Don’t Make These 3 Employer Branding Mistakes in 2016

January 25, 2016

In the recruiting industry, we’ve spent the last few years educating ourselves on the idea of employment branding. The learning curve was steep. It took longer than expected. But now, I’d say the majority of the industry understands that when it comes to talent acquisition, the mantra is “brand or BE branded.”

Phase II of employer branding is here

When a business concept has wide-spread acceptance and adoption, the next phase is critical. We now have enough historical data (i.e. attempts at employer branding), to determine what works and what doesn’t. Moreover, the talent we seek will set higher standards in terms of the quality of the employer branding we produce.

For example, think back to when websites for businesses first became available. Early adopters were considered pioneers. But quickly, every company had a basic website. Next, in a blink of an eye, consumers could tell the difference between a basic website and a more advanced one, ultimately choosing a company based on the sophistication of their site. A better site mentally equated to a better company. That’s where we are with employer branding. Job seekers pay attention to the quality and consistency of your efforts.

As a result, this year we’ll see some companies make some serious employer branding mistakes because they failed to take the time to study and leverage what we’ve learned so far.

Here are the three mistakes you and your company don’t want to make:

Mistake #1 - Denying the fact that job seekers are savvy consumers.

More than 80% of all consumers today study products and services extensively online as a way to narrow down their options. Job seekers are savvy consumers. They want to know the good, bad, and the ugly about your company.

Studies show if an internet search about your company can’t provide a significant employer branding footprint, candidates will not bother to apply to your jobs. Many job seekers today say they will follow the company for a while before applying, just to be sure you’re the kind of employer they want to partner with. Which leads to…

Mistake #2 - Setting up shop, but putting nothing in the windows.

Employer branding starts with claiming your real estate on the internet. Getting your LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Facebook, Twitter, etc. accounts helps you establish presence. However, those are just storefronts. If you want top talent to walk in and talk to you, you need some great stuff in the windows.

Creating content that educates talent on what it’s like to work for you company is the only way you can get them to pay attention long enough to want to apply. You’ve got to sell them on your unique employer brand. And, that brings us to the final mistake...

Mistake #3 - Using outdated ‘yell & sell’ techniques.

The reason it has taken employer branding so long to be adopted by recruiting is because recruiters aren’t marketers. And, even if they do ask marketing for help, it doesn’t always work. Here’s why: traditional marketing involves ‘yell & sell’ tactics i.e. bragging about how great a product or service is.

Many companies mistakenly adopted this approach with their employment branding. It’s gotten so bad, LinkedIn published a report showing the most over-used words in employer branding. Ouch! I guarantee if you look at the list, you’ll see your company’s guilty of a few. Today, job seekers want transparency and third-party credibility. They want to see other people (besides you!), talking honestly about what it’s like to work at your company.

Want to get employment branding right? Follow a proven process.

This year, employer branding will become more systematic. Job seekers don’t want to compare apples to oranges. Studies by my company show they will evaluate you on core characteristics as a way to weed out the employers that don’t fit their needs. [This free webinar will walk you through the 5 ridiculously simple steps for creating your employer brand in 2016.]

If you want to attract more, better talent this year, it’s time to get your entire team on board with the right way to build a solid employer brand. It’s not rocket science, but it does take awareness so you can avoid the mistakes above.

PS - Join me for a webinar that will map out a simplified system you can use to ensure your employer brand meets the standards of today’s job seeker. Sign-up here to reserve your spot and we’ll send you the recording if you can’t attend live.

*Image by Matt Newfield

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