If you are reading this, chances are that you spend much of your time searching for the perfect candidates to fill roles at your company. You already know that it’s getting harder and harder to source skilled candidates for certain roles, and you’ve probably spent a lot of time trying to lure candidates away from your competition. In which case, you’ll also understand that your company’s employer brand can be your best friend or your worst enemy.
For those uninitiated, a company’s employer brand is its reputation as an employer and its perception amongst candidates. Companies with a good employer brand are seen as great places to work, either because of their reputation for having a great corporate culture, perceived prestige in their respective industry, or having a clear message on their values as a company.
Simply put, a company with a good employer brand will find it much easier to attract the best candidates available, whereas those with a bad employer brand will struggle to find employees willing to work for them.
However, these reputations can take a lifetime to build and seconds to destroy.
Many well known companies have recently taken a knock to their reputation. For example, NatWest has been at the centre of controversy after a disgruntled employee told a Vegan customer ‘all vegans should be punched in the face’. Starbucks also suffered a setback to its employer branding after a barista mocked a customer’s speech impediment. While these are unpleasant in themselves, they can also be damaging for a company’s reputation as an employer.
These incidents might seem like isolated outbursts from employees, but they do spark wider questions about those companies’ working culture and the attitudes of their employees.
For example, ask yourself this: If an employee feels that this is acceptable behaviour in the workplace, do they strike you as being happy and engaged with their role, or unhappy and demotivated? After hearing about these stories, would you want to work for the companies mentioned earlier? Candidates are also likely to feel the same way when they see job roles posted for these companies, which will have a detrimental effect on thier ability to source candidates.
The Effects of Bad Branding
It’s proven that prospective candidates take notice of of the actions of current employees, and that a lot of a candidate’s opinion of a company will come down to interactions with its employees. According to research by Edelman, ‘Employees rank higher in public trust than a firm’s PR department, CEO, or Founder. 41% of us believe that employees are the most credible source of information regarding their business’.
So if an employee does or says something that brings your brand into disrepute, there isn’t much a PR team or the board of directors can do to restore faith in your business. Not only that, but a tarnished employer brand can cost you in the long run. Research by Link Humans shows negatives of bad employer brand:
– Employers with a bad brand could pay up to £4,723 more per employee hired.
– 78% of candidates check any employer’s reputation before applying for a role.
– 84% of employees would consider leaving their current job for an employer with a better reputation.
However, those that take the time to invest in cultivating a good employer brand can reap the following benefits:
– 69% of candidates are more likely to apply for roles at a company that actively manages their employer brand.
– 67% of candidates would accept a lower salary if a company has good online reviews.
– Companies with a strong employer brand see a decrease of up to 43% in costs to hire.
As you can see, how candidates and employees perceive your employer brand can have a direct effect on how easy and expensive it is for you to attract the right candidates to your roles.
Protect Your Brand
Thanks to the rise of social media, it’s been much easier for individuals to publicise negative events involving employees, like those mentioned earlier. Also, because your staff are the front line of your business, candidates will base their attitudes towards your company based on theirs and other people’s interactions with your employees. If an employee does something that causes a negative reaction, it’s much harder for the company to put this right.
In order to protect your employer brand, you need to ensure that your employees are aware of your company’s values, and that they are, at all times, ambassadors for your corporate brand. Ensuring that your employees’ values align with that of your company’s, and that they understand the importance of your employer brand can pay dividends further down the line.
If you would like to know more about how to improve your employer branding, and how this can cut the time and costs for new hires, why not contact us at [email protected]