Building a powerful employer brand through social networks
|About the Author|
|Sam Neo is the Founder and Chief People Officer of People Mentality Inc, an HR and Employer Branding Consultancy firm that seeks to empower organisations to become an Employer of Choice through authentic storytelling.|
A brand, in its simplest form, is essentially what others say or think about you.
As much as you want to constantly advocate what you stand for proactively, you need to recognise that your time and resources are limited. That means: either you need others to advocate your brand for you, or at the very least, you need to let your brand speak for itself in a clear and consistent manner.
Facing a highly competitive talent market, many organisations – in particular the small- and mid-sized ones – are increasingly realising the importance of building a strong employer brand as part of their broader strategies. This puts them in a better position to then attract and engage the best people out there that believes in their organisation.
But how do you get started? What are some steps to take in order to get your employer branding journey going?
Identifying your core strengths and leverages
First, you need to understand what your core strengths are. Look inside your organisation, talk to your people, and understand what they actually think about the organisation.
It is easy to say that you offer the best benefits, have the nicest office, and so on. But do those things actually matter to your employees? What is the perceived value to them? Start talking to them to find out!
Only through active engagement with your people will you gain true insights on what makes a difference to them. That is when you will discover the core strengths of your organisation, and learn which are the leverage points that you should start mobilising to amplify and enhance further.
With that, you can now determine what you should include into your employee value proposition. Building your narrative and positioning should only begin only after your employee value proposition has been established.
Look inside your organisation, talk to your people, and understand what they actually think about the organisation.
Develop a powerful narrative and positioning with stories
Next, you should start building your narrative and positioning with stories. Why stories? Because as much as you may have all the good content, if you do not connect with your target audience at the emotional level, there is only so much you can achieve with your message. As the saying goes, “Facts tell, stories sell”!
The increasing number of millennials in today’s talent market love hearing the behind-the-scenes stories, rather than the usual marketing messages which only portray the beautiful side of your workplace culture.
Authentic stories that appear a little more “raw” will present a realistic aspect of your culture that will put you ahead of your competitors who still choose to showcase a very polished front, but yet unable to connect emotionally with the young potential recruits.
Build a strong followership with brand ambassadors
Finally, there is only so much HR can do as a solo entity. What it needs is really to build a group of brand ambassadors through various platforms.
By having brand ambassadors who advocate your brand through multiple channels such as social media, at events or simply through a regular conversation with their friends, what you stand to gain is a widened network that is typically not readily accessible with your existing platforms.
One such way is through social recruitment. Wanted.jobs, for instance, serves as a social recruitment platform for organisations to post unlimited jobs while building a dedicated employer page.
It also expands on the referral concept by bringing social referrals to people outside of the company’s employees; increasing the potential reach and the virality of the job listings. By adding a reward factor, it incentivises users to share relevant job listings with their social networks, especially with friends they think will fare well and get the gig.
Over time, what you are doing is getting your brand advocates to influence people around them; and in turn, convert them into your brand ambassadors as well.
Since social media and the online medium are where you find people actively engaging with today, why not further capitalise on it to build on their network to enhance your brand equity?
While it takes time and effort to grow your brand, breaking down the process into parts and getting started in areas that you can work on will help you move closer towards the end goal.
Start by looking inward, understand what you stand for, and use your strengths to build your key message that is authentic and powerful. Once you get there, gather stories from your internal stakeholders.
Finally, you want to build a brand that has a community of followers who are interested in and are willing to advocate on your behalf. It takes time to develop that but as always, it has to start somewhere.
With the right message and consistency in building up the brand, it is just a matter of time before your organisation becomes top of the mind.
I wish you all the best and start taking your first step towards building an authentic and powerful brand today!