Companies spend thousands – even millions – of dollars developing ‘brand’ recognition for their products. Slogans, iconic logos, memorable jingles, etc. But, how much time and effort have you spent on developing your company’s ‘brand’ – or reputation – as an employer?

Whatever the general public believes about your company IS your company’s “employer brand”. Building your reputation as a great place to work is just as important as building the brand of your product. Having a strong employer brand will help you:

*Attract top-notch talent.
*Save time in the hiring process.
*Reduce the cost of your recruiting and hiring process.

In today’s current environment, the best workers have a variety of employment options, so you now have to go out and find job candidates, recruit them to apply for open positions, and sell them on working for your company. You are no longer interviewing potential employees – potential employees are interviewing YOU!

CURRENT WORKFORCE

A large part of building your employer brand starts with your current workforce.

Companies that have strong employer brands tend to be proactive in working to retain CURRENT employees. You do this by staying up-to-date on current hiring trends and having regular reviews of your benefits plan, with an eye on IMPROVING your plan. Companies with strong employer brands are also consistent in doing internal marketing to employees. Make your company a great place to work, then constantly remind your employees that they are valued and that they made a great choice when they chose to come to work for your company. Make it clear that your employees are valued partners in creating and building a product and company that they can be proud to be associated with. Happy employees who respect their jobs and the company, and who are proud of the product they produce, become your best brand ambassadors to the community at large.

VALUES, CULTURE AND EXPERIENCE

Today’s workforce – especially the younger generations – want to know more about Values, Culture, and Experience. Your recruitment efforts should include aspects of these elements as part of your overall recruiting message. But, most importantly, the message concerning those elements must be real and truthful. Today’s potential employees really do care about social issues and environmental issues, so promote your company’s charitable work in the community and promote the efforts you make in being environmentally friendly.

Job candidates are also interested in company values like Integrity, Accountability, Commitment, Purpose, etc. Your company should have clear core values that form the base of how your company operates and makes decisions. Those values should be openly stated, promoted throughout all levels of the company, and most importantly, they should be adhered to by company leadership.

What is your company culture? Company culture covers a variety of elements like work environment, ethics, goals, and expectations. Company culture is important to your recruiting process because employees who feel like they “fit in” are more apt to enjoy their work and be more productive. When employees feel like their employer’s values and culture closely match their own, they also develop better relationships with co-workers, create less personal drama at work, and have a tendency to work for your company longer.

From the recruitment and interview process to the everyday aspects of the job, employees are placing more emphasis on their experiences than ever before. Employees are no longer happy with the daily grind of going to work, working hard, and then going home – simply because that is what is required and expected of them. Today’s world of technology, fast-paced entertainment, screens full of information everywhere, and instant gratification has produced a workforce that wants an “experience”.

Although people tend to waste a lot of time on social media and mindless entertainment, they don’t want to feel like their time is being wasted by someone else. Is your hiring process easy, efficient, and speedy or is a slog through a swamp of slow processes and inefficiency? This really does matter to job candidates.

Younger employees also want an emotional connection to their job as part of their experience. You have to work to get them to “share the dream” of the company’s founders. They need to feel a sense of purpose in their work, they need to believe in the product they are making and the need that the product is filling for society. They want to feel like they are making a difference in the world, not just working for the payday.

Modern workers also need to feel valued and appreciated. Many older generation workers were happy to put in the work and get a paycheck at the end of the week. Today’s generations want more than a paycheck. They want to be told “Thank You”. They want to hear that they are doing a good job and that their effort is appreciated. They want to know that their voices are being heard and that their contributions to innovation, creativity and society are welcomed and encouraged by the company.

So, as you are looking to revamp or enhance your employee recruiting process, ask yourself a few questions.

*Do I have a strong employer brand? If not, how can I fix it? If so, how do I build on that?

*Are my current employees happy working here? Would they recommend that friends or family members apply to work here?

*Are my pay rates and benefits comparable with other local companies? Do my pay rates, benefits, and policies make my employees feel respected and valued?

*Does my company have clearly defined values, do we communicate those values to our employees, and do we actually adhere to those values?

*What kind of company culture do I have? Am I recruiting candidates who will fit in with our culture?

*What is my interviewing and intake process like? Is it efficient? Is it a positive experience or a turn-off for a potential employee?

*Am I leading my industry from the front, or am I just following trends after someone else has already set the pace?

*Do my employees feel secure in their jobs?

Hiring talented and dedicated employees in today’s current job climate is a difficult process and you may have to take a close look at your company’s reputation as an employer. Don’t just follow the leader or the latest trends, step up and be the company that sets the standard for everyone else.

If you would like to get together and talk about your company’s “employer brand”, feel free to contact me – Carl Brady – at cbrady@eastalabamaworks.com. I am happy to help!