The struggle for talent is fierce, and getting fiercer. One quick internet search will tell you how many recruitment solutions are out there to try to bag the best. But there is one very simple solution that rarely gets discussed, carries minimal cost and is entirely under your own control. Paying attention to your brand as an employer - ensuring your communications are engaging and your workplace sounds appealing - will go a long way in encouraging potential employees to come to you.
Let the comms set the scene
Imagine this…you’re outside a restaurant, looking at the menu in the window. There is a very good chance that even if you don’t look at the prices you have already been able to glean, from the copy alone, a very good idea about the sort of food you can expect, the standard of service, the atmosphere and the other customers. If it talks about ‘foam and jus’ then you can be pretty sure you shouldn’t go wandering there in a ripped t-shirt.
In exactly the same way, the copy that comprises your comms should reflect your branding as an employer, whether it is aimed at external candidates or your internal audience. Your employer branding strategy should incorporate copy and content that suggests a positive place to work.
Make it authentic
What you do and say needs to reflect your mission, values, who you are and where you’re going - as well as the kind of person you’re looking for. In order to attract the right people, you need a clear idea of your brand personality. Are you traditional? Relaxed? Creative or process-driven? What characteristics are you looking for in the personalities of your staff? Make sure prospective employees are clear on who you are and what you stand for.
Rather like CVs in which the candidate has defaulted to ‘tennis and reading’ as their chosen hobbies, many companies describe themselves as “diverse and inclusive”, or “supportive and nurturing”. If your organisation has really committed to these admirable goals and has achieved them, then give proof points, like percentage of women on your Board, awards you have won, etc. So many job adverts read exactly the same, regardless of the employer company or the sector – make yours different.
Upgrade your content
The first thing any potential candidate will do is to look at your website and your blog or social media. If the content on there is uninspiring, all the hard work you did creating a job ad that made your organisation sound as exciting as Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory will have been for nothing. First person videos from staff members describing a project or an in-house initiative, photos of the team or anything else that really gives a genuine flavour of what it’s like to work with you are invaluable. After all, a picture speaks a thousand words…
Just as your sales team is (or should be) always selling, apply the same approach to your employer comms. Don’t miss an opportunity to talk about what you’ve achieved, new campaigns, new initiatives and how you put your values into action. Making yourself a high value proposition or a destination employer is hard and continuous work but once you’ve recruited successfully it’s that workforce that will be employee brand ambassadors and bring others of the same calibre on board. As the competition for good people only gets tougher, assessing and improving your employer communications will be one of the best investments you will ever make.