Employer branding: What is it and why is it so important?

"Forget the old-school mentality of 'they’re lucky to have a job'...think about why someone would want to work at your organisation."

Article by The Monday Group

2020 has given both employers and employees plenty of time for reflection, particularly in the events and hospitality industry. Time to reconsider what they do, how they do it, and what they require to have a satisfying and fulfilling career.

Despite the common need for job and financial security, the number one desire of clients and candidates is to work for a company they are proud of, that aligns with their morals and passion, and provides opportunities for personal growth and development.

For a year that can be accurately described as “devastating” to the events and hospitality industries, job seekers aren’t becoming less choosy, instead they are being even more particular about how, when and where they work.

With things slowly getting back to “normal” in the events and hospitality industry, The Monday Group managing director Jonathan Lamm foresees a push for hiring staff and rebuilding teams in 2021.

“To make sure you are attracting the best talent and have longevity in your hiring decisions, you need to forget the old-school mentality of ‘they’re lucky to have a job’ and instead think about why someone would want to work at your organisation, what can you offer future staff, in addition to job security and a wage?” he says.

What is employer branding?

Great question! It sounds very technical, but employer branding simply refers to your company’s reputation in the workforce and how your employees (past, current and future) view you as an employer. It’s about consistently and effectively marketing your company to job seekers and existing staff members. Just telling a good brand story won’t cut it, you must embody your company values, demonstrate that company culture is a priority, and sell the intangible benefits of working for your organisation.

Why is employer branding important?

There are many benefits of having a successful employer brand, but they all boil down to attracting and retaining top talent – drastically reducing the costs of your recruitment process and improving your business’ bottom line.

A 2018 study by Randstad US, revealed 86 per cent of workers would not apply for a role or stay in a company that had a bad reputation, and 58 per cent would rather remain in a role at a lower salary if that meant working for a great boss. An employee’s personal experience in the workplace, interpersonal relationships, level of engagement and development opportunities, carries more weight than the practical elements of pay, leave, commute etc.

In terms of cost to the business, LinkedIn’s Employer Brand Statistics show that having a good Employer Brand, especially for small and medium sized businesses, can result in a whopping 28 per cent reduction in staff turnover, attracts 50 per cent more qualified job seekers for advertised roles and reduces cost per hire by 50 per cent.

How to create a solid employer brand during COVID-19

Employer branding may seem like an extravagance to many event and hospitality businesses, something to focus on when the economy is flourishing and life is good, but you’d be wrong. With job seekers being more selective than ever, now is the time to focus on your organisation’s reputation and be true to your values.

Here are some easy ways to implement an employer branding strategy:

1. A clearly articulated employee value proposition (EVP) and live up to its words!

An EVP is basically a statement or promise of what a company will provide its employees beyond salary and desk space. To create an EVP you will need to focus on your company’s mission statement, values, vision, and culture. One option is to do an internal survey to find out what staff like most about working there, and what could be improved. The EVP’s main purpose is to answer the question “Why would I want to work for your company?”. Remember that the EVP is worthless if it’s not realistic or can’t be lived up to.

2. Alignment between recruitment and marketing

In most organisations, those who manage HR and recruitment are seen as responsible for promoting the company as an attractive place to work. Meanwhile, marketing teams are focussed on the organisation’s consumer brand. However, businesses with a strong employer brand tend to have a unified brand strategy that actively promotes a company’s people and culture as well as its core products and services. The marketing team can assist in conveying your company’s employer brand via a wide variety of channels such as social media and your website using videos, images and blogs, to reach the largest audience possible.

3. Team accountability

For businesses to truly succeed, it’s important everyone in the organisation, from management to line staff, understands the value of a strong employer brand and each of them play a role in upholding a consistent brand experience and reputation. Testimonials and statements from real employees will have a great impact on job seekers and can be shown on your website/careers page or posted on socials.

4. Recruitment process

Your company’s recruitment process presents a multitude of opportunities for you to communicate and showcase your employer brand, and can be disastrous if you get it wrong. In this savvy job market, your EVP should be used by your recruiters and HR team to attract the right candidates, as well as having a professional and comprehensive onboarding process to instil a positive first impression of your company, ensuring you get the right new hires excited and engaged from the outset.

5. Personal growth and development opportunities

Actively encouraging and assisting your employees to study and develop new skills is a sure-fire way of keeping them engaged and happy in the workplace. For the business, you are improving staff retention rates and upskilling your staff, while reinforcing a positive Employer Brand.

The Monday Group is a boutique recruitment agency specialising in the events, experiential marketing, hospitality and hotel industries. The team offers temporary employees, contractors and permanent staff, as well as executive search services.

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