The COVID-19 global pandemic has been a real challenge for talent acquisition and recruiting departments. You’ve faced layoffs, finding a way to bridge the gap between working from home and encouraging collaboration, and you’ve had to find a way to keep the company culture and employee morale high. As the crisis begins to pass, companies will need to find a way to continue implementing successful recruitment efforts.
It’s during crisis and uncertainty that a company’s employer branding footprint becomes more important than ever. As regulations cause behavioral shifts, businesses must adapt to changes in consumer and candidate interaction, media consumption, and how social platforms are being used. With today’s landscape calling for a new approach to employer branding, here are several considerations your company should take into account.
We’re Safely Distanced, But More Social Than Ever
With people spending more time online, employers must actively listen to their candidates’ new needs in order to begin mobilizing and driving immediate results. Consumer insights and global consulting firm, Kelton, conducted a recent study to provide brands with some much-needed insight into strategies that successfully align with our changing environment. In their report, they recommend that employers, “Consider how [to] meet vulnerable consumers where they are and meet emotional needs – giving people emotional support, hope, or little wins will make a big difference.”
In other words, support and community are two key themes that should be woven into your employer branding efforts. These are the elements that candidates are looking for in a prospective employer.
It’s Not Business As Usual
In this new era, organizations need to assess and reallocate funds towards their employer branding strategy. When speaking on the topic, Hubspot noted that a strong employer brand can “reduce turnover rates by 28%, and cut your costs-per-hire by half.” What’s more, over 75% of active job seekers will only submit an application after researching an employer’s brand and online footprint.
Proactively managing your online reputation and adjusting your advertising to speak to our current climate will have a direct impact on your business’s bottom line. Here are some ways to showcase your brand’s humanity and tap into the needs of today’s talent pool.
#1. Exercise Authenticity
Now is certainly not the time for a perfectly polished facade. Stop overly curating your social pages and agonizing over finding that one flawless photo that paints an immaculate picture of your workplace. Instead, venture outside of your comfort zone and allow your brand to be raw and emotional. Candidates are looking for unfiltered, genuine content. By embracing this desire for honesty and realness, you will see a tremendous uptick in engagement and interest from viable candidates.
When you demonstrate a sense of humility and allow the world to see the ups and downs, struggles and wins, it makes your brand relatable - providing you with the opportunity to foster deeper relationships with your target candidate pool.
#2. Place an Emphasis on Content
Content reigns supreme in today’s world! Think about it like this: people are social distancing, quarantining, and working from home, meaning they’re looking for sources of inspiration and meaning to keep their spirits up each day. Transitioning your focus and budget towards your employer brand will give you more bandwidth to create resources (like videos, blog posts, training content, podcasts, and more) rooted in support and empathy. This is the key to building trust and credibility for your employer brand.
#3. Use Stories to Share Your Voice
Instagram Stories are time-sensitive in nature, offering businesses the perfect opportunity to share unpolished, off-the-cuff content with their audience. From company leaders to employees, give everyone the chance to participate - it’s a way to show a diverse, unified culture filled with real and relatable individuals.
Put More Budget Towards Employer Branding
To make a positive impression on both active and passive candidates, as well as mitigate wide-spread feelings of uncertainty, you must devote a large chunk of resources towards social ads and content designed to increase your brand affinity. The goal is to stay top-of-mind within your ideal talent pool. Get started by focusing on these three areas:
Share how you’re managing the current situation: Candidates value employers who take action. This is not the time for simple self-promotion. Instead, it’s time to dig deeper and be purposeful in your messaging. Spotlighting employees, discussing meaningful aspects of the company, such as ongoing charity work, and expressing how your leadership team is helping pave the way for success in this new normal is pivotal. As an employer, it’s time to offer more than just condolences and free shipping if you truly want to stand out from the competition.
Transparency, Transparency, Transparency: Make it a priority. This will ultimately speak volumes about who you are as an employer, what you value, and how you support your employers. Your pictures and videos should reflect current times - filter your content through a new lens, one that shows situational awareness. Things to highlight include your team-oriented environment, emphasis on collaboration, and ways in which you’re leveraging new communication tools while working from home.
Revamp your career site and hiring process: All of these facets we’re discussing should be displayed front and center on your career page. Same with your hiring process. From the initial interview to onboarding, let candidates know what to expect and that you’re flexible when it comes to embracing individual needs.
Let’s Start Moving Forward, Together
Adjusting your messaging and the way in which you showcase your brand via social and digital spheres is the key to thriving in today’s world. Brands that are clearly tone-deaf or hyper-focused on themselves versus their community will chase away quality candidates. Stability, support, and security are what top talent is looking for from a potential employer.
While there’s no magical formula on how to navigate these unprecedented times, there’s one thing that’s very clear: employers need to adjust the way they communicate. Strategic and mindful employer branding is going to be the main factor in forging meaningful connections and attracting job seekers.