Branding, by definition, is a marketing practice in which a company creates a name, symbol or design that is easily identifiable as belonging to the company.
While we are all familiar with ‘brand’ as a concept, you may not realise that your company has a second brand: how you’re viewed as an employer.
Your employer brand is what lives and breathes in the minds and hearts of your former, current, and future employees. It’s the basis of how you market your company to desired job seekers; sometimes called your Employer Value Proposition (EVP).
In today’s increasingly competitive job market, a positive employer value proposition is critical. Without one, hiring and retaining the best employees becomes challenging and expensive. Everything from the salary and benefit packages you offer, to career progression opportunities, the on-site coffee shop, the culture of your company and the way employees are treated can all impact the impression you’re trying to make on potential candidates.
As with all branding, creating a strong employer value proposition (brand) is about clear communication, considering how you want your organisation to be perceived and using specific messaging to attract the kind of employees you’re looking for.
Done well, employer branding will spark buzz around your company, and this buzz will attract motivated job seekers and an army of happy employees. In turn, those people will broadcast their positive experience to other open talent, clients, customers, and stakeholders — further broadening the scope of your employer brand.
But where do you start?
An EVP consists of a number of components including financial rewards (salary, bonus), non-financial benefits (pension, healthcare), growth and career development opportunities. It’s also important to capture the equally important points related to your working environment, values and culture.
1. Work environment
This considers factors such as:
- Your physical working environment
- Attitude to flexible working
- Team building
- Communication systems e.g. Slack
- Equipment provided when working from home
2. Company culture and values
This is often summarised as ‘the way we do things around here’ and incorporates factors such as:
- Trust & collaboration (both within and across teams)
- Positive relationships between team members and hierarchies
- Team communications and support
- Decision making processes – both formal and informal
- Expected behaviours – what can you depend on colleagues to do (or not do)
Why do people work for the business? What can a candidate expect from their colleagues – e.g. is it a ‘high performing’ organisation with a competitive culture? Is it collaborative or are individuals task-focussed. If relevant, discuss why others may have left the business (for example, if they joined from a larger organisation and didn’t enjoy the lack of structure).
These questions will be asked, and honest answers build engagement with (the right) candidates.
Opportunities for career development
Given that scaleups are small growing companies, it’s more difficult to discuss linear career progression. However, being clear about how individuals can develop their skills and experience is important and often in the top 3 things that candidates will ask about their potential employer.
Internal ‘case studies’ can act as a powerful illustration of this – for example the HR director at one of our clients joined in customer services and received coaching and training for over a decade to reach her current position.
Communicating your EVP through a careers page is a great way for potential candidates to ‘get to know you’. This can be through photos and quotes from existing employees, events, sharing your vision and values. Candidates get a good ‘feel’ for your EVP and it gives you an opportunity to stand out.
Understanding your EVP is an important part of the talent acquisition process and consistency is important to ensure the candidate has a great experience e.g. if you position yourselves as a supportive environment and candidates are not communicated with throughout the process, this doesn’t fit well.
For growing businesses it’s important to make sure you communicate who you are to potential candidates and we can help you by delivering this in practical steps.
For those of you who haven’t had time to either develop or need to re-visit your values so that they are clear and can be communicated within your recruitment process.
What is recruitment marketing?
This is how your market your organisation and the value an individual would get from coming to work for you. This includes everything from the physical and virtual environment they will work in i.e. physical office, the equipment and technology you provide teams with to do their role from home. Through to values, mission, purpose, company benefits. How people support and work together – the culture.
You need to be consistant and communicate clearly on all your platforms, so that no matter where a candidate researched your company, they would know who you are , what you stand for, what you offer and why they would want to come to work for you. This is sometimes refered to as your EVP – Your employer value proposition.
What benefits should I offer within my scale up?
Benefits are tricky because people value different benefits often at different life stages or let’s face it we are all different. Benefits that are always in the top 5 are:
- Hybrid working (location related)
- flexible working (number of hours/days work related)
- Career development
- Holiday (offering extra days leave for moving house or birthdays are often well received)
- Stock options or shares
We are also seeing an increase in clients offering mental health support or financial management support as additional benefits.
What our clients say
Kia Motors UK – Recruitment Microsite
South East Agricultural Society
‘Talent Gateway have a deep appreciation of the modern dynamics of the recruitment market and take time to really understand the client’s brief so that search time and effort is not wasted. We have achieved a 100% success rate in recruiting talented individuals and I would not hesitate in using their services again.’Iain Nicol, CEO