By Kevin O’Brien
Over the past 18 months, staffing firm marketing discussions have shifted towards conversations that begin something like, “I have more openings than I can handle right now.” Obviously, the main problem is finding quality candidates to fill these open positions.
However, we’re finding two new common denominators among staffing companies: either production levels are lower among their current recruiters, or they simply don’t have enough recruiters on hand to accomplish their goals.
Staffing firms are looking to hire recruiters as fast as they can find top candidates. Typically, job postings focus on messaging that attracts potential candidates such as, “We offer great benefits, a dynamic work environment, unlimited paid time off, a competitive salary,” and so on. The current labor shortage and the “Great Resignation” have forced staffing firms to take this messaging to the next level. However, some companies are leaving out the most important piece of the puzzle: employer branding.
What is employer branding?
To figure out what your employer brand is, first you must ask why people should want to work at your company. What is going to get people excited about not only entering the marketplace as a recruiter, but also being a recruiter for your company? Your answers to these questions create a differentiation between you and your competitors.
Your employer brand resonates in everything you do as a staffing firm; it touches content, processes, sales messaging, company values, human resources, the way you speak to and care for candidates, and the message you send to people who exit your company. Your employer brand is the heart of your business and the key to attracting top talent. Besides telling the market what they can expect from you as a partner, your branding also displays to job seekers what they can expect from you as an employer.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen a significant shift among companies in the messages they send into the marketplace. Terms like diversity and inclusion, core values, empathy, and compassion swirl around in the heads of candidates during their job searches. More than buzzwords, these are values that resonate with the next generation of exceptional recruiters, so it’s key to speak their language and cater to their needs.
So, ask yourself, is your career page portraying the characteristics that hit home with candidates in the hiring process? Is there a match between your new recruiter and your company culture? Are your company values resonating through your branded content? Do your job descriptions show that employees can expect to feel valued in your business? As you attempt to hire more recruiters to capture the current market, your employer brand should tell people why they should work for you.
When should you revisit your employer brand?
If your production numbers are down, if your recruiters are turning over, or if it’s hard to find and retain good people, it’s very likely that your employer brand needs some attention. Many companies have a hard time pinning down what their employer brand is and how it relates to their business. However, being proactive and putting in the work will yield the best results: long-term, happy employees and a growing business.
Steps to building a successful employer brand
To summarize, here are a few first steps to take to create a strong employer brand:
- Shine a light on your current, top-performing employees. Consider including interviews and quotes from your current successful employees in marketing content. Authentic stories about an employee’s journey with your company can be a great way to attract new candidates.
- Build a strong HR department. Through transparent workplace practices and communication, you can create the inclusive and empathetic company culture employees are seeking.
- Promote your unique company values. Highlighting how your company gives employees meaningful work and an environment they can thrive in is essential for your employer brand.
- Create an exciting hiring experience for potential candidates. Creating an engaging hiring— and potentially onboarding— process is crucial for attracting job-seekers. Showing off your company culture from the start ensures candidates get a sense of your values out of the gate.
- Audit and Optimize your Company’s Digital Reputation. Many firms utilize job boards, reputation management platforms, and look to get reviews across Google and social profiles. Managing these profiles and working on increasing reputation is one of the key metrics to measure when assessing your employer brand in the marketplace.
An employer branding strategy that accurately reflects what it’s like to work for your business will attract the high-quality candidates, leading to a lower employee turnover rate and contribute to your company’s overall growth. Leading with authenticity ensures a positive experience for current employees and potential candidates alike.