Employer branding: What do search results say about you?


It’s time to face the facts: Your future employees aren’t reading your job postings. That’s because (according to a report from the Aberdeen Group) three out of four are doing so well in their current role that they aren’t looking for a new job — at least not yet.

Often called passive candidates, these “career managers” enjoy consuming interesting, industry-related content and are happy in their current position, so they aren’t actively searching for a new job. However, they might be open to accepting a new position with a company that interests or excites them.

Because these highly qualified candidates are active in your field, they likely saw the news of your latest acquisition or perhaps that angry letter to your CEO that went viral on Medium.

That’s the reality of the digital age: If you’re not telling your company’s story, someone else is. When it comes to attracting and retaining top talent, the way you talk about your company and the way others talk about you matters. In fact, statistics from Glassdoor found 94 percent of job seekers were more likely to apply to a company that actively managed its brand, while 95 percent said they were influenced by online reviews.

According to the eFinancialCareers Ideal Employer Survey, there are several factors candidates consider when choosing the companies to which they’ll apply. Some of these include:

  • Positive financial performance
  • Strong executive leadership
  • Being a leader in the industry
  • The ability to work with key industry players

These are all areas in which Employer Branding can effectively communicate these strengths.

To maintain a competitive edge when it comes to recruiting, companies need to be proactive about employer branding and providing relevant information to job seekers. When you search for your company, what are the first things you see?

Here are three things job seekers are likely to see — and what they should see instead.

What they see: A stiff, corporate description

If your company’s About Us page is written primarily for investors, you’re not alone. If your company is publicly traded, you must include certain information, but that isn’t necessarily the first thing you want job seekers to read.

What they should see: Your brand’s story

If your company is ramping up its hiring, consider updating a few key website pages that define your brand or creating new ones. Instead of focusing on assets and locations, focus on your company’s mission: Why do you exist, and what are you doing to make the world a better place?

These are especially important selling points for Millennials — the largest segment of the American workforce, at about 66 million strong. In fact, 84% of the Millennials surveyed in a study by Bentley University’s Center for Women & Business claimed “knowing I am helping to make a positive difference in the world is more important to me than professional recognition.”

Telling your brand’s story on your website is a good start, but don’t assume job seekers will find it just because you put it there. Tell it consistently and deliberately through blogs, guest articles and social media posts.

What they see: Stock photos and generic language

Your website is the welcome mat for your brand and is often a candidate’s initial introduction to the company. It’s the best opportunity to showcase the unique aspects of your business that make you the proudest. Using stock photography and bland copy gives an impression of laziness and lack of creativity.

What they should see: A dynamic company culture

How would you define your company’s culture — your values, beliefs and practices? What makes your company special? Here’s another way to put it: What governs employee behavior and decision-making when the boss isn’t around?

Organizational culture is essential for recruiting and retaining top talent. Sixty percent of Millennials say “good cultural fit” is the primary reason they’ve stayed at a job. Company culture also impacts the way you treat your customers and how the public perceives your company over time. When you have a strong culture, everything else seems to fall into place.

As important as it is to get your culture right, it won’t help your recruiting efforts if you never talk about it. The Motley Fool cares so much about its company culture that it has devoted an entire blog to it. Need some more inspiration? Here are three other companies that have winning organizational culture and excel at promoting it.

What they see: Negative publicity

Even with the most skilled communications director, it’s impossible to avoid bad press altogether. The more your company grows, the more you become a target for critics in the news media and jilted employees posting negative reviews on online company review sites. However, you don’t want news of recent layoffs or the latest public relations disaster to be the first headlines job seekers see when they search for information.

What they should see: Opportunities to contribute to the greater good

One of the best ways to push those less than favorable headlines down to Page 2 of Google’s search engine results is by sharing your own good news and, more importantly, providing helpful industry-specific resources that candidates will appreciate. Establishing your company as a source for relevant information can improve how prospective employees view your brand and help shift their focus away from any negative search results.

But don’t stop there! Find out why companies need both an employer brand and an inbound recruiting strategy.

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