In a recent survey, more than two-thirds of hiring organizations indicated that they’re having a difficult time recruiting for job openings, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
With a lower unemployment rate and more job openings, it’s becoming increasingly critical for employers to make sure they get noticed in the crowded job market.
Here’s how to mix up your employer brand so it begins to stand out.
1. Create a consistent message
Your reputation is everything. You’ve heard it before. But what does that mean in the context of being an employer in a competitive job market?
It means prioritizing the special sauce that is your employer brand. Your employer brand should tell candidates why they should want to work for you.
What makes your company culture so appetizing? Why do your employees want to come to work every day? What do they look forward to? What benefits do they enjoy?
For example, you might find that employees like how your company facilitates a collaborative work environment or that they love your community involvement team activities.
As you answer these questions, you’re beginning to build your employer brand and making your company a more attractive place to work.
2. Define your company culture
Your company culture should attract the employees you want, while repelling those who don’t fit your culture.
While the bones of it should be a reflection of your company’s core mission, vision and values, it’s the real experiences of your employees that are the meat and potatoes of your culture.
That’s why you need to have a management team that walks the walk. For example, do your leaders model your values? Do your values challenge them to do their best every day?
Use employee surveys to take the temperature of your company culture and make sure it’s meeting your standards. Employee feedback can help to ensure your culture isn’t half baked.
When you feel confident that you know and understand what sets your company apart, entice job candidates by sharing the secret ingredients of your culture as you interview.
For instance, if your company places emphasis on corporate responsibility, you might ask a question that lends itself to the topic so you can integrate it naturally into the conversation. You could ask “How do you make a difference in your community?” You can follow up their response with details on how your company gives back.
By offering up these vibrant details, you can create a competitive edge in the job market as you look to fill vacant positions.
3. Define your benefits
Prospective employees want more than just a good work environment. They’re also seeking benefits that are comparable or better than what they’re receiving in their current role. This includes things like health, life and disability insurance, retirement savings plans, and paid time-off.
If you’re a smaller company, you may think you can’t compete with big company benefits. However, there are many perks you might be able to offer that bigger companies don’t.
For example, do you allow flexible work schedules or telecommuting? Do you offer on-site snacks in your break room? Do you have a job shadowing program that can help employees expand their skills?
Special perks can help set your company apart. Be sure to clearly define these extra benefits and share them with potential employees.
4. Develop employee ambassadors
With a great employer brand, company culture and employee benefits, you’d think it’d be a piece of cake finding new talent.
But the truth is that finding good people will still take work. Luckily, you can look to your current workforce for assistance.
You won’t find better ambassadors for your company than your own employees, but you’ll need to guide them to ensure they’re accurately communicating the best attributes of your brand.
To become ambassadors, your employees must be engaged in your business with a commitment to your mission, vision and values. They should easily be able to describe your culture. They should know how to pepper in the perks of their jobs.
With some basic training in these areas, you can easily empower your employees to become brand ambassadors and recruit talent from their own contacts. For example, you might have a training session for employees where you go over company talking points and how to create and manage a LinkedIn presence. Social media offers a great avenue for employees to instantly reach candidates you wouldn’t have access to otherwise.
5. Monitor your reputation on the internet
You wouldn’t expect someone to eat at a restaurant with bad reviews. Why would you expect someone to work for an employer with negative ratings?
Potential job candidates today have access to a vast amount of online information about your company before they even step foot in the door for interviews. You want to make sure this information reflects as positively as possible on your company.
With sites like Glassdoor, an online forum where former employees can describe their experiences with your company, you want to make sure you’re defending your employer brand by telling your side of the story, too. While you can’t undo criticism, you can show your transparency and willingness to listen.
For instance, did a disgruntled employee leave an unsavory comment about his or her experience? Take the time to respond publicly and show potential candidates reading it that you care.
Also, consider setting up Google Alerts to keep tabs on how your brand is represented online. Every time your company name is mentioned online, Google will send you an email alert.
Additionally, keep an eye on social media sites. There are a variety of social monitoring tools available that allow you to follow mentions of your brand.
Keep your eye on the prize
With new strategies in tow, you’re better prepared to take on the competitive landscape.