Every small business employee wants the perfect boss and the perfect company. They want a company that helps them build on their skills and challenges them to reach for even greater heights. So how can you show potential employees that your company is vital and looking for creative new talents to take the company into the future? You can do it for your small business through employee branding.
Google, for example, has done an excellent job of employer branding itself as a company that thrives on innovation and creativity. Photos of their campus are shared across Instagram and Facebook, and they are known for their employee-friendly policies, such as allowing employees to bring in their dogs or go to the gym while at work.
The company’s image is mostly responsible for attracting the diverse, talented team it has right now. So how can you learn from a giant like Google and start your own employee branding for your small business? Find out below.
What is employer branding?
Much like promoting a product or service, employer branding is the creation of a certain image and projecting that image in order to attract a certain type of candidates. If you’ve done your promoting correctly, you will hopefully get a flood of capable applicants who are happy to work for you and are motivated to take your company to the next level.
As shown in the example above, Google presents itself as a place for growth an innovation. Employees who work hard enjoy nice perks, and their work is rewarded. You might promote the flexibility of your work place or you might show off the cool office environment you have. Showing that you are a stable, growing company might attract talent looking to grow and advance in a company.
Of course, Google isn’t the only company who excels at employer promoting. Check out how Business Review Weekly Australia‘s top companies of 2014 are employer promoting to help attract the best talent:
- Salesforce Australia: The company highly prioritises philanthropic endeavours using what they call the 1/1/1 model – using the company’s people, technology and resources to better communities all over the world.
- Atlassian: This software development company is at the top of BRW’s list. Promoting an employee culture of “no bullsh*tting,” Atlassian is growing so rapidly and encourages employees to add to their thoughts and viewpoints its culture.
- Optiver: This company is known for its high promotion of employee happiness and health. Though Optiver expects a lot from its employees, it recognises how important health and well being is to their success. As a Christmas present, for example, everyone in the company received Fitbit wireless exercise trackers so employees could keep better track of their health and fitness.
You may not have the tools nor resources to buy everyone in your office a Fitbit, and you might not be able to give generously to a charity, but you can work with what you have. Have a company team in an upcoming charity walk or 5K run or work with a local fitness centre to see if you can get a group rate for employees.
The only drawback with employer branding is that, assuming it is done well, it attracts everyone, not just the highly qualified. You may have more work ahead of you if you have to sift through CVs of candidates who are nowhere near what you are looking for, but if it helps you get the right kind of talent, the extra work might just be worth it.
How can I build a good brand?
Your first step in the employee branding process should be to look at what is attracting talent to some of the higher-ranking companies. Do they have a great work-from-home policy? Do they offer day care services or have a fitness centre in the building.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What are employees looking for now?
- What benefits might they need further down the line?
- What is the general age group of your current employees?
- How do people view your company now?
You might not be able to build a fitness centre in your facility or offer a work-from-home policy, but that is okay. There are other ways to make your company more viable and attractive to potential candidates. Work with the tools and resources you have and go from there. Rather than work-from-home, maybe you have a flexible start time in the morning, allowing parents to get their children to daycare without worrying about being late.
Once you see what your current company brand is, start thinking about you want your company to be perceived. Your human resources and recruitment department will play the biggest role in this process. It will be up to them to help promote your company when speaking with potential candidates. You might want to promote a relaxed culture or maybe one that uses a lot of different technologies.
Attracting new talent is not a one-and-done process. It takes a lot of time to grow a brand and make get it to the right people, and you will have to use several different channels to get your point across. Consider a few of these suggestions:
- Celebrate employee progress on your website: Employees give a face to your company so if your employees are featured enjoying their work on your website, they will give off a positive image.
- Create recruitment videos: Let your employees speak for themselves. What do they love about working for your company? What is the culture look like? Do they have a lot of fun? Post these videos on the employment opportunities page on your website.
- Use social media:
- Design a Pinterest board to reflect your company’s vibe and attitude. Starbucks is known for its Pinterest account, which is dedicated to sharing its employee’s stories about their work lives and cultures. This gives potential employees an accurate representation of what kind of environment they might be working in.
- Use Instagram to post instant moments at the office. You might photograph your employees at work, maybe taking a quick coffee break or using some of your products. Talents your company is recruiting might look at this account to get an idea of what it would be like to work in your office.
- Don’t forget to post your employee videos on YouTube. This will make them easier to track.
Remember, your company will only grow if your employees are willing to work hard to make it all the best that it can be. You must be able to attract the right talent, but you also need to remember how to keep them.