When potential customers think of your company, you probably want them to think about how great your product is. But what about potential employees?
Some companies have fantastic reputations, which is why they regularly top the lists of best places to work (think Hilton, Cisco, or if you are local to the Raleigh-Durham area like us, SAS). And then some companies do not have great reputations—potentially due to toxic work culture, poor benefits, etc.— I won’t name those.
For a company to attract and retain the best talent, they need to have an employer branding plan. Employer branding is similar to product branding. For example, when I think of polar bears, I often think of Coca-Cola because of its use of polar bears in commercials. Another example is thinking of McDonald’s when you see the (odd) color combination of red and yellow. While as a company leader, you aren’t marketing a product, what do you want potential new hires to think when they see your company’s name?
Employer Branding is how you market your company to potential employees. The Society of Human Resources Management states that “it encompasses an organization’s mission, values, culture, and personality.” If you want the right people at your company, it is essential to get your branding straight.
Make it Make Sense
One of my favorite sayings is “Make it make sense,” essentially meaning be consistent. You can have a beautiful, hand-painted sign at the front of the office stating your core values or your mission statement, but it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t, you know, create actions that reflect those values. At a previous company I worked for, they routinely gave shoutouts and little awards for employees whose work or efforts perfectly reflected a core value. In turn, these core values can create your company culture—so make sure to sit down and take the time to perfect them to reflect better what kind of employer you want to be.
All Hands on Deck Means All Hands on Deck
That being said, everyone should be taking pride in embracing your core values to create your company culture. While the marketing team and sales team may be doing so, what happens if the software team isn’t? Say, for example, the software team is managed by James, and James does not embrace the core values. Employees may leave with a bitter taste in their mouths because they were working in a toxic culture. Now, the whole company looks bad, when really it was just James who couldn’t be bothered to foster the ideal culture.
Take Charge of Your Company’s Internet Presence
Once you’ve got things situated adequately in your company, take a close look at your internet presence. Glassdoor exists, and it’s brutally honest. If there are common themes in reviews that you need to work on, work on them. Have your social media people on top of your LinkedIn and Twitter, too, sharing experiences about “Life at (insert your company name here)” that may entice others to work there. Keep up with conversations surrounding social justice and equality, engage in them, and mean and act on what you say. And lastly, make sure your careers page is easy to access and simple to use. Nothing turns off a high-quality employee like a difficult to navigate careers page.
Take Pride in Your Recruiting and Onboarding
Take a good hard look at your recruiting and onboarding processes. Are they organized and efficient? Are you keeping up good communication with candidates? When you hire new employees, are you following proper onboarding techniques? Or are you just leaving them in the dark? People will remember how they were treated during the interviewing and onboarding process, so make sure you leave a good impression.
Lastly, use data. You are already using business intelligence for all of your operations, so use it for your people too. With a people analytics platform, you can get a read on your employees’ engagement, and troubleshoot problems and bottlenecks before they start, keeping your brand in top shape—happy people=happy company. If you want to try out People Analytics, consider Peoplelogic.ai. Peoplelogic.ai is mission control for teams, watching customer retention, employee satisfaction, and workflows within your company 24/7/365. We mitigate risks and surface opportunities for growth in real-time, so you can focus on scaling your business and staying true to your company culture. And guess what? You can get started for free.
During this pandemic, you can bet people are paying close attention to how employers are treating team members. Ensure that you’re sharing the message that you care about your employees by reviewing and reshaping your employer branding.