In this extract from the recently released Employer Branding For Dummies, written by Alicia Garibaldi and co-published by Glassdoor and Wiley, she highlights the role your employees play in your recruitment in today’s marketplace.
When job seekers consider whether or not to apply at a given company, they seek out information provided by current and former employees. Why? Because they trust your employees the most to get the inside scoop on what it’s really like to work there.
According to Glassdoor research, the most trusted resources for learning about companies are family and friends (52 percent), followed by feedback and reviews from other people who work at the company (14 percent). The least trusted resources for learning about companies are a company’s own website (5 percent) and a company recruiter (2 percent).
Today, job seekers can get an inside look at almost any company by researching it on social media channels. Because they’re doing their homework, job seekers may know more about your organization than you do! It’s more important than ever to get involved in the conversation happening online and encourage your employees to do the same.
Knowing what employees say about you
How much weight do employee opinions carry? Consider a few facts provided by Glassdoor:
- More than half of job candidates read online reviews before forming an opinion about a company
- The vast majority of job seekers — a whopping 78 percent — say that employee ratings and reviews are influential when deciding where to work.
- Of all job seekers, 87 percent are more likely to visit a company’s career site after they view its profile and read employee reviews.
Conversation about your organization is critical to your employer brand, so you need to monitor it. That means tuning in to talk both inside and outside the company.
Knowing what makes your brand different
To attract the right talent, you need to list the types of employees that you’re hoping to attract and find out what matters to them. It’s crucial to ask your current employees why they stay and what top five skills are required to do their job. Be sure to analyse by department and cover all your bases. Each job description and visual should match what’s most important to each department that you’re looking to staff.
Here are a few areas to check on job sites to find out what people are saying about your company:
Employee reviews: Seeing what your employees are saying about the company can help you diagnose any branding or reputation challenges. Identifying trends allows you to make a list of what makes your company a great place to work and what issues need to be addressed.
Ask yourself these questions about the reviews: Do they match your company’s employer value proposition? Do they match what you already know about the company? Do they reveal any problems that you were unaware of?
Company ratings: On some sites, including Glassdoor, companies can be rated in several key areas, such as culture and values, work/life balance, senior leadership, compensation and benefits, and career opportunities. Compare your ratings with your competitors to determine what sets your company apart.
CEO rating: Knowing whether your employees approve of the leadership that you have in place is important.
Interview reviews: By directing candidates to post their experiences on sites such as Glassdoor, you can gain valuable insight into your company’s hiring processes.
Salary postings: No surprise here: The number one employee motivator is salary. Be sure that your rates are on par with market standards.
Along with monitoring all external messages and posts about your brand, you need to hear what’s being said inside the company. The following strategies can help you stay current on employee opinions:
Offer employee opinion surveys: Anonymous queries help you analyze what’s going on inside your organization.
Conduct new-hire surveys at various milestones: Check in with your new employees at thirty, sixty and ninety-day intervals.
Hold informal employee meetings: Meet regularly with employees. Be sure that managers are checking in weekly with everyone on their teams.
Establish formal step interviews: Hold six-month reviews for all employees to discuss their roles and career paths.
Conduct exit interviews: Be receptive to both positive and negative feedback, because it helps you address important issues. Log the results so that you can analyze the data and identify trends that may be adversely impacting your retention and employer brand.
Responding to reviews
Reviews may be the first things a candidate sees before applying to your company. Even negative reviews give you the opportunity to display authenticity and concern for employees. Consider reviews to be free advice that can make your company better.
Respond promptly: On the Glassdoor site, for example, you can set up company alerts that e-mail you when new reviews post.
Welcome all feedback: Whether comments are positive or negative, acknowledge them in a non-defensive tone.
Address specific issues: By being receptive to concerns, you give reviewers a sense of satisfaction that they contributed to positive change within your company. A nice touch is giving reviewers an e-mail address or phone number that they can use to contact you to further discuss specific concerns.
Be considerate: Whether the topic is compensation, career growth, or management, a considerate response builds candidate trust.
Promote the positive: Responding to positive reviews about your company and adding employee testimonials to your career page are two ways to enhance your employer brand — not just for job seekers, but also for current employees.
Encourage a sensible social media policy: Develop a policy that doesn’t restrict or prohibit employees from accessing and sharing on social networks. If reviews cite salary and compensation, career growth, or location as areas of concern, be sure to respond to these reviews promptly. Glassdoor surveys show that these three areas are most important to employees.
Encouraging employees to tell your story
Employees are the most important contributors to your employer brand. Ensuring that they’re happy and engaged with your company is critical to your brand’s success. Getting employees to participate, however, can be no small task. Here are tips that can motivate your employees to promote your employer brand:
Give them a voice: People want to know that their opinions are heard and that they matter. Take the time to listen to your employees via reviews, surveys, and meetings; and be sure to respond. ✓ Give them opportunities for growth: Glassdoor has found that growth opportunity is the second most important motivator for employees (after salary).
Make sure they know the elevator pitch: Everyone at your company is selling its success, so be sure that all your employees know the company’s elevator pitch (essentially, its mission statement).
Promote the stories of your employees: Photos and videos on your website are great promotional tools especially when they feature your employees across every department. Involve them as you assemble material that highlights your brand and company culture.
Foster, support, and reward employees: Saying “thank you” can go a long way. Companies that have effective recognition programs improve employee engagement and enjoy 31 percent less voluntary turnover than peers that have ineffective recognition programs, according to a Bersin by Deloitte study.
Motivating your employees to get involved
Getting employees to participate in the conversation on behalf of your company is no small task. You can motivate your employees to promote your company’s message in these three key ways:
- Desire for success: Promote the fact that your company’s strong reputation will attract other “A” players and help your company succeed.
- Desire to be heard: Employees want to believe they are playing an active role in what happens in the organization.
- A sense of pride: Being able to tell your friends and family that you work for a great company that cares about and rewards its employees carries a great sense of satisfaction.
Employees want to feel like they are a part of the overall success of the business. Including them in the story as you build your employer brand is a critical step.