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You’re passionate about the growing beer industry and want to start a career in it, but you’re not sure where you fit in. You stumble upon a Corona ad showing models drinking cold beer on the beach. Does it encourage you to apply for a job there?

The next commercial you see is for Sam Adams. The video is narrated by an employee who talks about the company’s culture and values, and how their passion for quality defines the company’s independent spirit.

Which commercial would you remember? More importantly, what speaks to you as a passionate job seeker looking to bring value to the beer industry?


Guest Post by Heather R. Huhman, founder/president of Come Recommended.


The Boston Beer Company has turned their employer brand into a major marketing initiative, which has fueled its growth into what is now one of the biggest beer brands in the world. As their careers page says, “Our people are our most important ‘ingredient.’ We not only have to hire the best, but we have to reward, develop, and retain them, too.”

The fact that they see their employees as the most important ingredient in their product is clear in their employer branding strategy. And that plays a big role when you’re competing for passionate candidates.

Unsurprisingly, the LinkedIn Global Recruiting Trends 2017 report found that 80 percent of talent leaders say their employer brand has a significant impact on their ability to hire great talent. Why? Candidates are savvier now than ever before, and they know what they’re looking for in potential employers.

Let’s take a look at how your current hiring process is hurting your employer branding — and how to fix it:

Problem #1: You’re not sharing compensation information.

While money isn’t everything, it’s a major motivating factor. After all, as the LinkedIn Global Recruiting Trends 2017 report found, 45 percent of employees said better compensation and benefits was the main deciding factor when accepting their current job.

If you’re omitting compensation information altogether, you may be missing out on a lot of awesome talent.

CareerBuilder’s June 2016 study found that candidates want to see a job posting include information about their total benefits package and salary. If they don’t see any information, or little more than vague cliches like “competitive salary,” candidates won’t dig much deeper into your company.

Tip: Create a graphic for each job posting to show job seekers how you calculate total compensation and how their benefits factor in. Include how your salaries compare to the industry average. The market for talent is competitive, so be transparent about how you stack up against other employers.

Problem #2: You aren’t getting people excited about benefits.

The LinkedIn report also found that candidates say information about perks and benefits is the second most helpful bit of information when they consider a potential employer. So, your benefits and perks need to be front and center in your employer brand.

Tip: Show the value you provide employees by sharing real stories, and promote your awesome benefits on social media.

Start a “Benefits for the Win” content campaign, where you produce gifs, videos, blogs, and other content that shows employees enjoying their benefits.

For example, let’s say you offer flexible work schedules. Ask for employee feedback and identify an impactful story to tell. Perhaps a single mother needs to telecommute to save money on daycare. Share how your benefits allow her to find a work-life balance she can manage.

Problem #3: You are hard to find.

The biggest employer brand mistake companies make is being invisible online. CareerArc’s 2015 study found that 52 percent of the 1,369 job seekers surveyed visit a company’s online properties first during their job search, with 75 percent considering the employer brand before submitting an application.

 If you have not already developed a presence on LinkedIn, here is a step-by-step guide for boosting visibility there:

  1. Create your company page. Add the following:
    • Company name
    • Description of what your company does and what makes you unique
    • Banner image
    • Company logo
  2. Encourage employees to add your company page to their profile. This allows them to follow your page and engage with your content to help expand your viral reach.
  3. Add the link to your company page to other platforms.
    • Add a “follow” button to your website.
    • Link to the company page in your marketing channels (blog, emails, etc.).
  4. Start posting content on a daily basis.
    • Content can range from company news to industry-related articles and thought leadership pieces.
  5. Create career pages.
  6. Encourage employees to create content for your career pages. Employee-created content shows candidates what it’s like to work at your company.
  7. Upload videos and photos that align with your messaging and speak directly to candidates you want.
  8. Personalize job recommendations for specific people based on their location, industry, and job function.

To find out what works and what doesn’t in your employer branding strategy, measure your impact by looking at engagement metrics and impressions through your company page analytics tool.

Problem #4: Your candidate experience is long and boring.

A bad candidate experience can aggravate interested job seekers and turn them away. Perhaps your application process is too long, you aren’t communicating timeframes with applicants, or your site and application are not mobile-friendly.

This is not an uncommon. In fact, CareerArc’s 2016 The State of the Candidate Experience survey found nearly 60 percent of the 826 respondents had experienced a poor candidate experience.

What’s worse, 72 percent shared that experience online or with someone directly. In other words, a bad reputation spreads fast.

Be aware of what aspects of your candidate experience need improvement. The LinkedIn 2016 Global Talent Trends report found that candidates say “not hearing back after applying to a company” and “unclear communication during the recruiting process” are among their top five obstacles they face when changing jobs.

Tip: Offer candidates a downloadable “Apply to Hire Toolkit” that gives them information about your hiring process. This should include how long the application typically takes to complete, an overview of the screening process, and what timeline candidates can expect overall.

Don’t forget to highlight your workplace culture in the toolkit. Share employee testimonials about why they love working for you, and define what cultural fit means to the organization and job seeker. This way, you’re attracting talent who align with your workplace culture and screening those who don’t out of your hiring process.

How are you improving your hiring process and employer branding strategy?


HeatherHeadshot2-squareHeather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and president of Come Recommended, a content-marketing and digital-PR consultancy for job-search and human-resources technologies. She is the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle.

 

 

 

Featured Image Source (Creative Commons): Daniel Oines.

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