Employer branding or how to show how good an employer we are and attract quality employees?
There are four ways that can be used together for maximum effect. What are they – articles in specialized publications, TV interviews and other PR activities; some of our most powerful channels, namely social networks; our corporate website and last but not least the so-called “word of mouth”.
“Word of mouth”
We’ll start first with word-of-mouth – it’s considered one of the most influential tools in marketing. Many marketers are making an effort to get positive reviews this has even given rise to a brand new “profession” or rather ploy in marketing – influencers.
Realizing the power of “word of mouth,” a section of officials began to use it for punitive purposes as well. When the information presented is objective there is nothing wrong with it, but in some cases it is used as a personal “vendetta”.
Many studies analyze the impact of positive reviews and testimonials on products and branding, respectively this is also true for the employer brand i.e. when there are positive reviews and testimonials a mindset is built that the company is good and when there are open positions there are candidates to work there.
Of interest is the research by Stockman, S., Van Hoye, G., & da Motta Veiga, S. (2019). Negative word-of-mouth and applicant attraction: The role of employer brand equity. Journal of Vocational Behavior, which focuses on negative opinions and how they affect employer brand. The research done shows several parameters that influence in negative opinion:
- A negative review may turn away a candidate who does not know the company, however, a negative review alone is not enough in most cases
- A negative opinion has an impact if it is supported by negative impressions of the company, i.e. it is in line with expectations and attitudes.
- Negative opinion is hard to influence in companies with a strong and good employer brand
- A negative opinion may influence the acceptance of a job offer if there is more than one offer
Another specificity with word-of-mouth is that more and more people are familiar with companies’ practices of paying employees who have brought a new employee into the company, which somewhat compromises this kind of recommendation, but could be used in another way – namely, when employees are good, working honestly and dedicatedly for the company – this is noticed by the people who interact with the organization – partners, suppliers, etc., who at some point may also be future employees or a source of such. The social circle is best persuaded by the quality of life of our employees, they are ambassadors of our company, when they are well, have free time, have fun, develop themselves or generally speaking it is seen that the things their friends are looking for in work are provided, then they would be interested in a potential opportunity to work in our company.
Your company has a product that is very famous in the market and everyone knows it!
Bruner and Baum examine the impact of a company’s portfolio on its attractiveness. They examined cases where the company brand was present in job advertisements alongside the product brand and found that organisations that have a strong product in the market can successfully use it to increase the company’s appeal. After conducting an experiment, they found that indeed a strong product brand positively influences employer brand appeal compared to using only a company logo, but for this product to be most effective, the strength of the product and how much it overlaps with the company matters. Companies that have different divisions are better off using brands from the division the job is for in their advertisement, as a strong product brand mediates whether the person is a good fit for the company and is an indicator of career opportunity.
The relationship between social responsibility, employer brand and organizational reputation
Studies on the relationship between employer reputation and corporate social responsibility are also of interest, one of them is by Verčič & Sinčić Ćorić, who investigate the relationship between corporate social responsibility, employer brand and organizational reputation. The research was done among business school students as the workforce enters the job market and the results confirm that organizations that are socially responsible are seen as good employers and reputable. It is important to keep in mind another study on this issue, namely that of Benitez, J., Ruiz, L., Castillo, A., & Llorens, J., who explore that in the case of employer branding, in addition to being socially responsible, we also need to share it with the people we want as employees i.e. social activities help the company build a great reputation and employer brand, but it is social media that enhances the impact on reputation.
The link between building a good employer brand with social media and the corporate website
A proportion of companies believe that the website is important and it is. They prepare it, put a part with careers, with values, etc., but they consider the presence of the company (especially when it is B2B) on social networks unnecessary, but this is a mistake.
The study by Carpentier, M., Van Hoye, G. & Weijters, B. shows that:
– The presence of the company’s social media page has a strong positive correlation with the hospitality (warmth) in the company.
– the information contained on company social media pages has a significant positive correlation with the perception of company competence.
– A positive correlation was also found between feeling warmth in the company after viewing the social media page and an increase in the desire to apply for a job.
– the warmth from the social media page is also linked to the intention of this company to be recommended.
– the perceived competence after viewing the social media page is positively associated with the attractiveness of the company.
– perceived competence is positively associated with the intention to recommend that company.
That’s why we shouldn’t underestimate the impact of our company’s social media pages, as well as the way our website and careers page are designed. This is part of the path that a potential candidate takes and there should be no stumbling blocks to becoming our employee.
Let’s not forget the strategy
We have a quality social media page, a good corporate website, and we know what we want our employer brand to look like, it’s important to think about the content we post too. It’s good to have a pre-built strategy for it, it should relate to who we are, it should be memorable, interesting and unique. We must remember to be flexible in presenting our employer brand traits to different audiences.
- Benitez, J., Ruiz, L., Castillo, A., & Llorens, J. (2019). How corporate social responsibility activities influence employer reputation: The role of social media capability. Decision Support Systems
- Brunner, C. B., & Baum, M. (2020). The impact of brand portfolios on organizational attractiveness. Journal of Business Research, 106, 182-195.
- Carpentier, M., Van Hoye, G., & Weijters, B. (2019). Attracting applicants through the organization’s social media page: Signaling employer brand personality. Journal of Vocational Behavior
- Stockman, S., Van Hoye, G., & da Motta Veiga, S. (2019). Negative word-of-mouth and applicant attraction: The role of employer brand equity. Journal of Vocational Behavior
- Tkalac Verčič, A., & Sinčić Ćorić, D. (2018). The relationship between reputation, employer branding and corporate social responsibility. Public Relations Review.