Employer branding may be all the HR rage these days, but there’s another important—and overlooked—type of branding that should be on your radar: Employee branding.
Where business branding refers to the perception others have of your company, employee branding is how your very own employees (current and potential) perceive your brand as a place of employment. And while you can create a business brand pretty easily, or at least your brand identity – creating an employee brand is not so easy.
Rather than focusing on your outward brand imagery, voice, and personality, your employee brand solely has to do with the experience employees have in your place of work.
Getting your employees on board with your brand values is a crucial part of cultivating your overall brand image because your employees function as your brand ambassadors. Whether you want them to or not, they’ll talk about your company, conveying messages to others that portray your business in either positive or negative light.
If you want to have a say in what this conversation looks like, then it’s a good time to start investing in your employee brand.
Why Investing in Employees is Important for Your Company
In addition to the above, here are a few key ways in which having a strong employee brand will benefit your business:
1. You’ll stand out from competitors.
Chances are, there’s a company out there that’s bigger than yours and does something similar. Because of their size and reach, they’re probably not focused on employee branding, as they’re already well-known and will get applicants regardless.
Don’t let this get you down, though; this is a great opportunity for you to help your company stand out. Where you may not have years and years of industry experience to show, you can create an incredible work environment for the people who work for you—ultimately helping to build trust with the next round of applicants.
2. You’ll improve your recruitment cycle.
A good reputation as an employer makes all the difference in whether or not you’ll attract and retain top talent. You can bet good money that strong candidates will research your company online, and they’re more likely to continue the process with you if they read positive things about your company from current and past employees (like on Glassdoor, LinkedIn, etc.). These candidates usually have their pick of the litter, so it’s important to make it known that your company culture is one that favors its employees.
Once you have a good company image among employees, your turnover rate will be on the decline. And guess what? A lower turnover rate only helps to feed a stronger employee brand! Companies with better yearly turnover rates are much more appealing to prospective candidates, because they understand that current employees are happy enough that they don’t want to leave.
3. Hiring costs less.
Recruiting can get pricey—especially if you have multiple roles to fill. However, when your employee brand is strong, it’s going to take less time and effort to attract top-notch employees.
That’s because they’re going to come to you. If your company has a reputation of being a great place to work, you’ll already have people consistently checking your career listings and applying as soon as they see an opening—meaning you won’t have to depend on as many job search sites and recruiters to do the work for you.
4. You’ll have higher employee engagement.
Having a solid employee brand means having happy employees—who care about the company and its goals. And, happy employees make a larger effort to show up and word harder, going above and beyond for their company simply because they believe in it.
In fact, a survey from Boston Consulting Group found that, above all, the most important job element for people is whether they appreciate their work. Creating a strong employee brand will help to cultivate this appreciation in the office—and encourage people to stay loyal to your company.
It should go without saying how important it is to have workers who are passionate about their job, because it will ultimately help the company grow. The more excited your employees are about your company, the more effort they’re willing to put in to making sure it succeeds.
5. Employee branding influences your overall company brand.
So far, we’ve discussed how employee branding directly affects who works for your company and how well they do it, but it’s bigger than that. The way you conduct your business often has a strong effect on your brand as a whole.
That’s because potential applicants—and employees—can also double as customers of your brand. The experience they have with you throughout the application process will make a huge difference on whether or not they remain customers, and if they’re willing to refer your company to others. For example, a study found that 32% of applicants are less likely to purchase from a brand if they apply for a job and don’t hear back one way or another.
You may be a company first and an employer second, but remember that one directly impacts the other. Focusing attention on your employee brand will ultimately help you build a stronger brand overall.
Time to Start Investing in Employees
There are a lot of ways to strengthen your employee brand, whether that means teaching your employees about your brand values, keeping communication lines open between management and the rest of the company, or instituting wellness programs to ensure an overall positive experience among workers.
And, as you can see, making an effort to strengthen your employee branding will only help your company grow in the long run. Remember that having a positive association with your company as a place of employment is at the core of a strong employee brand. So, make sure to focus your attention on giving your employees a good experience, and you’ll be on your way to creating a brand that gets noticed by candidates and customers alike.