Attracting the right candidate takes more than posting a job ad and wading through the impending flood of resumes. It’s about connecting with your target candidate pool to find a mutually beneficial relationship. That dream hire brings talent and energy to your business and saves you the wasted time and money that comes with a bad hire. Building a solid employer brand as part of your inbound recruiting strategy increases the odds of finding that rare employee with the perfect balance of skills, temperament, and ambition.
Before you can announce your opportunities to the world with your inbound recruiting tactics, you need a solid employer brand in place. That branding shows your ideal candidates that your company culture fits what they want in a career. Branding makes your company stand out in a sea of employer options and speaks to your potential employees.
Keep Your Brand Authentic
Branding your company isn’t about crafting an alluring facade. Your branding needs to truly reflect the values, mission, and culture that drive your company. You may be able to fake it for a little while, but eventually, those new recruits figure out the true story. The candidates that do swarm to your false brand probably aren’t the type of people you want on the payroll anyway. Being genuine in the way you present yourself as an employer may attract a smaller group of candidates, but those candidates are a better fit for your culture, which benefits your company and your new hire.
The other part of being authentic is giving a glimpse behind closed doors. You can’t share proprietary information, but being open and sharing information helps your target audience connect with your brand. It reveals who you are as a business owner and how your company runs.
Define Your Image and Target Audience
How do you want your target audience to perceive your company as an employer? Have a clear outline of the image you’re portraying before you start your inbound recruiting initiative. Without it, your message is less effective and may send mixed signals. Branding goes beyond selecting a font that reflects your company, creating a catchy slogan or designing a solid logo. Your brand happens in the way you interact with customers, employees and potential candidates. It’s about the language you use and the feeling you create in those who interact with your brand.
You also need a clear definition of the type of employee you want. That doesn’t mean you should pigeonhole candidates or set overly narrow criteria. A person who doesn’t check off all your boxes may surprise you by being a perfect fit. Still, knowing what you expect from a candidate helps you better target your recruitment marketing with a message that resonates with the right person. Create a fictional ideal candidate to define your employee persona as a guide for developing your inbound recruiting to appeal to that group.
Research Your Audience
Even if your branding messages is perfectly in sync with what your target audience wants to hear, you still need to get that message in front of them. Content marketing is an effective way to connect with your audience, but you have to distribute that content in a way that is effective with that particular segment of the population. Do those people Instagram everything? Are they blog readers? Do they prefer Twitter or Facebook? Once you know where your potential employees hang out online, use that platform to expose those users to your brand.
Skip Traditional Advertising
Traditional advertising is unappealing to many people, especially millennials, with 84 percent saying they don’t like advertising, according to a survey from The McCarthy Group. If you want to set yourself apart as the hot place to work, skip the traditional ads. Show that your brand has more of a purpose than simply recruiting the best employees or making money. Your actions bring your branding to life. Do you value charitable work or focus your mission statement around bettering the community? Prove it by sponsoring a charity project. Make a difference in the community, whether that community is a city, state, nation or online community. That action makes you stand out to people with similar values.
Sharing valuable information in the form of content marketing is another way to avoid traditional advertising. You establish yourself as an expert in the field, and you grab the attention of job seekers interested in the field. Blogging and sharing information via social media platforms also gives you the chance to have a conversation with people interested in working for your company. Those interactions develop a relationship before you start actually recruiting, and they build interest on the part of the candidate. You also get a better idea if those people who interact with your brand might be a good fit for your current needs.
A major part of branding is staying consistent across all platforms and in person. That consistency sends a clear message on your company’s values, mission and working environment. Regular posting on social media platforms also keeps your company relevant and in the minds of potential employees. If you go for weeks or months without posting, people forget about you. It makes your company look inconsistent and potentially less appealing to people who spend most of their time online.
Building a clear brand message that appeals to your target candidate pool supports your inbound recruiting methods. Express that brand consistently across platforms your ideal candidates use to drive the message home.