They are ranked as the top three most attractive employers in 2017, according to the World’s Most Attractive Employer Rankings conducted by Universum Global. The annual survey is the forefront of emerging employer branding trends and tactics as it reveals what candidates look for in a workplace. It represents how important employer branding is when it comes to attracting talent.
Interestingly, the 2017 survey also revealed that majority of talents would prefer to work for smaller companies, specifically medium-sized employers. It has been said that younger generations are passionate about making a difference in their careers, hence the perception that it would be easier for them to make a big impact in a smaller company than in larger companies.
So, what does this mean for business owners of small and medium enterprises (SMEs)?
The odds are now in their favour as talents have shifted their interest towards SMEs, hence it is now time for SMEs to beef up measures in creating stronger employer brands. A positive employer brand shows how well your company is perceived by your current employees and can potentially be a huge driver in attracting more talent. The problem is, unlike big corporations, SMEs might not have the manpower and resources to invest in building strong employer brands.
If you are tight on your budget, here are 5 steps on how to build a good employer brand without costing a bomb:
1. Define Employee Value Proposition (EVP)
By definition, EVP is a set of offerings provided by the employer in return for the skills, capabilities and experiences an employee brings to the company. It represents an employer’s unique value and attractiveness. List down what makes your company different (special); any distinctive work culture, inspiring vision or strong, positive image. If you are unsure, you can start by interviewing your employees and analyse their answers.
2. Be proactive towards online reviews
Encourage your employees to provide their feedback and reviews of your company through social media sites and online employment company review pages. This will not only help you identify the problems your employees are facing but also ensure that you are on the right path. Make sure that you respond to all feedback, both positive and especially negative reviews, to show that you really care about your employees and your employer brand.
3. Utilise social media platforms
One of the most affordable ways to build a strong employer brand is to showcase your work culture by being active on social media platforms. You can post photos and videos related to business or even social events happening in your workplace to keep your followers engaged and interested. Social media platforms also provide affordable options that you can tailor according to your budget, for you to advertise your postings to reach larger targeted audiences of your choice.
4. Empower your employees to participate in social chats
Yes, your employees are your best ambassadors. Encourage them to participate and let your employer brand shine through them. For example, you can organise a company event and instead of inviting your employees through e-mails, invite them through social media platforms. From there you can empower them to upload photos, tag your company location, share live videos and post comments/feedback relating to the event. This will make the whole experience more interesting and enriching.
5. Promote your work culture in job descriptions
SMEs may not have the buying power but they can still offer attractive work cultures. Highlight some of the unique work cultures in your job descriptions; Flexible schedules? Remote work opportunities? Free food? Dress-down Fridays? Pet-friendly workplace? Mom-friendly workplace? You can also consider recording a promotional job video to showcase the work culture in your office simply by using a smartphone. This will make the video content even more personal and authentic.
Building a strong employer brand need not be so costly. However, a successful employer brand takes time and requires commitment, careful cultivation and ongoing support across all levels. SMEs must learn to identify and leverage on their own strengths in order to maintain better employee retention as well as to attract new talents.