The organizations that have survived the test of time are never singularly focused on increasing sales.
Building the product, marketing it appropriately, growing with the right talent on board, and increasing both employee and customer goodwill are critical pillars to long-term success.
Companies that forget to acknowledge the needs & goals of their own employees are faced with the harsh reality of not attracting the best candidates which then reflects on the company's market standing & growth.
What is Employer branding & how does it shape a company?
Employer branding is an often overlooked aspect of a company's growth, it is the brand's reputation in the eyes of its employees & all key stakeholders.
It is a compounding effect of employee-centric policies, the level of acceptance, comfort, and growth that an employee feels towards the company. Influenced by the organization's culture and its behavior towards its workforce.
The reputation of a company as an employer directly impacts the kind of talent it attracts and consistently bad impressions can make it very challenging for companies to fill open vacancies and outshine the competition.
When Zomato announced 10 period leaves every year for women, it created quite the buzz on social media. Reigniting the conversation around the necessity of more employee-centric holidays.
Zomato was neither the first nor will it be the last company to acknowledge and act for a more women-friendly workplace but they did create positive social feedback by being conscious & decisive.
How to measure your employee branding reputation?
Social media reviews and internal employee surveys make it very easy for companies to know what people working for them really think about them.
Portals like Glassdoor showcase reviews by past & present employees that can help you understand what went wrong or what's really working.
Internal surveys that focus on managerial feedback are only as relevant as their anonymity. In addition to the survey, actually addressing concerns and making real changes gives more power to the employees & builds a positive employer brand.
The definitive Impact of Employer branding
The ripple effect of employer reputation can have direct bearings on finances, productivity & organizational growth.
The Positive Effect ~ A happy snowball effect
Attracting cream talent.
Reduces hiring costs due to increased retention and internal promotions/transfer to fill vacant roles.
Highly motivated employees that create a productive and robust brand
Better team coordination & trust in the company's goals.
The Negative Effect ~ Fueled by Social Media, an unpleasant graph
Higher attrition - Policies and structures that go against the employees long term growth make people leave the company a lot more frequently resulting in higher attrition.
Scaring of good talent - The rising popularity of employer review sites like Glassdoor & AmbitionBox are empowering employees to voice their dissatisfaction which has a direct bearing on decreased applicants for open posts.
Increased hiring costs- Not finding the right talent can be catastrophic for a company's growth and the longer it takes, the more it costs.
Operational halts - Regular attrition can cause operational delays & halts directly impacting a company's revenue & also reputation in the eyes of clients and stakeholders.
The companies that got it right
The term engagement has evolved ever since Social Media came into the picture. These brands leveraged their social media following, creative employee ideas, and developed an employer brand that attracts talent like a magnet to nails.
Google's parent company Alphabet is now a trillion-dollar company but whenever the name Google comes up, we immediately jump to creative workspaces with a focus on innovation rather than conventional boxed offices.
Their employer branding has proved to be amazingly effective and consistent throughout the years. Google gets around 3 million job applications every year & they handpick only around 7,000 new employees. Not only does Google get the first pick on fresh talent, but they also nurture that talent for the long haul.
They even released a high-budget movie called "The Internship" showcasing the campus-styled, friendly and creative atmosphere that Google offices maintain.
An engaging talent website & a social media engagement strategy that is one for the books. L'oreal has grown into a brand that has also checked all the right boxes in its employer branding approach.
Their viral social media campaign on hitting the 3,00,000 follower mark on LinkedIn was fresh, innovative, and put the spotlight on their employees. L'oreal launched the "Are You In" campaign inviting its employees to share their story of working with the brand.
It created a chain of shares, comments, and amazing believable stories of people who have worked for the global cosmetics company.
A brand that truly cares about the work-life balance of its employees always manages to shine through. Netflix is one of the top-rated companies on Glassdoor due to the creative freedom and modern policies that it offers.
Netflix has become popular because of its parental policy which grants unlimited day-offs for new parents during the first year of the child.
They are also known to be considerate and actively work towards ensuring work culture diversity and acceptance.
GE- General Electric
Yes, Google made a movie but GE made a whole show, conveying a very friendly & important message, working with GE doesn't mean working in a production line!
In an amazingly successful effort to redefine its employer branding image, GE created a funny show called "What's the matter with Owen?".
The show follows the life of a young Owen who landed a tech job in GE but no one really understands what he does. His family thinks he will work in a factory, his peers mock him for joining the manufacturing industry.
In its own comical way, the show has established GE as a brand that is in touch with the times & addressed an important point, working with GE doesn't mean working in an assembly line, the industry has moved ahead to a technological approach that caters to a vast number of industries.
Bagging the spot for the World's Best Workplace two years in a row, 2019 & 2020. Cisco's attention to individuality and diversity lights up its employer branding efforts.
They value individual progress and have established an ambiance of acceptance & a friendly workplace that easily attracts talented candidates. Their career page is full of stories of actual people who work for them and very successfully communicates its core values of acceptance & personal growth.
How can you build upon your employer brand?
The above-mentioned success stories of brands that were able to set a positive reputation were creative and decisive, by acknowledging the strength of individuality & of creating a positive workplace.
The following points can help set up a solid foundation for being a desirable place to work at:
Invest in Learning & Development
People generally want to learn new things & work in different domains. Organizations that put conscious effort into upskilling their employees and giving them the platform to transition into a new role are able to retain even those that are saturated and bored with their existing roles.
Listen to employee feedback with an open mind and heart
No one knows about the organizational culture better than the people who are actually living it, a defining difference between a bad & good work culture is communication! Listen to feedback and make sure you at least address it even if you can’t immediately act on it.
Have an open day when you invite potential candidates to the company
An open-door policy that extends even to potential candidates, how about that? Similar to trips to college campuses, companies can open their doors, once a quarter, to people who have shown interest in joining the company, showing them the work culture & growth stories of actual employees.
Social Media visibility; Don't just market your product on Social media, also showcase your employees and their growth stories
Companies who actively engage their employees on social media automatically generate positive goodwill amongst their present employees, potential candidates, and even amongst clients.
Be approachable & relatable, some sense of humor doesn’t hurt anyone
Not just in the company culture but also in recruitment job descriptions. Everything becomes more approachable and friendly with a tinge of humor & wit.