Attracting talent is among the top three challenges for HR professionals in 2015 – according to our survey last month. A sharp rise in job vacancies means the war for talent is back on.
Employers now, more than ever, need a strong employer brand to compete for the brightest candidates.
But how do the best in the business do this and what can you learn about building your employer brand? We got some insights from our client LV= about this since it’s an area where they’ve won a number of industry awards.
What are people saying about you as an employer?
Prospective employees are now savvy and well-informed thanks, largely, to the internet. Websites like Glassdoor offer an unprecedented glimpse into the culture, working practices and the good and the bad of employers.
And, while you can’t control the conversations that people are having about your organisation, you must be aware of what’s being said in order to address issues, where necessary.
Where should you start when creating an employer brand?
You need to establish the essence of your employer brand – your points of difference, your values and your unique proposition.
Honesty, integrity and authenticity are things employees now look for in prospective employers. Kevin Hough, Group Head of Resourcing at LV=, explains:
“The single most important thing about an employer brand is that it’s authentic and reflects the reality of working within the organisation. Your people need to buy-into this and live and breathe the culture that you’re projecting.”
So what you’re selling as an employee value proposition (henceforth referred to as EVP) must be real – if it isn’t, you could find new starters don’t stick around for long.
What approach will help you attract the best talent?
The EVP that’ll attract the right talent may need to be tweaked slightly depending on the industry or job functions you’re recruiting for.
Find out as much as you can about what it is that a particular employee demographic is looking for from their career and/or employer. Knowing more about the audience you’re hoping to attract will help you better tailor your strategy.
Start by building profiles based on insights from other similar people, some of whom are likely to be already in your organisation.
Get insights from current employees
If you have an employee engagement survey, use its results to inform your strategy. This can help you establish what people most value about working for your organisation and what drives their engagement.
Or, as LV= do, you could go a step further and look at insights throughout the employee lifecycle. This starts with a joiners’ survey to get first impressions about recruitment and on-boarding, and goes through to a leavers’ survey to capture closing thoughts and feedback.
LV= also engages with some of its potential key talent, as Kevin explains:
“We wanted to understand what makes LV= an employer of choice, what attracts people to the company and how this differs between job functions. We’ve identified the drivers that are most important for people in different business areas to see – for example – what makes our sales people tick compared with IT professionals.”
This can offer rich and valuable insights helping you to inform your EVP, making sure you’re harnessing your areas of strength and are able to address anything that’s not working so well.
Reach out to talent outside your walls
LV= uses market mapping and talent pooling to track and get insights from talented people externally. The ultimate aim is to attract these people to LV= but, in the meantime, they’re able to get their views on the external perception of LV=, what their career drivers and ambitions are and what they look for in a prospective employer. All of this is invaluable for informing the employer brand.
LinkedIn has also provided a valuable resource for them in targeting and engaging talent, together with leveraging their other successful social media channels.
Putting it all together
By combing these data and insights, you’ll have a great foundation to build a strong and clearly defined employer brand.
For LV=, this approach has been instrumental in their ability to consistently attract, engage and retain some of the best talent in their field. Kevin explains:
“Our EVP focuses on the supportive, collaborative and friendly culture at LV= as this is very important for our people. We aim to convey this in all recruitment and marketing communications as it sets us apart from our competitors, helps us attract the right people and, most importantly, reflects the reality of working at LV=.