Image matters, especially in the world of business. Every organization is trying to stand out from the crowd and grab our attention as a consumer. Without a strong brand image, it’s tough to gain traction. You may run an excellent company with strong products and services, but if people don’t have a positive association with your brand, your business will face negative long-term consequences.
As Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said, "Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room." You need to make sure they're saying positive things by ensuring people know and understand how strong your organization is.
Employer branding... going a step beyond brand image
It’s important to consider, too, that it isn’t just customers and clients that you wish to attract as a business. At some point, you will need to dip into the employment market and pick up new recruits. What job seekers think about you matters if you want to be able to attract the brightest talent to grow your business.
This is where employer branding comes in: the process of helping your target employees to see you as the employer of choice in your field.
To do this, you need to understand where the talent pool is and research it fully. Market research doesn't always have to be focused on the consumer! Work out what ambitions these people have, what they’re looking for in a job, and strategize how you can deliver that in your company.
An internal and external process
Analyzing potential recruits is both an external and internal process. Externally, you need a solid brand and image that is desirable. If you’re the sort of business that clients and customers want to be associated with, you’ll be the sort of business that people want to work for, too. Talented recruits want to apply their trade to the best possible companies; make sure they aspire to be with you.
It’s important to think internally, too. What makes your current staff happy or unhappy? What culture and conditions could you foster to become a more desirable workplace? This can involve non-work related things – such as a positive working environment – or things such as career development. If you’re prepared to put a strong emphasis on training employees, and help them to improve and flourish in the fields they are interested in, you will become more attractive to employees.
How employer branding can help, or hurt, you
A business with no emphasis on employer branding could easily put off would-be applicants. It’s surprisingly easy to pick up a negative working atmosphere as an applicant, and an organization that simply asks people to get on with a job without investing in their development is a frightening prospect. No one wants to feel like they will get stuck in a role, and as an employer, you want people to speak of you as being "good to work for."
Employer branding will help substantially when it comes to attracting the right people to fill vacancies or expand your offering. Recruiting high-potential employees is tricky, especially since effective recruits will need the right character as well as the right skills and experience if they are to fit in and flourish. Being the "employer of choice" gives you a huge head start.
In fact, if your image and reputation is developed in the right way, the hardest part of recruiting will be sifting through an Everest-sized mountain of applications. Firms such as SmartList, like other recruitment agencies, can search out and manage applications for you. With the right employer branding firmly established, you can help ensure the success of your organization in the years to come.
To learn more about developing a market research strategy to grow your business, download our recent eBook, How to Succeed Using Market Research.
This post was written by Debbie Fletcher.
Debbie Fletcher is an enthusiastic, experienced writer who has written for a range of difference magazines and news publications.