Employer branding is just as essential as corporate branding—that is, if you want to attract and retain top talent. And in the midst of today’s COVID-19-induced furloughs, layoffs, and cutbacks, employer branding is quickly becoming more important than ever before. After all, the media has been reporting daily on how companies are handling this global crisis.

Some of these news stories demonstrate examples of compassion, like, Clif Bar’s choice to donate  three million bars to health care workers. Other headlines cover CEOs foregoing or lowering their salaries to take care of frontline employees, as the leaders of Marriott, Delta, and Lyft have done. Many articles discuss how employers are having to make tough decisions that require cutting jobs or instituting major pay cuts for all employees. 

Even though talent acquisition may not be the primary focus for many organizations at this time, there are still many reasons to stay committed to your employer branding strategy. How businesses treat their employees during this pandemic will be remembered by the public.  In addition, employee engagement and retention can suffer if employer brand is neglected. Plus, because building an employer brand requires continuous effort, taking your organization’s focus off of this goal can have a big impact on your overall strategy. 

In today’s uncertain circumstances, at least one thing is clear: strong employer branding benefits your company in both the short and long term. Employer branding helps attract quality talent to fill open positions today, and can help retain employees for the years to come, too. In addition, your employer brand can impact consumer behaviors, affecting customer loyalty. 

So, when evaluating your investment in employer branding, consider the impact it will have on your company, not only today, but next month, and next year. Still trying to decide if developing or upholding your employer brand is worth your time? Here are a handful of the unique ways employer branding benefits companies:

Better Talent Pool  

A strong employer brand improves name recognition among customers and job seekers alike. Potential candidates looking for a new job will go directly to your brand’s career page instead of coincidentally coming across an opening on a job site. This kind of candidate—one who specifically seeks out a brand whose mission aligns with their own and actively pursues your brand—has the potential to be a higher quality candidate. By specifically targeting your organization as a desired employer, these candidates demonstrate initiative and personal investment in your brand—two attributes that speak to their characteristics as a potential employee. Such job seekers will likely put time into researching your brand, studying your social media pages and employee ratings and reaching out to current employees of your organization to learn more about the opportunity. These kinds of candidates generally do their homework and apply if they are qualified and an excellent fit not only for the job, but the company culture as a whole. 

Faster Time-to-Hire 

Your employer branding strategy also plays a big part in attracting key talent who may not yet be familiar with your company. More job seekers today are getting savvy about their job search, doing their research on companies before clicking “Apply.” In fact, almost half the respondents to a Software Advice study found that job seekers use Glassdoor as part of their job search. An attractive employer brand will attract more qualified candidates, and with more qualified candidates in your pool, the less time it will take your organization to hire for key positions. Employer branding benefits HR teams by cutting down on sourcing time. 

Lower Cost-Per-Hire 

The Society for Human Resource Management’s Human Capital Benchmarking Report found that the average cost per hire is more than $4000. A faster time to hire already means a lower cost-per-hire, but employer branding benefits your bottom line in other ways, too. An employer brand connects your company’s mission to job seekers’ ideals and personal values. Today’s job seekers are passionate about finding a company that aligns with their beliefs and values. To put it simply, salary isn’t always what is most important to candidates in our hiring landscape. Even if your organization is not in the position to pay the highest salaries in your industry, you can still attract top candidates with a corporate mission that speaks to their concerns.

Higher Employee Engagement 

Job seekers turned employees who were attracted by your employer brand will most likely be highly engaged in executing on your mission and upholding or demonstrating your brand values. They will want to participate in the events and opportunities that make your employer brand what you say it is. Remember though, that employer branding benefits a company when it stays true to what its culture really is all about. You’ll want to be sure that the messages your employer brand represents is an authentic portrayal of your company culture. Otherwise, it can end up doing more harm than good.

Lower Employee Turnover

When employees are engaged and invested in your corporate mission, they are more likely to stick around for the long haul. Cutting back on vacancies not only helps uphold morale and propel workflow forward, but can also save your company time and money usually spent on recruiting and training new hires. Experts estimate it costs upwards of twice an employee’s salary to find and train a replacement. With a price tag that high, any measures you can take to lower employer turnover is worthwhile. Employer branding benefits your teams in practical ways by keeping employees engaged with your company and focused on the work. 

Better Company Performance 

When employees stay around longer, they’re likely to be more focused and dedicated to their work. This often translates to better job performance, and relatedly,  better corporate performance. When employees are dedicated to your company’s mission, they are often willing to work harder and spend more time bettering their skillsets—especially if you make development opportunities available for them to do so.  When an employer brand and personal values of the employee overlap, it’s really a recipe for success for all parties. The employee benefits, the brand benefits, and ultimately, the consumer benefits, too.

Customer Loyalty 

Employer branding benefits customer loyalty, too. Negative employer brand has a negative effect on your consumer base; 64% of consumers report having stopped purchasing from a brand after hearing news of that company’s poor employee treatment. On the flip side, happy and engaged employees can positively impact consumer relationships.Investing in your employer brand strategy can help your company be on the right side of customers’ perceptions. 

There are many components of an employer branding strategy to consider, but social media is a great place to start. Here are five simple steps to follow to get started on creating a strong employer brand through social media. CareerArc’s employer branding benefits include both social recruiting tools to attract top talent and outplacement solutions to manage your brand’s reputation in the case of a layoff or other workforce change. Schedule a demo today to find out how CareerArc can help your organization protect and amplify its employer brand during the coronavirus crisis and beyond.

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