by Sellick Partnership | 18 August 2016
As the jobs market becomes increasingly candidate-led, talented legal and finance professionals are finding themselves in a stronger position when deciding their next career move. With a current talent shortage in many sectors, it is crucial that employers stay ahead of the game when it comes to developing strategies to attract and retain employees. Over the course of our ‘Retention Game’ series, we have been examining why employees choose to leave an organisation and what steps businesses can take to ensure they are winning the ‘war for talent’. It is no longer enough to simply rely on financial incentives to attract top talent. Now, more than ever, it is essential that businesses go the extra mile to appeal to prospective employees by developing and promoting their employer brand.
What is employer branding?
Employer branding is a combination of a company’s image and reputation, and is achieved not only by promoting a strong visual identity, but also through all other business elements – from values, benefits packages, location and social media activity to training and development opportunities – every one of these elements help to form your company’s employer brand. Having a strong and well-rounded employer brand can pay in dividends, attracting high-calibre candidates to your company, while reducing the reliance on traditional candidate-search techniques.
Why is employer branding important?
Recent studies have shown over a third of employees would consider a respected employer brand a more appealing draw card than salary and added benefits. Businesses that invest in developing a strong employer brand can improve candidate application rates, which in turn can give them significant access to a wider talent pool and better opportunities for attracting high-calibre candidates who will add value to the organisation.
Employer branding for the emerging workforce
Employer branding is particularly crucial when promoting your company to the ‘Millennial’ workforce. A recent survey conducted by the Law Society concluded that retaining young legal professionals is becoming increasingly challenging. The survey highlighted that this could be attributed to the propensity of this age group to switch jobs more frequently due to their desire for rapid career progression. The survey found that 25-34 year olds are likely to change jobs in the next 12 months compared to 26 per cent of the overall sample.
Sellick Partnership’s recent Salary and Market Insight report also found that non-financial incentives and creative benefits packages are increasingly important for younger candidates, and can influence their decision to stay in a role or choose between potential employees. Flexible working, social environments, career development opportunities and attractive holiday policies are expectations of the emerging workforce, which may not have been available for consideration for the previous generation.
How to get social
Thanks to social media, hundreds and thousands of people are able to connect worldwide and discuss a company’s brand with one another anywhere and at any time. Many firms are investing significantly in social media to attract new talent. Not only can Twitter and Facebook be used to advertise roles, but they can also be used to demonstrate your firms’ culture, values and mission statement. At Sellick Partnership, we have a Twitter account (@LifeatSellick), dedicated to our employer brand which is completely separate from our corporate account. Here we regularly promote internal events and company news which highlights our passion and investment in our people, so that people can get a feel for what it is like to work here.
There are also other options to really market your employer brand include LinkedIn and Facebook where you can set up company pages, however businesses should look past the traditional social platforms and perhaps focus on more innovative or creative means such as Instagram and Snapchat if they want to stand out in a highly saturated market. Glassdoor is an additional social platform where employees and candidates can review your firm, and the results are public. It currently holds a growing database of six million company reviews, CEO approval ratings, salary reports, benefits, office photos and much more.
Five quick steps to develop your employer brand online:
- Create a strong, consistent employer presence across social networks with customised backgrounds and profile pictures.
- Provide a crisp, clear company bio and a strong call to action to encourage potential candidates to join the conversation.
- Link your accounts (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest) to your Careers page, making it easier for candidates to access and apply for your roles on your website.
- Be responsive, and consistently engage with candidates by replying to questions or posts aimed towards you.
- Post about company culture, informative articles and exciting inside stories throughout the day, and be sure to vary the content.
Employer branding plays a pivotal role in your recruitment and retention strategy. A strong employer brand not only influences staff retention and talent acquisition, but also directly impacts productivity levels, job satisfaction and commitment. The key to success is to be authentic and consistent, allowing your employer brand to stand out from your competition.
At Sellick Partnership our values are passionate, engaging and respected and are permeated throughout every aspect of our working culture. This infusion of values has led to the company being recognised as one of 2015’s ‘Best Workplaces’ by the Great Place to Work ® Institute, as well as being accredited with Investors in People Silver twice.
You can view our latest blogs in our ‘Retention Game’ series below:
- The retention game: the issues employers face retaining staff in a competitive market
- The retention game: why do employees leave?
- The retention game: how to sustain a happy workforce
If you need assistance in developing your recruitment and retention strategy, please contact one of our specialist consultants in your area.