To attract and retain talent, work on ‘employer brand’

to attract and retain talent, work on ‘employer brand’

To attract and retain talent, work on ‘employer brand’

Small and medium businesses (SMEs) can improve employee retention and reduce recruitment costs by building an “employer brand”. SMEs with good employer branding see 20 percent revenue growth as compared to 8 percent in those with poor employer branding.

An employer brand is more than just goodwill or reputation. Every business has a branding whether it is built consciously or not. The products and services, quality, news about its leaders and so on build an image in the minds of customers, suppliers, and current and future employees.

What goodwill and corporate brands are to reputation and perception, employer branding is to potential job seekers. How are you perceived as an employer is what the employer branding seeks to address.

SMEs face a serious challenge in finding, engaging and retaining talent. Positioning as a good employer is critical to attracting talent or SMEs will have to shell out more for even short-term talent. It is not just compensation but a company’s culture, career growth prospects, job profile and leadership also count.

Just as in corporate branding, think about the position you want to occupy in the minds of employees. You cannot fake an image—you can’t pretend to be what you are not internally.

Look inside

It is best to do research among your employees to see what they think of the company and how would you like it to be perceived. Then takes steps to build the brand by making the employees experience the planned positioning.

Investing in the employer brand is worth the effort. It not only saves money on recruiting, but costs per employee will also come down. When the staff will stay longer, onboarding and training costs will be lower.

If your reputation as an employer is good, you can get almost thrice the applicants as those with a negative reputation. In any company, the number of applicants for every vacancy is a good metric for the employer-branding effort.

Not finding the right talent for a position that remains vacant for more than three months can cost as much as Rs 5 lakh a month.

In a recent survey, more than 60 percent of SME employees said they would look for another job if the employer won’t live up to their perceived reputation.

Why should they work for you?

So, what is an employer brand? Just as with any other brand, there is always a value proposition. Consumer value proposition when it comes to consumer brands and employee value proposition when it comes to the employer brand.

It should also offer the right positioning or the right perception. Employer branding is what your enterprise is showcasing in the job market. It needs to convey your culture, what is unique about you and what your company stands for.

The sign of good employer branding is also that employees who live the story multiply the perception—word of mouth travels far. It all starts with finding a good employee value proposition (EVP).

Experts say an EVP should have elements from your mission, vision, values, culture and a purpose that resonates with employees.

For employees to offer their talent, loyalty, integrity, commitment and expertise, you need to offer them everything you can provide. In a way, it is an exchange of value not very dissimilar to a customer value proposition where customers pay for buying your product or service.

Spread the word

Having a good EVP is not enough, it also should be communicated to current and potential employees.

The person responsible for human resources (HR) knows that a good EVP can reduce their work drastically as far as attracting job seekers is concerned. To get the message across to potential employees, the HR department needs to understand the right media mix to popularise the EVP.

It can be through pre-placement talks on campuses, trade publications, fairs for job seekers, social media interactions, the company’s websites, etc.

Do not list compensation and benefits as part of the EVP or employer branding. Make sure the message conveys your unique selling points—values and culture, facilities, career growth, management style, quality of work and job security to name a few. Before going all out, run the message you’re your employees for veracity and their feedback and you are good to go.

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