It’s no secret that you want to attract the very best talent to your team. And, when it comes to doing so, it’s easy to think that emphasising all of those perks that look great in Instagram posts and on the “Culture” page of your company website is the best way to do so. After all, who wouldn’t want to participate in your office-wide “Taco Tuesdays”?
But, take a minute to think about this: If someone walked up to you on the street and asked you what makes your company so amazing, what would you say? Chances are, your response wouldn’t look anything like, “Well, the bean bag chairs in our office lobby are super comfortable, and the stocked beer fridge is awesome.”
Let’s face it—perks are cool. And, there’s no denying that they can improve day-to-day life for your employees. However, they aren’t going to keep people at your company—and they definitely aren’t the most important factor that set you apart from other potential employers.
No, there’s much more to the equation than that. Your mission, your existing team, your overall culture, and your opportunities for growth carry much more weight than those free catered lunches or the snacks in the break room. Those core elements of what it’s like to work at your company are the things that people want to get a feel for before ever submitting an application.
So, how do you share all of that crucial information? The answer is simple: With your employer brand—or, what we here at The Muse lovingly refer to as the secret ingredient for attracting the right talent to your company.
Why is Employer Branding Important?
Traditionally, you’d hear the word “brand” and likely think of marketing something like a handbag or a sports car. So, yes, the concept of developing a brand as an employer can seem a little strange.
But, think about it this way: Your employer brand is what’s directly in front of prospective job applicants, and you want them to quite literally buy into what your company is all about—your culture, people, and purpose.Your employer brand is the first thing facing your prospective job applicants says @KMin Click To Tweet
Your employer brand effectively highlights these qualities that make your organisation a special place to work, which—in turn—sets you apart from the crowd, humanises your organisation, and ultimately inspires candidates to toss their hats into the ring for consideration.
Aside from separating yourself from the pack, a solid employer brand accomplishes one other big thing for you: It attracts the right talent to your company. It’s important to remember that the hiring process is a two-way street. Yes, you’re searching for someone who’s a great fit with your company. But, candidates are also looking to find opportunities and employers that are great fits for them.
With an effective, purposeful employer brand, you’ll make things clear from the get-go—so the right talent will know when they’ve landed in the perfect place.
How Can I Polish My Own Employer Brand?
You get it—an employer brand is important. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can whip one together in a free afternoon. It’s going to take some planning, reflection, and likely the involvement of many parties across your company.
The first step, though, isn’t so hard. It’s all about looking inward and understanding what makes your workplace unique. Start with your current star employees—the ones who’ve been around for a while, who’ve been promoted or thrived within the organisation. Sit down and ask them: Why did they join the team? Why have they stayed? What aspects of your culture and ways of doing business really excite them? It sounds simple, but understanding the motivators of these employees will help you continue to attract more like them.
The second step? Use what you’ve learned to define your employer brand and infuse it in every touchpoint you have with candidates.
Yes, we’re sure your ping-pong table can’t be beat and your endless free swag is jaw-droppingly awesome. But, when it comes to bringing in top-notch new employees, perks alone aren’t enough.
So, roll up your sleeves, and let’s get started on not only attracting talent—but the right talent.
Want to learn more? We have released a brand new Muse-created ebook to tackle the A-Z of Employer Branding – check it out.
This article first appeared on LinkedIn on August 17th, 2016.