Why You Can’t Afford To Ignore Your Employer Brand

March 10, 2016 Sarah Payne

According to Randstad, U.S. businesses spend more than $110 billion on talent acquisition. That’s more than $3,000 per hire. Just looking at the numbers alone, there is not a company in the U.S.—and I would argue the world—who can afford to ignore their employer brand.

For one, job seekers are more informed than ever before. Consider the fact that nearly half (46%) of Glassdoor members read company reviews when they first start their job search, even before speaking with a recruiter. And nearly half of job seekers now use social media to look for work. Transparency is key. What current and former employees say about your culture can have a huge impact on recruitment. In a 2012 Allegis Group Services study, 69% of respondents said they would not take a job with a company that had a bad reputation—even if they were unemployed.

Then there’s the fact that employer brand inevitably falls on the shoulders of HR. A new Simply Hired U.S. Employment Outlook report shows that “Employer brand” is on the rise as a responsibility. It appears 38% more frequently in job listings today than two years ago. One third of the jobs are in marketing and two thirds are in HR.

So what can HR do?

Start by changing the conversation. Curious what that looks like? David Faik, a Cisco employee, recently wrote a public blog post about his incredible Thailand vacation, which he was able to purchase through Cisco’s recognition program, called Connected Recognition (read more on that program in this blog post). Here’s a snippet of David’s post titled, “Best vacation ever—thanks to Cisco Connected Recognition”:

As I buried my toes in the sand on a beach in Thailand, I couldn’t help but say a silent ‘cheers’ to Cisco, and my colleagues there, for making my vacation extra special.

‘Why?’ you ask?

It’s all due to Connected Recognition. It’s this great program at Cisco that allows your manager, your peers and anyone you work with at the company to recognize good work by giving an acknowledgement that also comes with a monetary reward. This “money” can purchase gift cards for a variety of different things.

This is an amazing endorsement of Cisco’s culture, and it means even more because it’s coming from a current employee, not the company. It shows that Cisco “walks the talk.”

By fostering authenticity and transparency, you cultivate feelings of goodwill and camaraderie among employees, feelings they make public in how they talk about the company (as evidenced above). In our 2015 SHRM/Globoforce Survey, 66% of HR professionals said values-based recognition helped build a stronger employer brand.

Social recognition is also integral to building a culture that job seekers want. According to a 2010 Monster/Unum study, 87% of employees said they want a company that they believe “truly cares about the well-being of its employees.” Only 66% of respondents rated a high base salary as very important. In a soon-to-released survey, we asked employees to rate their own well-being. Those that were recently recognized were 37% more likely to agree that their company cares about them as people.

Essentially, having a strong employer brand will make your job easier in the long run. And—this will make the C-suite perk up—it means better business results. Here are three benefits from Randstad:

  1. Companies with a strong talent brand registered a 36% gain in share price over the last five years.
  2. A strong employer brand attracts talent faster, saving companies up to 50% in cost-per-hire expenditures.
  3. Organizations with strong talent brands enjoy a 50% increase in the number of applicants per job posting.

Why You Can’t Afford To Ignore Your Employer Brand
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What are you doing to build your employer brand? Share your ideas with us in the comments.



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