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Employer Branding: An Essential Talent Management Strategy

Employer branding has become an integral component of an effective talent strategy. It’s synonymous with a company’s reputation as an employer, portraying the image of what the company is like to work for. The purpose of properly conveying and clearly communicating an employer’s brand is essential to attract, engage, develop, and retain the best talent for your organization.

By properly reflecting a company’s image and what it is like to work for, higher quality talent will be attracted and be more likely to stay. Bad hiring decisions can be attributed in part to improper alignment of potential candidates and organizational values and culture, which often results in high employee turnover. However, if an employer’s brand is in alignment with what a candidate is seeking, employee turnover can be reduced by ~2/3, saving time and money from the cost of re-hiring, lost productivity, and potentially lost revenue.

Employer branding enables recruiters to attract talent since it makes it easier to approach candidates. Organizations with a best-in-class employer brand will experience better responsiveness to emails, application rates, confirmation of interviews, acceptance of offers, and employee referrals – all contributing towards improved talent attraction and retention.

Organizations can take several steps to improve their employer brand, including surveying and hosting focus groups of recent graduates, candidates, and recent hires to find out why they are looking at certain companies. This could delve into the recruitment process itself, including the onboarding process. Internal surveys can be conducted to understand why top performers stay and what is key to keeping them. Customer surveys can help drive what consumers think about the brand versus competitors. Organizations can also analyze data to gain insight into website effectiveness and traffic: how candidates link to the career website, how many pages are viewed, and when candidates opt out. 

WilsonHCG recently published 2015’s Fortune 500 Top 100 Employment Brands. Criteria I thought noteworthy included employee reviews and candidate experience, which deservedly were given a higher weighting this year. Candidate experience was measured objectively through the use of Glassdoor and Indeed’s company ratings data. Recruitment marketing, including use of talent communities, was also an important criteria used, among several others.

NelsonHall estimates that in 2015 ~60% of RPO contracts will include employer branding. WilsonHCG is one of the RPO providers offering employment branding services including assessment, design, delivery, management of the employment brand, and measurement of its effectiveness. Client-branded satisfaction surveys of hiring managers and candidates are conducted, including survey creation, distribution and analysis. WilsonHCG’s employment brand practice enables its recruiters to more closely align candidates with company culture during the recruiting process.

RPO vendors help to convey employer branding through the marketing of recruitment campaigns, including campus recruiting and communicating the brand in advertising. Employer branding is an opportunity for organizations to identify and promote their employee value proposition through social media, search engines, networking sites, and the company’s own employment and career sections.

Recruiters align their strategy with the company’s employee value proposition when speaking with candidates, and can provide answers to why they would want to work for their organization based on company values, culture, career path, compensation, and benefits. And RPO vendors help with high-touch responsiveness to all candidates, something that many companies are not good at.

NelsonHall RPO research reveals that employer branded career sites are the third top sourcing channel, behind employee referrals and LinkedIn. The ability to provide broader HR services, including talent management services and employer branding, is one of the top drivers of RPO. And developing a talent pool and improving a client’s employer brand are top critical success factors for a successful RPO engagement.

Contributing to the bottom line… the impact of increased focus on employer branding will be the ability to attract the right talent who will then be engaged, leading to increased employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction, productivity, sales, and reduced attrition. This leads to ever-important cost savings for the company, which is something the business continually asks HR to contribute towards. 

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