The Importance of Employer Branding

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Chances are you’ve heard about and/or have been impacted by the “Great Resignation.” As of November 2021, 4.53 million Americans quit their jobs. On top of that, one in four people quit their jobs within six months of starting in 2021. But why? To us, this signals that people are realizing that employers aren’t living up to the brand that attracted them in the first place, so they’re simply leaving.

The good news is that you can take action now to attract and retain the right talent by creating a differentiated employer brand that is fully aligned with your employee experience on every level.

The problem

The significant cost of talent acquisition is nothing new. It can cost upwards of $3,000 per $10,000 of income to attract, hire, and on board a new employee. But given the nature of the current job market and how many openings there are, salaries are growing at unusual rates, with sign-on bonuses being offered, further increasing the costs of acquiring top-tier talent. On top of that, the competition has never been higher to attract and retain talent, so roles remain unfilled, only adding burden to existing employees, perpetuating the cycle of burnout. It truly is an employee’s market. And the businesses who are benefiting most from this are those who are focusing on their employee experience and ensuring it’s completely aligned with their brands.

According to a recent Forbes‘ report, revenue growth is linked to high employee experience regardless of customer experience prioritization. Companies that have both high customer experience and employee experience see almost double the revenue growth as those that do not. If you’re struggling to keep good talent, chances are it’s because your employee experience is off and the reality of the work experience doesn’t match the promise being made by your brand. This typically happens because marketing and human resources are working in silos.

So, what exactly is an employer brand?

Your employer brand is the perception and reality of your company as a place to work. This is also known as your “people” or your “talent” brand. It’s your unique identity as an employer that encompasses the entirety of the employee experience. This comes across on your website, online review sites like Indeed and Glassdoor, brochures, internal communications, benefits offerings, what is rewarded and recognized, and more. When looking at these side by side, you want them to match.

Many companies look at one or two things they think make up the employee experience, like foosball tables and kombucha on tap. While these “perks” can be fun, they aren’t what employees value, and it’s certainly not what keeps them around. In order to make sure you’re focusing on the best employee experience, and that your employer brand reflects this, you need to take a holistic view.

Consider these eight areas as they relate to your unique identity as a company and employer:

  • Purpose and values
  • Growth and development
  • Trusting relationships
  • Social cohesion
  • Work environment
  • Technology and tools
  • Safety and security
  • Success of the organization

Benefits of employer branding

Aside from avoiding the pitfalls of the cost of acquiring new talent, incorporating employer branding as part of your overall brand strategy will also benefit your company, and your potential future employees. Here are a few of the benefits:

  • Manage your reputation. You have an employer brand whether or not you’ve done specific work around your employer brand. Everyone has a perception of you. So who’s shaping that? It’s likely the people leaving those reviews on Indeed or Glassdoor that may or may not be aligning with your brand.
  • Attract talent that’s a good fit. We know the power brand plays in our purchasing decisions on the consumer side. This is amplified on the employee side because choosing where to work is a big life decision. It’s not just where people get their paychecks and spend most of their time, it’s how that work leaves them feeling –whether that’s happy or beaten down– directly impacts how they show up and interact with their loved ones when not at work.
  • It’s good business.  If you craft an employee experience that attracts the talent you need to run your business, you increase retention and engagement, which increases customer satisfaction and customer retention. Let’s face it, in today’s market, the businesses that have the people are the ones able to capitalize and grow. The businesses having to cut short their operating hours due to a lack of staff simply put a ceiling on their revenue.

Who owns the employer brand?

Surprisingly, there isn’t much awareness around employer branding (which is why we’re writing this blog). While there are some on the human resources side who recognize this and are trying to tackle it, they don’t have the marketing expertise needed to connect the employee experience to the customer experience. On the flip side, marketers invest heavily in corporate brand identity and understanding their customers and potential customers, but there’s no real connection to the people who will actually deliver on that experience.

The brand identity is meant to encompass the behaviors that are promised and expected as a reflection of the brand. It should define, shape, and represent a culture – and in the case of a company or corporate brand, it’s their workplace culture. This is why employee branding is important.

The opportunity

Yes, people are quitting, but that doesn’t mean they’re staying out of the workforce. In fact, one may say a “Great Reshuffle” is happening. People are reassessing their situations and deciding whether or not their employer is living up to expectations that were set forth by their brand.

This creates a huge opportunity for you to focus on your employer branding and make sure it’s in alignment with your overall brand. The good news is, you probably already have the necessary resources in-house to get it on point. With a little guidance, of course. But that’s where we come in.

If you’d like to learn more or discuss how Sublime Designs Media may be able to help you develop your employer branding, email us at [email protected].