Usually, startups don't have time or money in abundance. Therefore, they need an employer brand strategy that is penny-wise and time-effective. Now, you might be wondering about the appropriate steps that you can take to build your first employer brand? This blog will walk you through 10 steps to establish a strong employer brand as a startup that too on a budget. But before that, let’s understand what an employer brand is.
What is an Employer Brand?
Employer brand is a term used to describe your company's reputation and popularity from a potential employer's perspective. It represents the values your company gives to the employees.
In talent acquisition, employer branding is used to introduce your company as a wonderful place to work. Moreover, it's used for communicating with the current employees as well as attracting a new workforce. Research shows that a strong employer brand directly impacts talent acquisition, which can help your company have higher-quality and more satisfied employees. Also, it significantly improves candidate experience, which helps retain employees longer.
Today, there is a wide variety of similar job openings available. However, while candidates are overwhelmed with this variety, companies are trying their best to deal with regular job-switching. This is where the importance of employer branding arises.
Employer branding helps position successfully and differentiate your company in the market. This ensures that potential employees don’t doubt their choice in favor of your company. To gain their trust and uplift them to choose your company over the competitors, you must ensure that your recruitment and marketing strategies are aligned.
According to Igniyte, 84% of job-seekers say that a company's reputation as an employer is crucial when deciding where to apply. Moreover, recent employer branding stats reveal that 69 percent of job seekers are more likely to apply to a company if the employer brand is actively managed. Considering these figures, it can be confirmed that your company will miss out on top candidates without a strong brand, which might affect your business.
But worry not! Here’s how you can build a strong employer brand as a startup.
10 Ways to Build a Strong Employer Brand as a Startup
Now that you know what employer branding is and its importance, take a look at these 10 ways to an employer brand with ease. The following points will help you formulate a strategy to establish an influential employer brand as a startup and help with better talent recruitment.
1. Know Your Brand’s Vision, Mission, and Value
It is crucial to align your business values with your employer's brand for it to be influential. Know and state your company’s vision, mission, values, and culture. If you have clarity on your brand mission, vision, and values, it will help you identify your business needs and understand what type of talent you need to fulfill the objectives. This will further lead to a better recruiting process.
2. Conduct Employer Brand Audit
Are you aware of your company's reputation among the job seekers or your existing employees? If not, you must conduct a brand audit to know where you stand. You can send out various surveys or check out social media, Google reviews, and sites like Glassdoor to learn what people have to say about your company. You also have an option to hire a firm for reputation monitoring.
The research should ultimately let you know the potential and existing employees’ favorite aspects of your company and its culture and highlight areas for improvement to ensure a strong employer brand.
3. Values and Benefits for Employees
After you’ve done your research, work on creating a list of your company’s values and benefits to create an employer value proposition. It is a message and a promise you want to convey to your employees. Therefore, it should say nothing that isn’t true and things that you cannot deliver. You can display your employer's value proposition on your website, LinkedIn Page, and recruitment materials.
4. Existing Employees at Your Advantage
When job seekers wish to learn more about your company and employer brand, the second thing that occurs to their mind after reading the reviews is knowing what your current employees have to say. Leverage your existing employees by interviewing them and conveying surveys that give you an insight into what they think of your company culture.
Once the research is done, you can display the results on your website and social media. You can also ask your employees to post on their social media accounts. This way, you can share your culture with more and more potential employees.
Another great place where you can focus on employer branding is your career page. It’s the place where you can share your employee's testimonials, success stories, and upcoming updates that could interest your new hires. It is very important to have a career page when you think of employer branding.
5. Positive Onboarding Process
Onboarding is your company's first impression and experience of your potential employee. If the onboarding process is not well planned, the new hire can have a negative experience, leading them to look for other opportunities.
Therefore, instilling a positive company brand image starts with a well-planned, positive, and creative onboarding process. If you get the candidate engaged and excited about the culture, role, and teams, they’re more likely to stay.
Arm your new employees with the necessary tools and instructions to excel in their roles from the beginning. This will ensure a smooth transition, lower turnover rate, and more productive teams.
6. Showcase Your Inclusion Initiatives
For creating a solid employer brand, it is best to show your commitment to building diverse teams. According to a study, workers who rate their organization as doing enough or too much to address diversity and inclusion have a Workplace Happiness Index score of 75. Therefore, you must invest in D&I initiatives for more innovative ideas, better customer service, and strong workplace culture. Moreover, extend your brand's reach to new groups of people to ensure a positive employer brand.
7. Encourage and Act on Employee Feedback
Consider your employees as powerful brand advocates. However, they also have the power to damage the image if they feel disrespected. To avoid this, establish a habit of monthly employee feedback through easily accessible ways. Give them an option to mention their name or submit it anonymously.
When they feel like they have a voice within the organization and their feedback is valued, they’re more likely to stay and convey positive reviews.
8. Leverage Social Media
Today, if you don’t have a social media presence, you're missing out on many things. Therefore, it is crucial to create social media profiles and promote your brand by highlighting your excellent work in your field. What's more? Keep posting about the events, talk sessions, and any new initiatives or even awards you win to showcase your culture, achievements, and positioning in the market.
Frequently engaging with your community on social media can give you regular insights into how your potential customers and existing employees, as well as job seekers, perceive your brand. Promote your brand to reach a wider audience and attract new talent through social media.
9. Offer Learning and Growth Opportunities
Many people leave their jobs because they’re bored or when they don’t get to learn, and there is no growth. They start looking for companies that challenge them and offer them better learning and growth opportunities.
If you offer constant learning opportunities to your employees and help them become proficient in new skills, you showcase your emphasis on continuous learning and improvement. And if you challenge your employees, they won't get bored in their roles, which leads to higher retention rates. As they keep developing new skills, they become even more valuable employees for your company over time.
10. Create Flexible Work Policies
Every employee today looks for flexible work policies that support better work-life balance. Therefore, you must consider creating flexible work policies, including flexible schedules, remote roles, and hybrid work schedules. However, it is crucial to ensure that remote workers feel connected to their colleagues and team leaders through frequent communication and inclusion activities.
You can also plan to offer internal training and access to outside professional development opportunities to your employees. This will definitely help you attract and retain employees keen on career growth. Moreover, try implementing review processes frequently to attract and motivate top performers.
Building and managing your employer's brand undoubtedly ask for a lot of hard and smart work. However, if you keep investing in your brand, it ensures a positive reputation. This will also help you attract better talent and quality employees who can help your business touch new heights in the long run.