By now, most of the companies realized the importance of starting with their employer branding activities. Whether it's because they keep hearing and learning about it or because they felt the consequences of a lack of employer branding activities themself. However, one thing is talking, and another is developing a coherent concrete plan that will show results. If you are eager to start with your employer branding but you are struggling to kickstart your activities, continue reading the following paragraphs!
5 Steps to Kickstart your Employer Branding Activities
In the following paragraphs, read about the steps you should take to make the process of kickstarting your employer branding activities as smooth as possible:
1. Analyze The Current Situation
Before you start making any plans, it is essential to analyze the current situation at your company. You should ask yourself what are some of the behaviors common for your employees and what kind of working environment is your company? Only when you know the current situation can you begin to think about what and where you would like to be in the future. Here are some of the specifics you could focus on when analyzing your current company culture and habits of your employees.
- Flexible or non-flexible working arrangement
- The atmosphere in the office: Friendly vs. professional relationships
- Work hard play hard mentality vs. an excellent work-life balance
- Dominant teamwork or independence among employees
- Learning curve across teams
- Horizontal and vertical mobility within the organization
The most reliable and inclusive way of doing your analysis would be talking to your existing employees and asking them to describe how they see the company in terms of the elements mentioned above.
Once you ask several team members of each team how they would describe your company, you will understand what kind of organism your company is. From there on, you can also start making decisions on what should be kept and communicated externally and improving to build a unique culture with a strong employer brand.
2. Decide What You Can Improve
Even though often mistaken by it, employer branding doesn't entail just externally communicating your company's values and culture. Just as much as being an external activity, employer branding is an internal activity (if not more). That being said, after you analyze the current situation at your company, you can start focusing on what is that you want to keep and what should be changed. Did the employees during your conversations often focus on a lack of flexibility in working hours and saw it as a problem? Or did they maybe mention that they would like to develop a more friendly relationship with their coworkers than they currently do?
If any of these scenarios apply to you, it is time for you to start changing some things around. Internal activations such as team building and initiatives that entice employees to have a coffee with their coworkers can be a great way to start tackling such issues. On the other hand, if your employees said there is not much space for them to grow at your organization, you might focus on building an evaluation and mobility system that would motivate them to reach the next step in their career.
Ultimately, no matter what issues you encounter after analyzing the current situation at your company, they will all help you map the direction you would like to take for the future. Do you want to build a company known as a community of high performers, or maybe you want to attract high-quality employees by offering a friendly environment - it's up to you in the end! Create a plan and start changing things around.
3. Think Through Your EVP
The employee value proposition is something that goes hand in hand with employer branding. There is no way of building a strong employer branding strategy without predefined EVP. Employee value proposition stands for the balance of the rewards and benefits that employees receive in return for their performance at the workplace.
Setting up a transparent and truthful Employee Value Proposition will make you stand out from the competitors and make your future employees precisely know what they can expect from working at your company.
Here are some of the most critical elements of EVP:
4. Paint your Culture with Words
Now that you have evaluated and reevaluated everything that your company is as a working environment, should be, and stands for, it is time to communicate and display all of it externally.
When communicating your values and displaying the culture on the outside, it is important to choose words, expressions, and other ways to portray the atmosphere at the workplace. It's time to paint with words! Since this is not an easy task, here are some practical tips you could use when creating content for your career site or job ads:
1. Point out The Important
Before you start writing your content, decide what some of the essential points you would like to communicate to your future candidates are. Would you like to point out that you are a young and dynamic team or an organization with a long tradition?
Each of these descriptions implies quite different working environments, so it is vital to have that in mind when creating your employer branding-related content.
2. Appreciate Your Current Employees
As Bill Boorman once mentioned in his interview for The Undercover Recruiter:
"Appreciating your current employees is potentially the best way to attract the new ones to decide to come work for your company."
Being genuine in appreciating your current employees and showcasing it externally could be seen as the main ingredient for kickstarting a successful employer branding strategy.
Want to show your current employees appreciation but you need some help? Read our guide with 20 Ideas for Employee Recognition Programs!
3. Mark Milestones
Each company has its milestones, and why not celebrate them? Whether it's a personal or a company milestone, they all deserve to be marked or celebrated. By creating some traditions, employees will feel more appreciated and motivated, and your company will ultimately become recognized for how it treats and celebrates people.
4. Show, Don't Tell
Instead of only talking about what it's like to work for your company, try showing it. And there is no better way to show the atmosphere from the office than to post pictures and videos on your company site or your social media accounts.
Not only that people prefer watching videos instead of reading the text, but it will also help you paint a picture of your offices and the teams. However, watch out and stay true to yourself and always aim for content with the most truthful representation of you and your team.
5. Be Unique and Relatable
In addition to creating truthful content, try being personal and relatable. Yes, we know this is not always that easy, especially if we consider that your main participants are employees that most likely don't feel comfortable being on display and are probably more focused on their work and deadlines.
For that reason, try focusing on them and seeing what suits them the most, the most passionate about at work, and what form of content they would be most comfortable with. Once you focus on real stories, you'll find yourself creating unique and relatable content!
10. Lead by Example
Building a strong employer brand is dependent on many factors. Displaying the culture, putting your employees on a stand, and understanding the importance of these actions will only happen if the leadership leads by example. Whether it is the CEO that pushes those efforts or a dedicated team with strong support from the CEO or the board, they all need a high level of involvement in building the culture and displaying it.
5. Promote Your Employer Branding on Social Media
Now that you know how to kickstart employer branding activities at your company, read "How to promote your Employer Brand on Social Media", and create the ultimate employer brand!