5 learnings to improve your employer brand and become an attractive employer for tech applicants
Branding
January 20, 2021
6
min read

5 learnings to improve your employer brand and become an attractive employer for tech applicants

Ana Gospodinova
Ana Gospodinova

Doing tech recruiting continuously the same way, may put your business at risk due to the inability to attract talents in the longer run. 

Vibrant times brought another revelation - employer brand is an asset that needs to be revisited. Employer brand and leadership style are now even more observed, researched, and tested by current employees and job seekers. Employers need to become more authentic, and leaders need to adopt behavior that can cope with the employees’ new emotional needs.

Employer brand revision starts with values.

Pandemic circumstances have brought employees to a situation in which they are locked in homes while work-life schedules are turned upside down. Employees who had to take care of their children during working hours experienced this situation first hand. Even during “normal” times, personal life often didn’t entirely comply with the traditional “9 to 5” working hours. Organizations with more traditional leadership styles are especially prone to these situations that brought the necessity to cope with trust issues. 

These times taught us that different values become more important to employees when balancing family life and work tasks. In practice, we’ve learned that people need more flexibility in their working environment with a great level of trust from their managers that the tasks will be done even if they spend daytime playing with kids.

values employer brand

What do all of these learnings mean when it comes to tech recruiting in the new reality? Like it or not, your reputation starts with your current employees, and it may even end with them. Remember that neither your HR department nor your CEO owns the employer brand, though the latter can largely influence it.

It’s a mistake only to rely on the company website to feature the employer brand. Actions must be developed in a much deeper sense and driven by HR department members’ soft-skills combo.

Learnings that come along with employer brand revision

Based on our career advisors’ experience during collaboration with tech companies and startups who understood the necessity to revise their employer brand, we have come up with a selection of key learnings to guide you with more ease towards hiring success!

Learning 1: They build an ‘army’ of recruiters instead of having one recruiting department only.

It is not a secret that a big number of tech job openings are filled in via referrals. Some companies manage to go the extra mile and have an ‘army’ of recruiters in their employees’ faces instead of just one recruiting department. When it comes to tech talent hiring, top-performing companies aren’t afraid to challenge their Employer Value Proposition (EVP) regularly and change it when needed. They craft an employer brand that speaks to their target audience, starting with what matters to their current employees (e.g., Who am I looking for? What do they want? What do I currently offer?).

One thing that’s never got enough attention is the situation when job seekers immediately look for other employees’ LinkedIn profiles after finding an exciting job offer. As a recruiting professional, try to find ways to encourage employees to update their social profiles to be attention-worthy.

Learning 2: They embed their company values into their job descriptions.

Companies post their job openings on different social media, recruiting platforms, job boards, and of course, on their websites. When a candidate clicks on the “Apply” button, it leads him to either a dedicated career email or the company’s application portal. Beware that candidates don’t see anything posted on the website that speaks about your company culture, values, EVP at this stage and may visit your website only if invited to an interview. In most cases, this makes your job posting, and not your company website, the first point of contact with a potential employee with your company. To avoid this situation, make sure you place your key information on your job posting text’s talent attraction and values.

Top-performing tech hiring companies know that putting the right sentences related to ‘why us’ will change people’s rates who click on the “Apply” button.

employer brand revision learnings
Learning  3: They are authentic.

Being fancy is not that fancy anymore. Whatever top-performing tech talent-hiring companies decide to do – video or text job ad – they always tend to stay authentic! They avoid buzzwords, specific adjectives and still manage to keep it simple.

You can ask your superiors to share what the company values mean to them and what it feels like working in a certain department or organization. Dedicate an employee to this task by asking to film statements with a mobile device. Make sure to give some technical instructions upfront and use one of the available free video editing applications to make the final cut. It’s cheap and fast, and by all means fun! Post it not only on your company website, but use it also as a job advertisement. Ask your employees to share on their social profiles and wait for the result. 

Learning  4: They align company values with interview questions.

Simply showcase your values and show that you live by them. Ask simple questions, “speak with,” and do not “talk to”.

Grow your business and, respectively, your talent from within (“my current employees first” attitude):

  • Tell me, when was the last time you learned something new. Why did you decide to learn it? How did you know it? Do you apply it to your work now?
  • What about when it comes to getting familiar with a new role – what type of help do you expect from your line manager? What kind of manager do you value the most?

Or if your organization values work-life balance:

  • What’s important to you outside your work? What brings you joy outside your work?

In case you want to make the future employees feel trusted or empowered:

  • Our company encourages people to change their working schedules to cope better with their family needs or personal preferences. Can you give me an example of competing projects you were in charge of and how you approached them? Did you manage to get everything done on time?
Learning  5: They treat the ‘silver medalists’ with respect.

The hiring process is not over by closing a specific role. If you are getting natural with the steps we mentioned above, sometimes you end up with a great talent that’s simply not fit for a particular role or because the hired one was slightly better.

Top-performing tech companies implement steps to keep their silver medalists encouraged to reapply for their future jobs. Think about how each of these options can impact your employer brand. These are the potential outcomes that might occur to you.

Option 1: You never hear back from the candidate, despite the time-consuming interview process and the time invested.

Option 2: Automatic system sends a message with no feedback on the candidate’s performance or no feedback on regular “check our job openings” activations.

Option 3: The hiring manager picks up the phone and rejects the silver medalist by having a pleasant conversation, providing feedback, and encouraging them to reapply.

Option 4: The company regularly reaches out to their silver medalists to keep them interested in potential future openings or simply uses them as ambassadors of their employer brand. Recruiters can do it via email campaigns, different events, and even personal calls to senior devs.

We recommend you start testing the learnings mentioned above to determine which ones best suit your company’s needs. Your employer brand will gradually improve itself, allowing you to attract tech applicants with more ease and build loyalty among existing employees.

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