5 DO’s and DON’Ts when building a successful employer branding strategy
A couple of years ago, spending recruiting budgets for job ads and other traditional recruiting strategies almost always meant satisfying results. As the talent market grows tighter and tighter, superstar hires aren’t as easy to find anymore. Employer branding strategy can’t be a simple extension of the marketing strategy these days. It must be a way of life.
We have compiled our must-read list of DO’s and DON’Ts regarding employer branding to provide fundamentals of success for recruiting professionals when looking for software developers.
1. Use feedback from employees to maintain constant EVP development.
The majority of today’s candidates will consider reviewing the pros and cons to form a conclusion if your company or startup is a great place to work. To create leverage, a great source of reliable information is your current employees. Think of them as envoys inside vast cyberspace who are in touch intentionally or unintentionally with other software developers daily. Confidential surveys can generate significant amounts of usable information (e.g., ask employees what they would tell their friend developer about your company or a startup). If the survey detects potential or occurring problems such as company culture, it’s important to listen to those areas of concern and address them.
2. Build authenticity.
It is one of the top priorities when building a successful employer branding strategy. It is important to differentiate now more than ever from the clogged tech talent market. Establish a genuine brand based on personal experience and employee feedback. This approach will create a position for a company or a startup to avoid post-hire surprises and attract talent engaged with the organization.
3. Align the employer brand with your business strategy.
Make sure that your employer brand changes accordingly with your business. Recruiting professionals have to make sure that the employer brand message is aligned with the business strategy. Think of it as a constant work in progress, and make sure to update current employees whenever a change occurs to bring them openly and transparently.
4. Give your employees a voice.
Tech companies and startups should enforce employees to tell their own stories. Personal experiences, motivations, values can make potential candidates and especially picky developers feel a deeper connection with the company culture.
5. Socialize your employer brand.
Do encourage your employees to share the employer brand-related messages as they reach up to 561% than the same messages transmitted by the brand’s social media channels — and eight times more engagement! Every employer has its network made of unique connections and followers who can reach potential candidates easier than the organization can.
6. Focus only on recruitment.
Apply a balanced approach towards attracting software developers and maintain constant effort to retain the ones already existing inside the tech team. Attracting tech talents by using extensive marketing is desirable. Still, an employer branding strategy should be a mirror image of life and go in-depth with your company culture and structure. Sometimes tech companies and startups don’t have ways to keep every employee on staff, like during the recent pandemic crisis. These actions usually emit messages of uncertainty between potential employees, mostly software developers. To avoid them, be as transparent as possible. In that way, the company and its employer branding strategy can provide real arguments why these unfortunate activities are being placed. As an outcome, it makes your tech team feel supported and open to feedback.
7. Forget to do in-depth resource research.
Companies and startups are usually sourcing and recruiting talents on social media. It goes without saying that social media is a great place to spread the word about job opportunities and impressive innovation-driven projects. As it gets crowded with more and more similar content and constant complaints by software developers, job boards and market places such as WeAreDevelopers are being selected as a vast talent pool with more confidence nowadays. According to the Developer Report 2019, more than 60% of job seekers attracted to the WeAreDevelopers job market are interested in a job change if an interesting opportunity appears. Allocation of resources begins with comprehensive research that will make it easier to execute ambitious employer branding plans on platforms where you can promote your brand and Employer Value Proposition (EVP).
8. Forget to track your results.
The same rules applied to marketing strategy evaluation remain when executing the employer brand strategy. Since you are looking for scarce human resources such as software developers, optimizing your budget is essential. Don’t fire out a lot of content everywhere (social media, conferences, meetups, job boards). Track and monitor what’s working and what’s not—the ones not working from the very beginning, you should stop and try something else.
9. Neglect company website
Tech candidates will usually do thorough research and ask around about your company before applying for a job ad. If you have a strong employer brand presence that uses various instruments, inconsistency might appear on your website. Think of your website as a keynote presentation packed with essentials that will fortify your employer’s brand statement. For example, produce videos depicting a familiar atmosphere or one day in developer life. Be creative, or even more expressive and fun!
10. Satisfy yourself by just revealing a superficial story
No matter if you are a tech company or a startup, the goal of an employer branding strategy should be to stand out. That means being selective on what you need to highlight. One of the real benefits of the remote working era is that it makes it easier to build diverse workforces. If diversity promotion is one of your strategy aims, don’t hesitate to explain success in finding tech talents from diverse backgrounds. Simply always try to push yourself deeper than thinking inside common message patterns.
Before you launch an employer branding strategy, it’s important to ask “Why” because, at this point, no one knows the right recipe for an impactful strategy. Test your initiatives and challenge your colleagues to observe and react at the moment. Over time your employer brand will improve and start to resonate with the talent market.
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