If you want to build the next unicorn, you’re going to need the talent to take you there. But you’re not going to attract those people unless you’ve got a strong employer brand. All those top developers, growth hackers and designers are going to flock to your competitor. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Employer branding is easier to master than you think. It’s not just your reputation or the perks you shove at the end of a job ad – it’s a mix of your people, quirks and ambitions. That’s what talent is looking for and those people will fit your company. Your employer brand is there – all you need to do is show the world. Here’s how:
1. Share your story
When I think about all the companies I would love to work at they all have one thing common: they remind everyone, loudly and frequently, how great a place their company is to work. For example, I’m a big fan of Intercom’s blog. They publish original thought leadership on running a startup, and they always use themselves as a case study.
The takeaway here: from content marketing to conferences – there’s always an opportunity to show yourself off. If you don’t where to start – try ghostwriting a piece from the CEO about a few team accomplishments, and circulate it on LinkedIn and Medium. You can even tuck these onto the end of your job ads.
2. Be transparent
Now we’ve established that sharing is important, we’ll need to hone in on what (and what not) to share. If you’re just starting out and don’t have any stories to share, it might be tempting to exaggerate or bend something your company did when writing a blog post. But that’s a bad idea – 67% of employers say retention would be higher if candidates had a better idea of what working at the company was like. The takeaway here: you can’t afford to misalign your employer brand.
Instead, you should spend some time defining what makes your company special, writing this up in a manual or handbook for prospective and current employees to refer to. Companies like Gitlab have mastered this, putting together a handbook that tops over 1000 pages. It’s a long-form approach to employer branding but one that attracts talent who’ll make a perfect cultural fit.
3. Expand your offering
The easiest way to improve your attractiveness as an employer is to give more to your employees. I’m not talking about swag or ping pong tables – you should ask your employees what sort of perks that’d actually like to use. Take workers at a technology company, they might be interested in an expanded remote working policy or a personalised tech budget. These targeted perks will signal to the prospective employees that you’re the right place to work.
4. Deploy testimonials
If an applicant has never heard of you before, the first thing they’ll do is make their way to your website. From there, they’ll probably go to your careers page. This is an opportunity to show off your culture a bit, so don’t just plonk a list of your open positions. Top employer brands such as Slack (who have over 1000+ employees) list their open positions at the end of their careers page. The rest of the page is dedicated to showing off their mission, values, current employee testimonials and a few pictures of their office. Sprinkled between each section of are some quirky illustrations.
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