Employer Branding and Social Media – be brave and shout about how great you are!

“We’ve tried everything, but we still struggle to find enough good people to work for us.” Does this sound familiar? Talent attraction about much more than offering more money, unlimited annual leave or free food Fridays. You can exhaust every agency, every method of direct sourcing and advertise everywhere, and still not find the right people. So what else can you do to find and appoint good people?

The answer could be to take a good look at your Employer Brand and try a different approach. There’s a huge difference between marketing a product or service for your consumers and marketing a company to future employees. Forget about the language you use in B2B and B2C comms. It’s all about H2H, or human to human contact.

I attended a workshop recently, courtesy of Vistage, which went into detail on this concept. People today are thoroughly bored with overly corporate spin. We see it everywhere in the hiring process – boring adverts; job specs written like shopping lists; difficult application processes through ATSs; and all of this before an interview is held. Companies like Amazon and Starbucks could get away with this if they did it because people really want to work for them (why? Their Employer Branding is amazing!), but the vast majority of companies can’t.

So what is Employer Branding? It’s how attractive your company is to the people you want to hire. It affects how likely they are to apply for a job, how quickly they’ll respond to your recruiters if they’re headhunted, and whether they’ll choose you over your competitors. These days, this means engaging people across a number of platforms. It’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, yes; it’s also every advert, every phone call, every interaction, from reception to a chat online.

How do to it right?

That depends on your business and your brand, but there are some commonalities which are about integrity and transparency.

  1. What are you like? How do you talk, how do you work, what are your values. They want to know how it will feel to work with you and how they’ll fit in.

  2. What will their future hold? Not many companies are investing in training and development, but it should be clear that the first job won’t be the only job, and that others have done interesting projects in different area.

  3. Don’t be afraid to be different. You might not appeal to everyone, but that’s not the aim. The people who’ll fit in and who’ll do well will come to you.

The where, when and how?

The answer to this is everywhere, all the time, and in as many ways as possible. Get your employees’ LinkedIn profiles up to date, relevant and interesting. The first thing a candidate does when considering a role is look up their future team on LinkedIn. Produce interesting and engaging content for your website and social platforms – corporate videos for LinkedIn, Vines for Twitter and Facebook, blogs and infographics, Day in the Life snapshots, whitepapers, slideshows… varied content to showcase you, your business and your culture. Interact with people who engage with your brand – all those likes and shares are actual, real people, interested in what you’re doing. Chat with them online and offer more info.

So should you just crack on and do it? Yes! But with caution. Plan it out. Decide who’s doing what and when. Assign some responsibilities for holding the whole plan together. Analyse your results so your social campaigns can be assessed and tweaked. Try a few different routes and then adjust. Be brave and try new things; the great thing about using social platforms for employer branding is that it is eternally flexible and takes advantage of how people live their lives – flexibly, and expecting to be served up content that’s relevant, but pretty forgiving too.

There’s a huge amount to do and it needs to be planned, executed and analysed well, but it’s worth the investment. Your recruiters will thank you for it and so will your hiring managers, as the people they see will be so much more engaged, you’ll hire more people, more quickly, they’ll be more effective from the start of their employment and they’ll stay longer. Providing your Employer Brand is telling the truth..!