Today’s employees care more about where they work than ever before. A whopping 84% of employees say that the reputation of a company is important when they’re looking for a job. And 50% of people wouldn’t work for a company with a bad reputation – even if the job paid more than their current one.
It’s no wonder that companies work hard to promote a strong employer brand. Unfortunately, though, lots of employer brands aren’t worth the recycled paper they’re printed on. Is yours?
The identikit cult of the employer brand
Like your company brand – the external ‘face’ of the company, which tells customers what you stand for as a business – your employer brand demonstrates what you stand for as an employer. It’s also referred to as an ‘EVP’ or Employee Value Proposition. The EVP sets out exactly what you’re offering to your people, including the company’s mission, vision and values, and how they translate into the day-to-day life of the business.
The trouble is, look around and you’ll see that so many employer brands are the same – filled with empty phrases and, frankly, corporate bullshit. ‘We value our people.’ ‘We help people grow.’ Boring, meaningless and repetitive. So how can you make your employer brand stand out? For starters, forget the branding speak. Focus on what it’s really like to work for your business.
Your identity as an employer
Look at the following three areas and ask yourself: are we genuinely offering something different here? Something that makes people fall over themselves to work for us? Something that makes our existing employees shout from the rooftops?
- Workplace culture – what sort of behaviours are modelled at every layer of the company (yes, management, we’re talking about you, too)? How do you treat each other? How do you encourage people to approach challenges?
- Workplace environment – is it honestly a good place to spend time in? What could you do to make the workplace more attractive, more inspiring, more … fun. For some employers, this means offering dedicated break-out areas for down-time. For others, it’s free fruit, on-site occupational health services or dedicated social activities. Don't follow the crowd, chose what works for you.
- Workplace benefits – salary, annual leave and pension. So far, so ordinary. What about nursery facilities, gym memberships, additional holidays for birthdays or work anniversaries, bike-to-work schemes, flexible and home working, and the like?
Bottom line: you don’t need to build a Google-style campus or offer hourly Tai Chi lessons to attract the best candidates and keep your employees happy – but you do need to demonstrate how your employer brand is genuinely different from the pack.
At Roc Search, our careers website www.roc-careers.com has helped visualise all of the work that went on behind the scenes. We've worked hard to listen to what people want. And make some meaningful changes.
It's a work in progress though, and probably always will be.