Employer branding is your employer value proposition. It reflects your organization’s reputation as a place to work.
The most important asset in any business is its people. Employees drive workplace culture, innovation, your company’s reputation, and your bottom line revenue. This is why employer branding is so critical. It has a domino effect from the moment someone comes in contact with your company to the moment they become an employee.
Company culture starts with that first interaction a candidate has with the recruiter and persists throughout the interview process until they are hired. From there, if you want employees to continue to sing your praises, you need to give them the tools and provide the environment for them to do so. Here are 8 ways to make your employees your biggest brand advocates.
- Reach out directly. For candidates who make it to in-person interviews but who you do not hire, notify them by phone instead of sending that cold canned email you have drafted in your applicant tracking system. This personalized communication will have a profound effect and may help you avoid a negative review on company review sites.
- Keep them engaged. If your interview process takes more than a few days, consider sending emails to candidates about your company to keep them interested in what you have to offer. Lynda Whittemore from retail furniture brand Room & Board gives some tips here.
- Make an impression with a ‘Welcome’ packet. Once new employees are hired, work with your marketing team to put together a branded “Welcome bag/box of swag”, and be sure to include something they can use on their first day such as a coffee mug, lanyard for their employee badge, insulated lunch bag, pair of socks, or pen and notepad.
- Provide important reminders. Create a text message or email workflow with helpful reminders on where and when to report on their first day, public transportation information/directions, and how they can prepare for breaks/lunch on their first day. PRO TIP: Ask existing employees to provide their best tip for a new employee and create an FAQ document from their suggestions. This engages your existing employees and makes them feel like part of the process, and may give you a tip you didn’t think of!
Include your frontline associates in your employer branding strategy as they represent an authentic voice of your brand.
- Ask their opinion. Survey your employees regularly to keep a pulse on how they are feeling. Ask them for their opinions on what could make a difference in their day-to-day and share that feedback with upper management.
- Make it fun. Hold a contest that encourages employees to share their own views or create their own content. Some examples:
- Ask them to take a video of themselves describing what your brand means to them in three words.
- Ask them to submit pictures of their pets (for National Pet Week in May or Halloween).
- Ask them to share a company update on social media and reward the person or team who gets the most engagement with a prize.
- Make sure that each employee feels empowered. Take for example, Zappos Library List: This enforces one of the company’s core values and empowers employees to learn and understand their CEO’s philosophy on running the company.
- Give public recognition. Create a monthly company newsletter that not only highlights what’s new in the company but also features employee recognition stories. It can be either internal only or external facing. Costco does a great job featuring their frontline workers in their Costco Connection Newsletter, which they also send to customers.
- Invest in manager training. Managers have a huge impact on hourly workers’ day-to-day morale and motivation. Make sure your managers know how to handle common questions around compensation, learning and developmental opportunities, as well as how to give positive and negative feedback.
- Compensate them accordingly. If the culture isn’t great and you don’t pay your hourly employees fairly, they’ll go elsewhere.
Research from Great Places to Work shows when employees like their company, they are 149 times more likely to recommend their workplace to others. An employee’s public affirmation validates all the hard work you’ve put into building your employer brand and culture. Time to go build some all-star advocates!