Most people in the recruiting space agree that employment branding is as important to recruiters as product branding is to marketers. By taking the idea one step further and branding each job as you go to market, you'll see an impact in three powerful ways.
1. Differentiate the Opportunity in a Competitive Market
Employment branding is important, but it's generalized to apply to every position from a customer service representative to a vice president. As an employer you should boast about strong growth, a great culture and excellent benefits, but many competitors are offering the same things.
To gain a competitive edge, however, dig a little deeper. Instead of thinking "employer of choice," think about why the open position is an "opportunity of choice." Some areas to consider:
- Professional Development: Will the candidate learn new technologies or processes? Will they build soft skills like leadership? Our own research shows that education and career growth are on the forefront of candidate’s minds, and highlighting the potential for these experiences shows that their individual career path matters to you.
- Making an Impact: Maybe the candidate will help implement a new system, influence the direction of the department or train a team to better performance. Employees want to feel like they are part of a team and contributing to the greater success of the organization. Setting this standard up front will make candidates feel like they have value to add.
- Career Path: Perhaps it's clearly structured, such as advancing from accountant to staff accountant, or maybe history shows that strong performers can chart their own paths. Whatever the case, it’s important to indicate that there is an opportunity for advancement and share some ideas about what that might look like.
- Unique Elements of Company Culture: Does your company host regular team-building events? Encourage community service? Allow employees to bring their dogs to work? Host taco Tuesdays or bagel Thursdays? Whatever you do to cultivate a positive work environment, including this type of information in a job writeup is a way to set your organization apart.
In addition, since the team dynamic can vary from department to department, talk about how IT sponsors quarterly great idea competitions, or how the marketing team regularly goes out after work on Friday. To truly engage your target candidates, you'll need a message that speaks to the "candidate persona."
2. Hone in on the Goodness of Fit
Once again borrowing from the marketer's bag of tricks, developing a candidate persona will help identify the ideal fit for the open position, and it's easier to create than it sounds. Start by describing the necessary skills and experience, and then fold in these two other significant factors:
- Engageability: This includes the motivation to dive in, start contributing in short order and keep learning and growing on an ongoing basis. The branding should convey how the job will enable the candidate to do these things. For example, "Leverage your experience to make an impact from day one and build on that momentum."
- Characteristics of Your Top Performers: You would clone them if you could. Point out the characteristics they bring and explain how your organizational environment will let candidates express those characteristics. Suppose your best software developers are passionate about taking on new challenges and enjoy getting involved in areas beyond their specialty. Your message could be, "Take on a steady stream of intriguing challenges in a broad role."
Branding the job with goodness of fit in mind increases the likelihood of attracting the kind of candidates you want.
3. Start Engagement Before the Hire
According to our 2018 TrendicatorsTM Best Practice Report, 81 percent of active job seekers feel that it's important to get information about a prospective employer's recognition and rewards programs. They want to know how your company promotes engagement.
The recruitment experience will influence engagement one way or another, so let job branding help you ensure that this experience sets the stage for a long and rewarding relationship between employer and employee.
Any open position's challenges and opportunities help drive engagement, so they should be part of the branding. Do you need a manager to implement process improvements? Your top candidate wants the opportunity to move the needle. Is the open position part of a career progression? Share those specific details to attract talent with ambition and a love of learning. With this approach, you'll get candidates who are looking forward to getting started on day one.
These three strategies will take a little extra time and effort on the front end of developing job writeups for open positions, but the payoff is threefold: A competitive edge in recruiting, candidates who are a better fit and stronger employee engagement.