It’s no secret that a powerful consumer brand is absolutely essential for attracting and retaining new customers and clients. Sales and marketing teams have dedicated enormous percentages of operating budgets to build a funnel for establishing new sales. But what about your Recruiting and HR team? How much thought have you dedicated to building a relatable employer brand that speaks to the next generation of recruits? The perception of your employer brand can mean the difference between attracting average college applicants and connecting with the most qualified and forward-thinking candidates. With today’s post, we invite you to discover the secrets to sculpting and measuring your employer brand to ensure your inbound recruiting efforts are attracting the right talent.
What key brand factors do college students look for?
For a targeted recruitment process, focus your branding efforts on what matters most to graduates.
Your Recruiting Process
Sue Keever Watts, president of Keever Group, recommends looking at your company’s recruiting processes as a part of your employer brand. After all, a potential recruit’s interaction with your company during the recruitment process becomes a reflection of the company as a whole. If the process is confusing, annoying, tedious or unfriendly, candidates might see the rest of your organization the same way. This can scare off the candidates who are looking for more than just a job to make money.
Your Existing Team
The people on your team that interact with students at job fairs, conferences and other steps in the recruitment process are the second-most important factor,
according to the Keever Watts. Ensure your organization is putting forth its most engaged and enthusiastic employees during campus recruiting and other events to create a positive impression of your brand.
Know Your Ideal Hire
Part of creating a focused, targeted inbound recruiting and campus recruiting plan is defining exactly which candidates you want to attract. Gather your recruitment team to create one or more profiles of your ideal candidates. Include education, experience, soft skills and values that your company desires to see in new hires.
How to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Employer Brand
While internal metrics are an important part of measuring your employer brand, the perception of your organization outside of its walls can be a better measure of whether you’re attracting the right candidates. Here are some of the key factors to consider, as recommended by Melissa Murray Bailey, president of Americas at Universum.
Do candidates understand what your company stands for and what you have to offer? Survey students to understand how they view your company, keeping watch to see if their perceptions improve over time. You should also survey current employees to learn what attracted them to the organization.
Do the right candidates know who you are and that you’re hiring? Review your target candidate profile and your outreach efforts and candidate interactions, and make sure they match up.
Knowing what percentage of students are going through with their applications and accepting offers is important, but you also want to know the “why” behind both the recruits who accept an offer and those who decline. Use these reasons to create stronger offers that attract the right candidates to apply to your company rather than the competition.
Other Brand Factors to Attract Strong College Candidates
One secret to attracting the right recruits for your organization is to market your employer brand through storytelling. For example, you might assign a team to write the story of your company in a compelling way. Justine Healey of LaunchPad says it this way: “When your employer brand story is precise and eminent, it will drive the experiences and conversations between company and candidate in the direction you want it to go, attracting the candidates you want most.”
Freedom concerning how employees work connects to the basic human need for autonomy. To attract enthusiastic recruits, incorporate this benefit into your employer brand, making clear to what extent employees have the freedom to work how, where or with whom they want.
Today’s graduates are looking for organizations that give employees the chance to feel meaningful or work towards something greater than themselves. Companies need to define their overall mission that recruiters can convey to candidates while defining a clear purpose and responsibilities for job openings.
- Appeal to Values
Attracting the right candidates means marketing an employer brand that caters to the deep-seated values of recruits. Use your target candidate profiles to identify the values that matter most to those candidates, and incorporate those into inbound recruiting content and campus visits. Focus on developing an emotional, human connection with candidates.
Enthusiastic college students want to be a part of a movement that’s innovative and exciting. Even if your company is established, ensure recruiters pay special attention to the most forward-thinking and progressing aspects of the organization when connecting with candidates or creating content.
Creating the Right Employer Brand is a Team Effort
Building and shaping an employer brand that attracts the right talent is no easy task. Use focus groups, company-wide surveys and appointed teams to build a strong employer brand. From new hires to established leaders, everyone may have some valuable input to help you create a magnetic brand that draws in top talent.
If you’d like to learn more about how to bring your employer brand to life, be sure to connect with our sales team for a live product demo and brand relevance ideas.