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Employer branding is more important than ever in the recruitment process. Having a strong employee brand can attract better candidates and retain them longer. With this in mind, let’s take a look at what employer branding is and ways to build your employer brand — whether you operate a small business or startup.

What Is Employer Branding?

 At the root of this phrase, employer branding defines your reputation as a place to work. In other words, it’s a form of marketing devised to attract internal (current) and external (potential) employees. If your employer brand (or reputation) is negative, the best workers will likely leave or scroll past your job postings.

Employer branding is comprised of three main components of the company:

  • Leadership
  • Values
  • Culture

Why is this important? For starters, some studies estimate that it costs as much as nine months of a worker’s annual salary to replace him or her. It goes without saying that it’s to the benefit of organizations to prevent turnover wherever possible — not only to retain their talent, but also to avoid paying turnover costs. The costs of recruiting, hiring, and training can also be substantial, which is why it’s imperative that companies make wise investments and bolster their employer brands proudly.

How Can You Build Employer Branding in Recruitment?

 1.Create a Talent Framework That Defines Key Characteristics

 Your C-suite likely has certain qualities and behaviors it would like to see in its workforce. These attributes should all be recorded on paper in a way that lays the foundation for what’s expected of employees and how the company wants to be perceived.

  1. Validate the Talent Framework

 Invite honest feedback from employees about the changes that need to take place in the organization to make it successful at attracting and retaining the best workers. Don’t ask yes/no questions. Instead, opt for open-ended questions that will get people talking. Of course, don’t be afraid to receive the honest answers for which you’re asking.

The following are some questions you might consider sending in a survey or posing during an in-person meeting with employees:

  • What’s the worst aspect of our culture?
  • What capabilities do we need to capture to help us be successful with recruiting and employee retention?
  • How do you think potential candidates will react?
  • How would you change our current framework to help our values come across clearly?
  • A recent survey indicates team members don’t feel comfortable voicing their opinions. Why do you think that is?
  1. Know Your Company’s Unique Value Proposition

 Focus on your company’s mission statement, values, vision, and culture. This ties into point No. 1. However, it is different in that it helps identify your business’s needs so you can work backward to find individuals who fill those objectives.

  1. Conduct an Employer Brand Audit

 This can be an eye-opening task, as many companies don’t realize how potential candidates are perceiving them as a brand. A bit of research is likely to glean a lot of useful information about your company’s strengths, as well as areas where there’s room for improvement.

  • Check business review sites.
  • Send internal surveys to your current employees, as well as candidates who have interviewed for roles for your company but declined offers.
  • Conduct social media searches.
  • Hire an outside firm that focuses on reputation management.

Today’s work world is a competitive place. To attract and retain the best talent, you need to build a brand that resonates with people. Just as companies use branding to speak to their customer base, your employer brand is meant to do the same to potential candidates. Use this power to your advantage, and you could find a pool of highly qualified individuals from whom to choose.