6 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Employer Branding

Currently, job searchers are putting extra effort into researching employers. The information they find plays a major role in whether they will pursue an opportunity with you or look for jobs elsewhere. That is why it is now more important than ever to be proactive and intentional when showcasing your workforce and workplace culture. Having a well crafted employer branding strategy can help you strategize and influence your potential candidates so they see your business in the best light. But in order to do that, you should be aware of some of the most common mistakes that employers make.

What is Employer Branding?

Why’s it Important?

55% of job searchers refused to apply for a job if the employer branding is negative. If you don’t control your narrative or actively manage and promote your employer brand, then you risk losing out on quality candidates.

Good reputation makes sourcing candidates easier. You can leverage your employee network, passive candidate networks, and former applicant networks. These opportunities become available due to good employee- and candidate- reviews, referrals and recommendations.

92% of people would consider changing jobs if the alternative company has a great employer brand. Your brand value can help distinguish you from competition and reach passive candidates.

How to Create a Great Employer Branding Strategy

Before diving into what not to do, it is important to highlight what methods work best when building an employer branding strategy. Following these steps will give you a basis on how to build a unique brand that reaches and engages diverse audiences.

  1. Conduct a brand audit to see what the current perception of your company is
  2. Make sure your employee value proposition (EVP) aligns with your company culture
  3. Make your candidate experience a priority
  4. Use social media as one of your primary tools
  5. Incorporate social responsibility (cultural, social, environmental, etc.)
  6. Keep your employer brand and employee value propositions relevant to current times
  7. Use your current workforce to cultivate and grow your employer brand

6 Things to Avoid When Employer Branding

A huge part of carrying out your employer branding strategy is to make sure you continuously audit and revise it. Whether you are beginning to build a strategy or you are looking to refine your strategy, it is always good to look for simple mistakes that are making your process less effective. So, here are 6 common mistakes that employers make when employer branding.

Not Having a Clear Direction on What Success Looks Like

Before you jump straight into employer branding, you have to first identify what your employer brand is. Ask yourself

how can I influence candidates’ perceptions so that my reputation aligns most with my company culture?

To find the most successful method, you must develop your employee value proposition and identify your WHY. Why would an employee choose to work for you and not anyone else? From there, you will have a clearer picture on where and how to direct your resources.

Not Having a Clear Vision of Your Ideal Candidate

So, you’ve improved your employer brand, and now you are seeing an influx of quality candidates. However, you don’t have a vision of what an ideal candidate looks like for that role.

It is very possible to hire an awesome candidate and then realize that the candidate is not well-suited for the role at hand. At that point, your options are to risk it and spend extra money training and onboarding, which could potentially frustrate everyone. Alternatively, you can fire them. Doing this over and over again will surely damage your reputation and discourage candidates from applying to your jobs.

That is why it is important to have an ideal hire in mind for each open position. If you want to improve your employer branding to help source candidates, then you should have a plan to cultivate those benefits. Otherwise, it could end up having an adverse effect on all the work you did to improve your employer brand.

You Ignore Social, Cultural, and Economic Changes

Many Millennials and Gen Z’ers want to work for companies that share the same values as they do. Because of this, you should try to find ways to relate and connect to younger workers. This means that you cannot ignore social, cultural, economic, or environmental changes.

You don’t have to address or be part of every major movement. However, you should stay up to date on current events. Then, when there is a movement or shift in society, you’ll know about it, and you’ll be able to talk about it to potential candidates. To take it a step further, if there is a movement that aligns very closely with your company culture and values, then you can show your concern by doing something to support the movement. Doing this shows candidates that you care and are actively involved in the community.

You Lack Authenticity

People can see right through a facade. You can’t fake employer branding, especially with the way information travels on the internet. It is in your best interest not to lie or over exaggerate any part of your employer brand.

The goal is to be transparent and put yourself in the best possible light without misleading people. If candidates detect that your brand is not aligning with reviews or their own experiences with you, then you risk losing the trust of your employees, as well as other potential candidates. In the long run, this can make hiring a nightmare for you.

Ignoring Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion has become a major part of hiring. Without showcasing your commitment to a diverse and inclusive workforce, you’ll never be able to actually build a diverse and inclusive workforce.

Maybe you are starting from scratch and have very little diversity. That’s okay. To incorporate it into your employer brand, try to showcase whatever diversity you do have. Then, do small things to show that you are committed to diversifying your workforce. These include:

  • Welcoming diverse candidates in your job ads
  • Being intentional about posting job ads where you know different groups of people will see them
  • Creating internship programs for targeted groups
  • Creating a referral program targeted at your “diverse” employees

Prioritizing the Job Above the Person

Prioritizing the job above the person goes back to the way you treat your workforce. The way you treat your workforce will have a huge impact on how you are able to sell your employee value proposition, which is a major facet of your employer brand. Many employers are unable to create a convincing branding strategy because they can’t rely on their workforce to vouch for them.

So remember, the foundation of employer branding starts within your own workforce. Don’t neglect your current employees, as that creates an environment that becomes toxic, unsupported, underdeveloped, and unproductive. On the other hand, if you treat your employees like they are more than just workers, you have a shot at not only building a healthy workforce, but also utilizing your workforce to boost your employer brand.

Once you’ve got your employer branding strategy down pat, it’s time to make sure your job ads and job descriptions reflect that. Brainstorm your ideal candidate, pin down your employee value proposition, and post a free job on Job Searcher.

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