One of the biggest movements in human resources and recruitment today is that of creating a positive employee experience. More and more we're hearing about the importance of thinking about the daily life employees experience when they come to work and the impact it has on their happiness and productivity. While there are many aspects of talent management that contribute to the employee experience, one to keep on top of is employer branding. These days, companies have to think beyond their average hiring strategy to attract the best candidates from an ever-shrinking pool of talent. One of the ways to attract this increasingly hard to reach talent is with a powerful employer brand that highlights what kind of employee experience is being offered within a company. So before you go out to find your next great hire, think about what message your brand is sending out and what reality your employees are experiencing. Bringing these two tactics together and help companies form strong employer brands that not only attract great talent but also helps keep them.
What is employer branding?
In terms of candidate attraction and recruitment, the employer brand is the image and culture that a company puts forth. The reputation of the company, how it treats employees, and the values it stands for, are all part of its brand. This takes effort and constant monitoring to stay aware of how the public sentiment is shifting both within and outside of a company. What candidates or employees say about a company, especially online, becomes part of the company brand for better or worse. And these days, according to Glassdoor research, “69% of active job seekers are likely to apply to a job if the employer actively manages its brand reputation.” With so much riding on having a strong employer brand, you don't want to leave anything to chance.
What is the employee experience?
The most straightforward definition of the employee experience is the organizational effort to ensure every candidate and employee finds what he or she is looking for in the workplace. SHRM attributes this to the culture, technology, and the workspace of an organization. This topic is, of course, more personal for employees who live with the impact of that effort. Their experience can be measured by anything from compensation to task assignment. It can also involve how well the culture and the people they work with measure up to the expectations of the employee.
One key thing to remember is this: A positive employee experience doesn't happen merely by accident. Many managers and execs would like to believe it's merely a by-product of an organized company but that's not the case. You can have effective companies where everyone hates their jobs and unproductive companies with happy employees. It's about striking that balance between productivity and employee engagement that allows both businesses and employees alike to flourish. And doing this takes major commitment to make every employee feel appreciated and respected from their initial encounter with your company (as a candidate) to their first day on the job and then as they navigate their career.
An increasing focus on this relationship
In addition to recruitment and retention efforts, the conversation is shifting for many organizations to the impact the employer brand has on the employee experience. Candidates are much more savvy when it comes to researching and evaluating companies than ever before. They spend a great deal of time learning about the brand of companies where they would like to pursue career opportunities. Why is this important? It’s a resume-building, career-minded effort that puts them in the best possible environment in which to grow professionally.
The impact on companies is that they must try harder to stand out from other companies with their employer brand. This can mean not only offering a positive environment in which to work, but also adding many layers of perks such as learning opportunities, work-life balance, diversity and inclusion. Recruitment marketing is becoming similar to that of client marketing in that it’s a primary effort made to connect with the right people and capture their attention.
How are employees impacted?
Companies hoping to obtain the best employees understand that the employee experience starts even before a candidate takes the step to apply for a job. What they encounter and what they can tell from the initial connection they make with the company matters. Nearly 70 percent of employees believe that the experience they have as candidates is a direct reflection of how the company treats its employees, based on a CareerBuilder survey. The impact of a negative brand is evident by poor reviews of the company’s representatives or it’s policies. The better a job that a company does with aligning their brand with the candidate to employee experience, the more apt they are to attract and retain employees. Keep in mind, authenticity always matters in recruitment.
A shift in recruitment strategy
We are used to a work in which companies have the power and candidates beg for work but that model doesn't work anymore. These days, candidates are well aware of their value and what they bring to the table and expect potential employers to behave accordingly. Ignoring the importance of the employee experience will sour the employer brand merely having unhappy employees who will no doubt share their experiences with their network, online, or via social media. No company can afford to look the other way when it comes to creating a positive work environment because they will quickly find they have no one who wants to work for them. From the candidate experience to the employee experience, we now live in a work where we need to take a step back and examine the very human element of work and business. Odds are, if your employees are happy at work, their satisfaction will be reflected in the employer brand. and next time candidates are looking up your company, they'll be met with a positive brand that makes them excited to apply.
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