26 July 2022

Struggling to hire right now? How marketing can help build a magnetic employer brand

Julie Brook
Written by Julie Brook

Julie Brook is Regional Director for The Marketing Centre. She specialises in growth activation in small-to mid-size businesses. She has more than 30 years of strategic marketing and growth coaching experience in sectors from food and drink, retail and on-line gifting, to manufacturing, technology, business support, and growth funding. Her marketing expertise and innovative approach has driven growth initiatives with large corporates, mid-sized, early stage, turnaround businesses and brands, including Grand Met, Bass, RHM Foods, Bisto, Greenall’s, Scrumpy Jack, Yates Wine Lodges, Link-it, Kids Allowed, Snap-a-Jack, Envestors and The NorthWest Fund. She now leads a team of highly experienced Marketing Directors with the aim of impacting growth in small to midsized businesses in the North West of England.

Hiring new talent right now is hard. You know it, we know it and other businesses know it, too. 

Luckily, there’s a way you can stand out from the sea of job postings and vacancy ads and start building relationships with potential candidates - and great marketing can help.

Building a strong ‘employer brand’ is essential to helping you not only attract but also retain the right talent. 

Here’s how to do it.

What is an employer brand and why is it important?

Your employer brand is what working at your business looks and feels like from an external perspective. 

It’s influenced by various things. Your website, recruitment activities, LinkedIn and social media pages, and employer review sites like Glass Door all contribute to shaping your employer brand. 

But why is it important when hiring new talent?

Well, your employer brand is what potential applicants see when evaluating you as an employer. It communicates your brand values and working culture and helps them to decide whether you’re an attractive employer or one to be avoided. 

It’s a representation of what you can offer - not as a potential customer but a potential employee - and it shouldn’t be overlooked.

Looking for more information on what an employer brand is and why it's important? One of our Marketing Directors, Lindsay Ball, recently caught up with People Puzzles to discuss how HR and marketing can work together to build unbeatable employer brands.

How do you build a strong employer brand?

Building a strong employer brand requires you to consider three key elements: your offer, your marketing communications and your people.

Your Offer

What you’re offering to potential candidates is crucial to attracting the right talent. It’s also what separates you from thousands of businesses just like you and highlights your company as a great place to work. 

So, do you currently offer things like unlimited days’ holiday, flexible hours or remote/hybrid working? The Vistage Confidence Index shows that only 25% of businesses have returned fully on-site post pandemic and that 67% actually favour a hybrid workforce model. 

Do you invest in your employees’ physical and mental health by offering paid gym memberships, wellbeing days or free counselling? Are you vocal about the training and development opportunities you offer both for new and existing employees?

Show candidates that when they invest their time in you, you’ll invest in them right back. You want them to think, ‘this is a place where I can excel”. 

Your Marketing Collateral

On the marketing side, consider the messaging that you’re sending out to potential candidates. 

What does your website, LinkedIn, or recruitment page tell them about you as an employer? Does it authentically reflect your work environment and values - and if it doesn’t, how can you best showcase that?

Your People

In terms of people, aim to capture what working at your company looks and feels like for them. A great way to do that is by creating a ‘careers’ or ‘meet the team’ page on your website that puts real people in the spotlight, showcases the types of personalities that work well at your business and lets them speak authentically about what it’s like to work with you. 

Also, if you do something great for your employees, be vocal about it. As an example, to help soften the impact of the current cost of living crisis, many businesses have implemented wage increases of 5–6% across the board. Communicating this externally has boosted these businesses’ employer brands all-round and helped with employment activity. 

Finally, be authentic and show potential applicants who you really are as a business. Ensure that your leadership team and business owners live and breathe by your values. And make sure you communicate your employer's brand in every interaction. 

Evaluate the strength of your employer brand with a Marketing 360 healthcheck.  Take it here today.

How do marketing and HR work together to attract and retain talent? 

Building a strong employer brand that helps you secure the right candidates and hold on to valuable employees will require your marketing and HR teams to work together closely. And, when these teams work together, beautiful things happen. 

This is because your HR team takes care of attracting candidates and the recruitment process, while your marketing team builds your employer's brand to support that. A little like how marketing and sales work together to generate and close sales opportunities.

To achieve that, it’s a great idea to schedule a workshop where both teams can collaborate on shaping your company values and ensuring your external-facing marketing collateral represents who you really are. It’s also worth bringing team members from other areas of the business into the conversation - they can provide valuable, real-world insights. 

It’s also a good idea to do this without the pressure of having the business owner in the room. You want to transform your employees into genuine brand advocates to get the best results. 

But attracting new talent is only half the battle - you also need to retain it. 

HR and marketing can work together to ensure your brand values are communicated and emulated throughout the entire company. This will not only make your business a great place to work, but also fill it with great people who will naturally promote you to their contacts and peers.

Struggling? Let us help 

With hiring the right talent being harder than ever right now, it can often be a struggle to find the right candidate to fill a marketing role within your business.

Working with one of our experienced Part-Time Marketing Directors will help you make strategic decisions and develop a compelling employer brand. And it can be a better alternative to hiring a more junior professional - both in terms of cost and experience.

If you’re struggling to fill a marketing role and need some expert support, feel free to get in touch any time.



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