One of the best ways for a job seeker to increase their chances of getting employed is to learn about what employers are looking for in candidates and how they approach hiring new people. Over the last twenty years, employer branding has become a big part of the way employers approach the job market and a truly savvy job seeker will know how to use this to his or her advantage. This article delves into how employers do employer branding and how learning about it can help you land your dream job.
The Basics of Company Branding
Employer branding is a practice where companies present themselves as fantastic places to work. They promote all of the great things about themselves that will attract as many candidates as possible and increase their chances of landing genuine top talent.
For example, when a company features a post on their blog about the latest company team-building outing where everyone had a great time, that’s employer branding. They are showing their potential employees what is waiting for them if they become part of the organisation.
This is mostly done by companies in highly competitive industries such as software development, cloud computing, data analytics and sometimes even mainstream industries. It has become crucial to attract the best talent out there and companies want to portray themselves as possessing the desirable attributes that millennials are looking for as per this report. They are not the only ones doing it, however. Companies from other industries have started doing it as well, recognising the importance of having the best people working for them.
How Do Companies Brand Themselves?
The first step towards learning about employer branding is knowing how to recognise it and in order to be able to do so, you need to know what it is that companies do as part of their employer branding efforts.
Today, the majority of companies do their employer branding online since it is affordable, convenient, and can be very effective. For instance, they will create a fantastic Meet the Team page where they will show off their team and their fancy offices. Their blog will be full of stories from company outings and stories written by their employees. They will also use social media to show off and let you know how great it is to work for them.
These companies will also be present on various job search websites and other places, managing their employer reputation like Andela on BrighterMonday. They will also encourage individuals who have interacted with their company to take surveys in various industry competitions.
They will be present at job fairs and their brochures will always be the best out there. In addition to this, they might organise CSR activities and local events where their employees will be present and where the company in question will show it is dedicated to helping the community, by getting their employees involved.
Behind the scenes, employers will be using a lot of data analytics and research where they will use paid surveys and other data sources to find out how they are perceived as an employer and what their potential employees think of them.
How to Leverage a Company’s Branding Efforts in an Interview
Once you identify a company that does employer great branding, there are a few ways in which you can use this knowledge to your benefit.
For one, if the company is doing employer branding, this means they are very serious about their hiring and they are only looking for the most serious candidates. This is why you should always approach applying to their job ads with utmost commitment and seriousness. Your CV will have to be in tip-top shape and you will have to prepare for the interview like never before.
You should also raise your expectations when you apply for such a company. If you reach the interview stage, make sure to let them know you expect them to be the employer they paint themselves to be. If they boast amazing benefits and chances for promotion, make sure to inquire about it during your interview stage. Let them know that you are serious about working for them and that you expect them to deliver on their promises.
Most job seekers make the mistake of limiting their expectations so that they do not seem like they are taking advantage of the company’s reputation but it is perfectly fine to expect the company to hold up its promises. Demonstrate that you are just as serious as the company is because you are bringing your A-game on board.
By examining what they put forward on their website, their blog and through their other employer branding efforts, you will be able to learn a lot about them as a company. For example, if they organised a charity event aimed at helping the local hospital, you can mention, during your interview, that you are also involved or interested in similar charities. If the company has an amateur football team that they write about on their blog, maybe mention your passion for the game if any.
The point is, demonstrate that you hold similar values to those of the company and that you can fit in very well within the culture. At the end of the day, companies also want to recruit people who can fit into their cultures so that they do not feel out of place when required to participate in certain activities.
A Word of Caution
We feel it would be very remiss of us not to mention another possibility, and this time a negative one. Namely, there are some companies that do employer branding because their past practices have garnered them a poor reputation among professionals. Their past employees do not have anything good to say about them and their employer branding is more damage control than anything else.
This is why you always need to do your research properly if you suspect a company is just going through the motions of employer branding. Do a bit of Googling. If you notice any red flags, approach the people who raised them and find out what happened. This is the digital era and everyone is trying to paint a good picture about themselves so sometimes, you have to dig a little deeper to ensure that what is said is what is done.
Employer branding has become an inseparable part of the job market and most people think job seekers do not have to worry about it. As you can see, job seekers can gain a lot by learning about employer branding and the ways in which their potential employers might be using it. In the end, it is all about landing that perfect job.