can also create a reward program to recognize individual efforts such as branded swag to a free lunch or spa day. Whatever the incentive make sure it is something employees want.
With talent and skills shortage, it is more important for a startup to be transparent. Startups who focus on employee satisfaction as the advocacy to build their brand will benefit both internally and externally.