Don’t Be Like United — Make 'Employer Brand' Part of Your Brand
When a company is in a crisis communication situation, it can easily damage the overall employer brand and impact the reputation of every employee at the organization.
Take for example the violent ejection of a United Airlines’ passenger on one of its flights in early 2017. A simple social media video recording of the incident created an uproar from the global community and a united disdain for the company. Not only did the United Airlines stock plummet, but the corporate and employee reputation of the airline drastically fell.
In May 2017, E-Poll Market Research measured the public’s response pre- and post-crisis and found that 30 percent of consumers would not consider using United Airlines again. In turn, this affected company revenue and the employee experience.
The case sparked a review of the company’s policies. They didn’t respond adequately to the crisis, illustrating to the public that they not only didn’t care enough about passengers, but also that they didn’t place importance on their employer brand reputation.
HR, PR and marketing should be coming together before these instances occur to incorporate legal and public policies, improving and protecting the way people think of your brand.
United Airlines makes it clear that it’s easy to ruin your employer brand and reputation with one incident gone wrong. At the same time, it takes strong collaboration between HR, PR, marketing and other key functions in the organization to build an employer brand that creates a workplace to attract prospective employees.
What Is Employer Brand?
It is the employee experience that your business markets to potential hires. It’s showcasing your company’s values, mission and culture so candidates who align with them apply to your openings.
Why Is Employer Brand Important?
Employer branding isn’t just about attracting talent, it also retains new hires from leaving. Companies who invest in employer brand messaging save two times the cost-per-hire compared with organizations who don’t include it in their budgets.
While hiring and rehiring costs the company money, direct sales and revenue is also impacted: 71 percent of applicants who apply to a company and are met with an enjoyable candidate experience will continue to be a brand advocate and customer, even in cases where they don’t receive an offer.
On the contrary, a negative candidate experience will result in undesired hires and a damaged company reputation, creating a loss in company revenue. For those candidates who did not feel appreciated, 59 percent will tell their network to not apply. Not surprisingly, 42 percent will be more likely to stop purchasing from the company altogether.
Internet and technology companies have exploded in popularity, enticing candidates with their suave offices, amazing benefits and hip cultures. But this has posed a consistent struggle; sticking out among the competition to attract strong talent.
Unfortunately, some of their marketing and advertising feats created conversation and brand awareness, but backfired when it came to building up their employer brand.
GoDaddy ran a lewd ad featuring NASCAR driver, Danica Patrick, and personal trainer, Jillian Michaels. The commercial painted an objectified image of women. While the commercial received a ton of attention, their female applicants dropped.
To combat the loss of hardworking talent, GoDaddy began hosting and speaking at women-in-tech conferences. By 2015, it increased its female workforce to 40 percent of its entire company.
Where Does It Start?
With your marketing team.
It’s seldom ever found in a marketer’s job description, but one of their priorities should be on building up your employer brand so you can staff your other departments and protect revenue.
There are two building blocks for your employer brand. Without them, job seekers won’t know you have any positions available:
- Job descriptions
- Career site
So let’s say you have a basic career site with your open roles on it. What you have to do now is create content that attracts and engages your candidates, mirroring how you attract and engage consumers to your products with your marketing collateral.
Attraction and engagement:
- Employee testimonial videos
- Employee value propositions (benefits, professional development training, etc.)
- Visual content that portrays the company culture
- Enrollment in an open role alert system (i.e. talent community)
- Chat bots
In fact, Bersin by Deloitte reported that candidates place company values at 42 percent and employee testimonials at 35 percent in the company’s worth. Compare that to the actual products and services the organization sells, at 37 percent.
Marketing is much more than increasing traffic to websites and stores. An award-winning team will promote your company as an employer with everything they do, understanding the importance of a positive employer brand on the business bottom line. Effective people create a successful business.
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