No matter what company you work for, the power of marketing is undeniable. The chief marketing officer (CMO) now has a seat at the executive table, and for good reason – marketing departments around the world have an increasingly larger effect on a company’s bottom line.
But one aspect of marketing your company might be overlooking? Their employment brand. A function of recruiting, employment branding is key for companies looking to market their own values, culture, and environment — not only expressed on career sites, but also across social media, Glassdoor profiles, and other spots across the web. For job applicants especially, understanding what goes on behind closed doors at a company is one of the most important elements when deciding whether to take a job or not.
According to our research, 59% of job seekers use social media to research the company culture of organizations they are interested in. With prospective employees now shopping for jobs like they do new shoes, it’s essential for companies market themselves as a great place to work — it helps attract the right talent that will best fit into your company culture. Think of it like turning your company inside out, and giving candidates the opportunity to see what it’s like inside.
Whether you’re a large corporation or a small startup, here are my tips for making sure your employment brand will help you recruit the best.
Be your authentic self
Let’s face it — no matter your industry or size, there is undoubtedly something unique about your company. Whether it’s your culture of independence or your unique approach to teambuilding, find that spark and make it your North Star. Dig into your company’s mission statement, values, and history to better understand what makes up your corporate DNA, and interview colleagues to find out why they decided to work for your company in the first place.
Don’t throw out any answers, either. No matter how mundane or seemingly random the responses are, if it helped you hire a candidate, it counts for something — there are bound to be plenty of job seekers looking for the same thing. Once you’ve grasped what really makes your company culture special, your next step is to figure out how these values can inform how you want your company — and your employees — to evolve. That should give you a direction in terms of who you want to hire and how to market to them.
Delve into content marketing
In the typical marketing funnel, creating content is a key step in attracting buyers and understanding their journies. Your company’s employment brand should be no exception — and it takes fewer resources than you might expect. Pull in a few employees with solid writing skills to draft a blog post that shares why they chose your company. Or, if you’re interested in attracting a more millennial-aged crowd, think about joining the world of Instagram so you can showcase office culture and fun activities.
No matter which channel you choose, the content should come from the employees themselves, staying authentic and open (and not overly promotional). Think about candidates coming to your career site to learn more about what it’s like to work for your company — you want to make sure that they’re seeing the truth.
Build a team of ambassadors
Now that you’ve put this content pipeline in place, it’s time to get the word out. Social media is a given, of course, but make sure you’re tapping into your employees’ social networks to reach new audiences as well. It’s that authentic thing again — when the content comes from them, not only does it spread further, but it is also that much more convincing.
Maybe your employees need a little push before they start sharing? Try a messaging document or an email with suggested language and images to make things as easy as possible for them — and to keep the information accurate and voice consistent. Perhaps a little incentive is the way to go; many employees respond well to prizes, so consider awarding a few of the highest-sharing employees. This extra effort goes a long way, and soon you’re likely to have a loyal team of brand evangelists to turn to whenever it’s time to hire.
It’s no question that marketing, search engine optimization, content, and email all get plenty of attention from your company already. So why shouldn’t employment branding? It doesn’t take a massive budget or a ton of extra resources. In the end, bringing quality candidates in is about being authentic, open, and honest across all potential engagement channels. Then, you’ll attract the best candidates for the job and the ones that will fit well within your culture–making them a terrific hire all around.
By Amanda Van Nuys, senior director of marketing communications at Jobvite