Employer branding can be a valuable tool for HR leaders looking to have a positive impact on talent acquisition and retention. In fact, a recent Forbes article states that talent leaders (69%) say that employer branding is the top place they’ll be investing their budgets this year1. In this article we look at 3 factors HR teams must get to grips with to maximise the impact of their employer brand.
In simple terms, an employer brand is the reputation an employer has as a place to work. It’s a mix of your culture, employee opinions, candidate opinions and corporate brand2. In the past it may have been enough to let your employer brand tick along. In a hyper-competitive talent market where candidates are increasingly looking to align their workplace with their values and purpose, it makes sense to take a more pro-active approach.
Employees behaving more like consumers
Access to online reviews and ratings from platforms like Glassdoor and recruitment sites like Seek has increased transparency for candidates and gives them direct insights into a workplace. The research tells us candidates are doing their homework, with 86% of applicants likely to research company reviews and ratings when deciding where to apply for a job3. In an era of social media word travels fast and perception matters. The upshot is that if you are not in charge of your employer brand, someone else may be telling your story for you.
Maximising the impact of your employer brand
For your employer brand to have a long-term positive impact it needs to be authentic. For HR teams there are 3 key factors that can inform your employer branding initiatives:
1. Be inspirational not aspirational
Ideally your employer brand will attract the right talent and retain the employees you want to keep. A mismatch between who you say you are, and the reality of your workplace can lead to recruitment fails. For HR, it pays to keep stakeholders (including marketing) focused on what you can deliver as an employer as opposed to focusing on stretch targets or wish lists. Leverage insights you have from existing employees. You can lean on data collected from exit interviews and recruitment feedback to validate your employer brand is on track. Ensuring your EVP and employer brand align is a key way to keep your message consistent and grounded.
2. Before you get emotional, make sure you’re competitive on the contractual
The goal posts have shifted when it comes to employees’ expectations. Despite an increased focus on values and purpose, remuneration is still a key driver of acquisition and retention. While it can be tempting to focus employer branding initiatives on mission and purpose, it’s important to ensure your employer brand is supported by a solid foundation of competitive pay and workplace benefits also known as employee benefits.
While there is an element of subjectivity about purpose or mission, when it comes to pay and benefits things get more black and white. HR can provide valuable support to an employer brand by making it easy for employees and candidates to understand the complete monetary value you offer across salary and benefits.
3. Take opportunities to bring your employer brand to life
Your employer brand lives in the conversations and experiences your employees have but also in communications and content you deliver both internally and externally. By taking a human-centric approach to how you talk about your employer brand you can create stronger connections with your intended audience. A key pillar of our approach to program promotion at Maxxia is to connect employee benefits to the things that matter to your workforce. For example, for many employees starting out in their career balancing a budget will be top of mind. Some employees have the opportunity to salary package HECS/HELP debts potentially giving employees the ability to pay off their debt sooner. Whereas employees who are looking for opportunities to progress their career may be interested in salary packaging self-education expenses. This benefit applies to many forms of education – as long as it is related to their job. Self-education initiatives may include courses or seminars, journal subscriptions and new reference books.
By connecting benefits to your employees’ key life moments, you can have a positive impact and provide tangible proof of the vale you offer as an employer.
As a premium provider of employees benefits to many organisations across Australia, Maxxia have seen the difference salary packaging can make to the overall financial position of employees. Not only can take up of salary packaging boost net household income for employees, a best-practice program supported by effective communication can also strengthen your employee value proposition as a whole.
Maxxia can offer your organisation a complimentary benefits assessment to measure the effectiveness of your current employee benefits offer. We can also put a dollar figure to the potential savings and efficiencies from running the program and compare overall performance with best practice for your industry.