January always brings a wave of New Year’s resolutions, fresh starts, and new opportunities. As people set goals for this upcoming calendar year, both employees and employers will find that it may be time to make changes to how they work — and who they work with. Many organizations have taken this new year as an opportunity to refine their talent acquisition process, particularly in light of the ongoing talent shortage and the wave of quits many are dubbing the Great Resignation.
This article is the first in a series we’ve put together about refining your talent acquisition process to find, impress, hire, and onboard talented employees who are looking to grow in a new and exciting workplace. To kick things off, we’re starting at the foundation of a successful hiring process — your employer brand.
In a competitive employment environment where organizations around the world are competing for a small talent pool, your employer brand can either be your greatest asset or biggest weakness. It may come as a surprise that 75% of job seekers consider an employer’s brand before applying for a job,1 meaning that your organization’s digital reputation is one of the most integral elements of attracting top talent.
If you’re unsure of what to look for and how to improve your employer reputation, we’ve put together a step-by-step system for you to follow.
The Employer Brand Strategy
Before anything can be done to bolster your employer brand, it’s crucial to gauge your current level of success. From social media to employer review platforms such as Glassdoor, how your company presents itself and how others interact with your organization is the clearest sign of a positive or negative employer brand.
Measuring Employer Brand
To help capture the current state of your employer brand, take a moment to answer the following questions:
- Do you have a business profile on Glassdoor, Indeed, Comparably, etc.? If so, how many employee reviews do you have?
- What feedback, if any, do you see consistently mentioned — either positive or negative?
- Are current or ex-employees leaving most of the feedback?
- Does your Google My Business profile have employee reviews?
- Are employee reviews drowning out customer feedback?
- Do you have a company LinkedIn page? If so, are employees connected to it? Do you post frequently?
- Does your website have a robust About Us page?
- Does your website highlight the benefits of working for your organization?
These questions should help you understand what specific pros and cons a prospective employee might be looking for or notice during their research. If you’re missing one of these elements or answered in the negative, don’t worry — identification is only the first step.
Now that you’ve asked the right questions and potentially found some weaknesses, it’s time to make one more assessment: does your employer brand need to be built, or does it require fixing?
How to Build Employer Brand
As previously mentioned, you can target a few specific platforms to make your employer brand more robust:
- Glassdoor, Indeed, Comparably, and other HR-focused employee review platforms
- Google My Business
- Your organization’s website
If you are missing one of these profiles or pages, the best first step is creating it and developing it with thoughtful content, related company images, and other relevant information.
For LinkedIn, as a platform to engage with professionals, it’s recommended that you create relevant, thought-provoking posts at a frequency of two to three times per week.2
For Glassdoor, Indeed, Comparably, and Google My Business, it will likely take time to gather reviews. To help start the process, encourage your employees to leave honest feedback at their discretion.
These actions will help searchers find your company, gather more information, and gauge your level of engagement with current and past employees.
How to Improve Employer Brand
If you identified negative feedback while assessing your employer brand, you can take steps to help counteract its effect. While you might not be able to delete negative employee reviews on most platforms — a practice that can actually do more harm than good3 — responding to them is the best form of damage control.
When responding to a negative comment, just remember that it’s important to stay calm, cool, and collected. A prospective employee will read the original review and judge your response to measure your organization’s level of compassion. If you are quick to deny or shut down any criticism, you will paint your organization as cold and heartless. Failing to address the reviewer’s specific feedback can also be damaging to your organizational reputation.
The best response is structured in the following way:
- Acknowledge the specific issue being raised.
- Offer up a solution, if possible, to remedy the situation.
- Thank the reviewer for their feedback.
Following this simple template should defuse the situation and provide a positive representation of your organization’s commitment to conflict resolution.
With these steps, you will have redefined your employer brand as an enticing opportunity to job hunters. The best employer brandis one that is present, thoughtful, and actively engaged with current and ex-employees. While the circumstances of talent acquisition in 2022 might be challenging, being proactive about understanding and managing your organization’s reputation can help position your organization to weather the storm and come out on top.
- The Ultimate List of Employer Brand Statistics. (n.d.). LinkedIn Talent Solutions. https://business.linkedin.com/content/dam/business/talent-solutions/global/en_us/c/pdfs/ultimate-list-of-employer-brand-stats.pdf
- Fields J. (2021, February 7). 10 Tips to Boost Your LinkedIn Presence. Social Media Today. https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/10-tips-to-boost-your-linkedin-presence-in-2021/594649/
- Barone, L. (2010, November 19). 5 Reasons Not to Delete Negative News. Business Insider. https://www.businessinsider.com/5-reasons-not-to-delete-negative-reviews-2010-11