Employer Branding: Tips and Techniques
By: Paul Croteau
May 17, 2009
The first thing companies and organizations do in challenging economic times is “hunker down” and look at how to manage their cash flow more wisely. In many cases, this means that vacant jobs are not being filled as quickly, bonuses are being cancelled or held back and new job opportunities are put on the shelf, waiting for better times. In my view, this is a knee-jerk reaction and is very short-sighted. In fact, without skilled talent to fill those jobs, you will do nothing more than spin your wheels.
But, let’s say that you really don’t have a choice. How then can you keep your organization or company out in front, out in the marketplace, ensuring that you are a known entity and attractive to candidates in the future? The answer lies in developing a specific but subtle recruitment marketing campaign. The following tips and guidelines might work for you:
Celebrate and market your people – purchase advertisements in a business or association magazine and/or newspapers and other prominent mediums. Put the face of your successful staff right into the advertisements. Not only do readers relate to real people, your employees will be proud of being selected to portray the success of your company. They will become your recruiters!
Reward employee referrals – your employees know and understand the corporate culture of your organization. They know who will fit and excel and those who won’t. Set up an employee referral system. Grow a group of employees that have synergy and enjoy working for you.
Continue sourcing potential candidates – continue to research potential candidates yourself and/or hire an executive search professional to develop a comprehensive list of potential candidates for you. Build your pipeline of candidates. Know where they are and then, when you are ready, this list can be used to quickly make contact and sell your opportunity.
Create increased brand awareness – once again, utilizing your current talent, sponsor and support highly visible public events. Ensure that staff representatives attend these events. Where possible, bring marketing materials that help to identify and increase your brand awareness.
Get back into networking – many successful professionals and business leaders fail to keep up with the networking game. Instead, they focus only on their current work and collegial social group. You need to stay involved and remain out there and visible. People will associate your success with organizational success.
Keep a positive attitude – there will be lots of questions today… the most common one being, “how are you doing?” Whether or not the truth is you may not be doing well, for the public audience, you are always doing well. Positive attitudes attract positive people.
Take advantage of your website - your website must be complimentary to any paper-based marketing that you undertake. It needs to be interactive, informative and consistent with your overall message. Invite viewers to look at your products or services, to read about successes and to see your employees at work.
Apply for awards and recognition – there are plenty of award and recognition programs that you probably qualify for, especially if you have been consciously improving your organization and implementing effective human resource and management practices. These programs will help catapult your organization to the level of employer of choice, and/or the top 100, top 50, or top 25 in your industry.
Develop a relationship with a leading search firm – search professionals are in touch with candidates long before any of them will call upon your company or organization. Therefore, it is important to develop a relationship with a preferred search professional. As this individual becomes more knowledgeable about your company, he/she will be able to identify and match candidates to your organizational culture and can alert you to candidates who might be suitable. As well, when you are ready to conduct a search, this professional already has people in the pipeline which will shorten the recruitment process.
Research and Review: 6P Marketing