Talent acquisition aficionado or not, it’s likely you’ve been impacted by employer branding in one way or another. It may have been while attending conferences, listening in on webinars, or participating in Twitter chats about different recruitment methods. The piece of advice most employer branding experts suggest is performing a deep assessment of your current brand to identify opportunities. Although this is a necessary step, it’s often overshadowed by the specifics of how to promote and improve recruitment branding strategies.
If you have your brushes cleaned, paints poured, and canvas stretched, but you’re left staring at your blank employer branding canvas, then it’s time to focus on the current state of your brand to determine the right direction. Review these five brand audit steps to assess your current employment brand and let a creative recruitment branding strategy come to fruition.
STEP ONE: TAKE A HARD LOOK AT YOUR CAREERS PAGE
With technology and social media making it easier for companies to promote content, it’s not enough to simply advertise current career opportunities. Candidates expect transparency and want some kind of emotional connection to the organizations they’re applying to before they ever step foot in an office — they want to feel what it’s like to work for your organization. If the content on your careers page isn’t compelling or valuable to candidates, they may come to the conclusion working for your organization won’t be aligned with their overall professional goals. The easiest way to assess your current job opportunities page is to create a checklist of questions and items you presently showcase, including:
- Are there engaging visuals on the main page? Including company cultural videos and allowing current employees to be the voice of original content, such as employee testimonials, can help develop this. Also, be sure that your branding message is clearly defined and consistent on the page.
- What is the user experience like for the application process on your careers page? To test this, pick 10 to 20 people at random and have them apply for various openings. Afterward, have them rate the usability of your application process. This feedback can help you determine which elements cause functionality issues for users.
- Is your careers page optimized for Google and other major search engines? Although there is a plethora of places candidates can look for current opportunities, Google is often the first stop. Failing to use relevant keywords, page titles, and keyword-rich content can result in reduced visibility.
- Are social media initiatives incorporated into current job openings? Creating opportunities for people to share openings on social platforms can help candidates stay connected with organizational news and events at your company. To boost this, offer passive candidates the option to join a talent network in the event they aren’t ready to apply. To increase traffic, consistently promote open positions via social media.
- Is your careers page optimized for mobile devices? Many candidates now apply for jobs through their mobile devices, so by not mobile-optimizing your careers page you could be missing out on an entire pool of candidates.
- What innovative and creative elements are being used on the careers page to attract candidates? For example, some organizations create micro-culture or departmental initiative content, such as talent communities, to showcase what it’s like to work in a certain location or department. Other items, including featuring certain job openings in most need, is a nice touch to enhancing your main careers page.
STEP TWO: TAKE INVENTORY OF THE JOB BOARDS YOU ARE CURRENTLY ACTIVE ON
If you advertise available positions on sites like Glassdoor, Indeed and CareerBuilder, that’s fantastic! However, there are hundreds of niche job boards that increase the visibility of your positions. These will attract candidates who are highly proficient in a particular industry, trade or skill. Make a list of all the job boards you advertise on and cross-reference them with your available positions. Are you gaining maximum visibility for these positions? And, are your job postings branded?
STEP THREE: ASSESS YOUR RECRUITMENT MARKETING INITIATIVES
Beyond simply posting to job boards, how are you currently marketing available positions and showcasing your company culture? Simple things, such as recruiting via Facebook or creating a dedicated “career” profile on Twitter, can be a cost-effective option. Have you gone beyond traditional mediums to promote company culture to ensure your organization has a presence on platforms where potential candidates are interacting? Although managing the talent acquisition process is no simple feat, platforms such as Work4Labs, Tagboard, Instagram, Vine and Google+ can ease a bit of the burden when it comes to developing a comprehensive creative recruitment marketing strategy.
STEP FOUR: EVALUATE EXISTING ORGANIZATIONAL ACCOLADES AND CORPORATE INITIATIVES
Has your organization recently been a recipient of a “best places to work” award? Does your company have defined corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs or unique benefits? Believe it or not, compensation is not always the most important decision-maker for a candidate. Leveraging and advertising accolades, benefits and CSR programs can attract candidates who share similar values as your organization.
STEP FIVE: CONSIDER YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYER BRAND
There’s no easier way to understand where your employer branding currently stands than by evaluating what is already being said by the groundswell. Organizations can often become baffled as to why they’re experiencing a high rate of turnover or a decrease in qualified candidate applications. However, without using tools like Google Alerts or monitoring reviews on Glassdoor, it can be easy to overlook organizational issues your current employees are experiencing and sharing publicly. A recent study showed that candidates trust the word of their peers over executives, so these reviews are crucial to impacting candidate opinions. Identify what your current employees value and expand on those aspects. Even more importantly, carefully evaluate organizational shortcomings through employee feedback and make an effort to fix these issues. Keeping employees in the loop about your efforts can help offset negative reviews.
While the ways to build and promote your employment brand are endless, the first step in painting your masterpiece starts with assessing your existing initiatives. Once your current state is carefully evaluated, it is easy to see future opportunities.