An essential part of the candidate attraction process is ensuring a positive brand experience when potential employees research you online. As much as you’re using various social media sites to screen candidates pre-interview, they too are consulting their networks and resources to vet you as a future employer. 

We’ve compiled some simple steps to help ensure potential employees are enthusiastic and not alarmed at the prospect of joining your organisation.

Commit to an online presence

Visibility and interaction online are essential to attracting top talent to your organisation. People want to work for an organisation they’ve heard of and a name they trust. When information about your company and industry is readily available online, promoting your brand across digital channels is essential to engage and connect with existing and future employees. 

Are you a good company to work for?

Prior to building an online employer brand strategy, it is important to understand how the industry perceives you as an employer. Current and previous employees are your greatest brand ambassadors, and if they’re not saying good things about you online, it’s important to find out why. Conducting employee satisfaction surveys and monitoring reviews of your organisation online are just a couple of ways to better understand the perception your employees hold about the company. 

Define your culture and goals

What differentiates you from your competitors and keeps your employees engaged? The answer to this question should give you a better understanding of why people should want to work for you. It may be your environment of continual improvement with invaluable training opportunities, or simply that employees get their birthday off. Once you have a broad understanding of your company culture and goals, you will be better prepared to move forward with recruiting talented individuals to join your team. 

Examine the tools available

There are numerous social media channels that can be used for branding, but it is not practical or necessary to utilise all of them. Examine the tools available in conjunction with your message and audience to decide on a social media strategy that plays to the strength of your brand. For instance, if you are keen to highlight your cutting edge office environment, record and post a video on Youtube that showcases it. To increase engagement with this post encourage your staff to comment on their experience working for the company. Other resources that potential employees turn to when checking you out include:

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Blogs (both corporate and individually authored)

Your careers website

If you’re looking to appeal to a niche group of candidates, there are several geographic, industry and skills-specific social networks to consider getting involved with. Investigate the online tools of choice for the specific groups of people you want to speak to; your existing employees should give you a good steer.

Allocate ownership

Although the social media output will usually be a result of the collaboration between several different departments (digital marketing, HR, communications, line management), ultimate ownership should rest with an individual/department to ensure consistency.

Consistent messaging

The branding used to engage with graduates will differ to that at director level so ensure you select the appropriate channel for connecting with each audience. Segment your audience and speak to them as groups, rather than a whole, as specific information may be irrelevant to the majority. Make sure you understand the social media channel you’ve chosen on a practical basis. However, as it is important to deliver consistent branding, be sure to ensure the tone of messaging remains the same across all social media channels.

Demonstrate selling points

While successful branding through social media tools can create a great ‘shop window’ for what life is like at your organisation, it helps demonstrate your know-how and thought leadership to really engage employees. Don’t just say that you’re an employer of choice because you have a great training scheme, show your audience with videos, case studies, interviews with staff, and give them the chance to interact with the training team.

Dealing with negativity

By encouraging engagement, the feedback received online won’t all be positive. Acknowledge negative opinions in the forum and outline the steps you will take to rectify the issue. The only negative feedback it’s advisable to delete, is out-and-out spam or deliberate, untrue attacks (often known as trolling).

Measure your success

The benefits of a consistent approach to branding on social media won't be seen overnight, but implement a tracking process from the outset so that you can measure the success of your strategy. Google Analytics is a useful tool for online tracking, and qualitative feedback can be taken at interview stage.

Although crucial for candidate attraction, ensuring positive employer branding also plays a big part in the engagement and ongoing retention of your top talent. Candidates who turn into employees have done so, in part, because of their positive experience of your brand.

Employer branding through social media isn’t just delivering a message, it’s a conversation between you, your employees and the wider market. Encourage interaction and participation – the results will reflect your true culture far more than the official line you take in the ‘about us’ section of your website.

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