How to raise awareness of your employer brand

One of the main complaints companies have, particularly SME’s, when it comes to attracting talent is that not enough people know who they are or what it’s like to work for you. Bigger companies tend not to have this problem, everyone has heard of them and as long as they get their recruitment marketing right, people will know what makes them attractive as an employer as well. For those of us who aren’t an “Apple” or a “Google” however, we may need to go the extra mile to get noticed, so here are 5 ways to raise awareness of your employer brand.

Step 1: Content, content, content

If you don’t have any content you’re going to struggle to showcase your employer brand. You want to showcase things like your company culture, working environment, benefits and perks and the type of work you actually do. In other words a complete stranger who has never heard of you will be able to get a real flavour of who you are just by visiting your website careers page / social media profiles. There’s plenty of ways you can do this too, such as photo albums, video, blogs, articles and even through your job adverts.

Step 2: Drive the right people to that content

So you’ve got your content nailed, your posts and images are bringing your employer brand to life and your confident that a candidate looking on your careers page will definitely want to apply. When the issue is not enough people know about who you are then it’s unlikely that these candidates will magically land on your website! You need to find a way to drive people to your site, but more importantly the type of people you’d like to recruit. SEO and PPC have been a favourite for many companies looking to make the most of the Google search, but this can not only eat up your budget very quickly, but it also relies on candidates actively searching for a role online. If you want to hit the passive market without blowing your budget then social media targeting is your best bet. Platforms like Facebook are fantastic to showcase images / blogs / video, and you can build ad campaigns around a preferred audience including location, job title and skills – in other words you can target your content to be seen by your ideal candidate market.

Step 3: Plug in employee advocacy

Social media campaigns are a great way to get your content seen by lots of potential candidates, but if you want a way to do this without spending money on advertising then you need to look at employee advocacy! Employee advocacy refers to your employees sharing and engaging with your content online to their own social networks. With an average of 400 connections per employee it’s a brilliant way to boost your content reach – 1000 employees sharing has a potential reach of 400,000 people! Seeing as most people’s network connections are local, likeminded and even sometimes ex work colleagues / university friends it means that your content could be seen by people who would make great candidates for your company!Reports also show that employee advocacy is a great way to build trust in your company, and can even be more effective than your company’s marketing. The Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey found that 33% of “buyers” trust brands, whilst 90% of customers trust recommendations from people they know. The same goes for candidates, you’re far more likely to buy into a recommendation from a friend than from a “faceless brand / company”.

33% of “buyers” trust brands, whilst 90% of customers trust recommendations from people they know

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Step 4: Look at the data you have

Depending on your business and what you do you may have a decent amount of data for your customers on your database / CRM. Now we know that the majority of your customers may not be the right candidate fit for your organisation, but if you want to raise awareness of your employer brand then this is a good place to start. Build out an email campaign / newsletter to send to your database and include a mixture of news for your customers and news about what your company is doing or even the roles you are recruiting for. You never know what it might bring and with all that data at your fingertips it’s worth putting it to use for more than just the marketing objective.

Step 5: Be different to get noticed

Unfortunately it’s not always enough to produce content and get it in front of your desired candidate audience. There is a lot of competition out there for attention, and we don’t mean from other companies trying to recruit. Just look at your Facebook feed – cute cat videos, mannequin challenges, Gemma Collins memes – there’s always SOMETHING that’s going to appear more engaging than your employer brand content. So you may need to try something a little different. Why not use your employees to create a humorous take on the latest social media trend (think memes / GIFs / Videos). Maybe go offline with “guerrilla marketing” such as clean street advertising and get noticed by people local to you? You could even follow in Snapchat’s shoes and use a bespoke geo-filter at your competitor’s HQ! If you’re looking to find candidates in a particular niche (e.g. IT / Digital) then consider sponsoring an event (e.g. Hackathon / Tech Conference), that way you’ll get your name recognised by lots of potential candidates and even have the opportunity to market to the attendees. There are so many things you can do, the key is to think differently and try not to do what everyone else is doing.

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