How do make your company appealing as a prospective employer without raising salaries?

In response to the recent Labour Market Statistics, this series will offer examples of ways in which recruiters and employers can thrive during low candidate availability. In this, the third in our series of articles demonstrating how you can manage the dwindling talent pool, we explore the importance of a good employer brand.

An employer brand promises a particular kind of working experience; it is the impression that the public and job seekers have of what a company is like to work for. A positive employer brand works as an attraction and retention tool because it appeals to the kind of people who would benefit from and thrive in a specific company’s culture.

Companies like Google or Nike with glowing employer brands don’t need to throw unnecessarily high salaries at candidates; they have constantly and consistently built their public perception as one of extreme capability, and are therefore seen as having the freedom and scope to offer great employment packages.

There are a number of factors which contribute to employer brand, including:

  • The official messages through company careers site and social media channels
  • The candidate experience throughout the recruitment process (slick process, personal contact, interesting interview formats, positive interviewers, prompt feedback)
  • A welcoming onboarding and induction process
  • Word of mouth; the opinions of current, former and potential employees
  • A clear vision
  • Working environment
  • The opportunity to learn and progress
  • Flexibility to balance work and personal commitments
  • The quality of leaders and managers
  • The perception of the company within their sector/local area
  • The little things which differentiate you from your competitors

Strangely, it is often underestimated as a retention tool, but many CEOs argue that its importance actually exceeds that of salary. Candidates want to see that their prospective employers balance the needs of the business with the needs of its employees. This says to the candidate that their wellbeing is important to the company.

According to Ere.net, ‘top professionals care about the people they work with more than anything else’. Communicating to your candidates that their future colleagues will be pleasant and productive to work with is a vital component of employer brand. Not only can they learn from working with strong co-workers, the fact that a company is full of top talent is a strong indicator of its quality.

Once a good employer brand has been established, it must be effectively communicated to your candidates. If your company effectively markets itself as an employer of choice, the candidates will meet you halfway in the recruitment process, sourcing you just as you source them. The promise of a good experience, the potential for growth and being able to say that they work for your company with pride is often a deal-breaker.

In the next edition of Sustainable Solutions, we explore the value of nurturing homegrown talent, demonstrating how promoting from within and investing in Learning & Development can root your business in experienced and engaged employees.

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