The best employer branding is a magnet and a filter

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Employer branding content is not just about attracting candidates, it’s about repelling them. Yes, you read that right. It sounds like it goes against everything we know about talent attraction but it’s better in the long run if people decide your company is not for them, before you embark on a lengthy recruitment process.

To ensure you get the right information in front of potential candidates and get them to determine their suitability to a role, you need to focus on your employer brand.

Specifically, content creation for your employer brand.

The content you put out in the world needs to act like a magnet to draw in top quality talent, but also needs to act like a filter whereby potential candidates can see the company, its office, its values and decide whether they are a fit or not.

The cost of the wrong hire to a business goes beyond the financial, resulting in less productivity, wasted time to recruit and train another person and the inevitable negative effect on morale for the people around them. This can often last way beyond their tenure.

5 ways content should act as a magnet to attract talent

1. It’s your shop window.

Content allows the potential candidate to visualise themselves in the company, the office and within a team. It allows a company to showcase its offices, people, values and sum up what the company is about and what it’s like to work there.

Twitch is an amazing example of how an office environment can exude everything the company does and stands for. The Twitch HQ in San Francisco is a gamer’s paradise and achieves the ambition of making staff feel they are entering another land by simply coming to work! They have gaming rooms, live streaming rooms with a viewing area, a full arcade and many Pac-Mans that hide around the office…even in the snack drawer!

2. It tells your story in a visual and authentic way.

Your company value proposition is not just one line, it’s an entire story, so tell it to the world. You can bring people on a journey through your story and draw them in and make them feel part of it. You need to differentiate yourself from the competition by creating and delivering on your company’s unique employer value proposition.

Here’s an example of how General Electric told their story, through the eyes of the children of their female staff members.

3. No one reads anymore

Attention spans are short and getting shorter. Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text and viewers retain information better if it’s visualised – in fact, people remember 10% of what they hear, 20% of what they read but 80% of what they see and do. Therefore, it’s really important to get visual with your employer brand.

4. Ever growing clutter

As we all know from our daily consumption of digital media, there is a huge amount of messaging put in front of us each day. Messaging needs to be positioned in the right place at the right time and be relevant – whether you wish to talk to active talent or want to pique the interest of passive talent. The best talent is often passive so your brand needs to stand out. It’s important to build awareness of your brand, so that when the time is right for a person to become a job seeker, your company is top of mind.

Your message must be relevant and resonate with the viewer and you must tell your story in a fresh way, authentic to your brand. In 2016, Etsy extended its parental leave to 6.5 months paid and captured the effect of it in a stunning film helping to differentiate them from the proliferation of tech companies targeting great talent.

5. Fit for channel

Being channel-centric allows you to target people where they live every day. We live in a mobile-first world and content must respect the rules of each channel. Each platform has its own rules that must be respected to optimise the viewer’s experience. For example, on Facebook, 85% of videos are watched without sound, so in order to optimise the viewer experience on Facebook, subtitles need to be turned on. It’s a small adaption but makes a big difference.

How content should act as a filter to discourage people from applying to your company

1. Truth not illusion

Avoid disillusion from the start and be clear about the job and what’s expected of the candidate. Be open about roles and who they suit, as it will result in better retention in the long run as the candidate is clear about what they’re getting into.

A great example of this is the Defence Forces in the UK in a campaign called “This is Belonging”. The campaign shows the harsh conditions in which the army work but also the camaraderie they will experience. Viewers can see the reality of army life and decide if it’s right for them or not. The campaign is made up of many executions so the story builds over time and really draws the viewer in.

2. Right fit for few is better than many wrong people

It means you will attract the right people albeit fewer, and ensure quality over quantity.

When the wrong people are hired, it can lead to huge HR wastage and massive cost. Some estimate up to $500,000 but a more conservative estimate would be $50,000 per wrong hire.

3. Need to create ambassadors

For a lot of companies, their employees are the physical manifestation of their brand – they must live and breathe it. Companies strive to make ambassadors and even evangelists out of their teams. This can be something that excites a potential employee or gives them an insight that shows them the company is not the place for them.

Some companies that do this well include Salesforce, which embraces the idea of “ohana” (Hawaiian for family) on Instagram. The Man Repeller Team often appear on the publication’s Instagram sending out positive vibes of what it’s like to work at Man Repeller. Mail Chimp, Slack and IBM also feature their staff heavily across social media platforms and are great examples of how to turn your employees into evangelists for your employer brand.

4. Values aligned from day one

Content allows you to communicate the companies values so they are clear from day one. Making your values clear allows talent to decide if they align with them or not. This results in less training time. Less need for team building. Less mentoring. They just ‘get it’.

Two great examples are Under Armour and Netflix. Netflix’s careers page features a ‘not the usual’ and quite a hard-hitting culture statement. It’s brave and allows people to assess and self-select. From viewing the Under Armour careers page, it’s very clear that a passion for sport and athletes runs through the veins of the company. Not a sports fan? Maybe look elsewhere for a better fit.

This article was originally published on Jobbio.

Grace Looney

As Jobbio's Head of Employer Branding, Grace works with client companies throughout their employer branding journey as well as leading the growth and development of the Employer Branding Team.