Do businesses really need a strong employer brand to hire the best candidates? If employer branding does make an impact on hiring and talent acquisition, where does that impact come from and how can businesses make the most of it? Sure, the talent market is becoming increasingly competitive, but what implications does that have for your recruitment marketing practices and your overall hiring strategy? As always, we at the SmartDreamers blog have plenty of opinions on these matters, but we won’t ask you to take our word for it. Instead, here are some statistics that suggest the answers to the questions above. Hopefully, they can give you some valuable insight into the ways that employer branding is reshaping modern recruitment.
1. 92% of candidates would leave their current jobs for a role at a company with an excellent reputation.
This first stat is perhaps the most striking, because it shows the unique power that employer branding can have. (It’s worth noting as a corollary that businesses with better employer brands actually have an easier time retaining talent as well.) By crafting a strong image for your company as a place of employment and promoting that image through social media, word of mouth, and your own web presence, you can establish yourself as an employer of choice within your field, while getting even passive job seekers excited about the prospect of a job at your company.
2. Companies with poor employer branding pay 10% higher salaries.
Of course, employer branding is a double-edged sword. A strong one that successfully communicates your unique EVP and gives your employee personas something to get excited about can provide significant added value. A weak employer brand, on the other hand, can cost you. Not only will it make it more difficult to attract new employees and retain existing ones, you’ll actually have to pay higher salaries on average in order to entice candidates to take a job at your company. This might sound ominous, but in reality it’s a good starting point for thinking about the ways in which employer branding can have a measurable ROI. If you’re wondering whether your branding dollars are being spent effectively, you might start by looking at how your salaries compare the average within your industry.
3. 79% of job seekers will use social media in their search.
Speaking of effective places to leverage your branding budget. If you’ve been wondering what, exactly, effective employer branding looks like in practice, this statistic should point you in the right direction. Social media can be a good starting point for getting the story of your brand out into the world. Why? To begin with, sites like Facebook and Instagram are used by large swaths of both passive and active job seekers (compare this to traditional job sites like Craigslist of Indeed, both of which only attract the 20% of job candidates who are actively searching out new employment at any given time), meaning that it’s extremely likely that your candidate personas are already using them on a daily or monthly basis. It stands to reason that if these platforms are where your ideal future employees are already spending their time, you would benefit from focusing on them—especially because the sites aren’t just being used for entertainment purposes. On the contrary, the statistic above shows that sites like Facebook and Instagram have also become key research tools where people are excited to engage with and learn about businesses. Make sure you give them the opportunity to do just that with your employer brand.
4. 6 out of 10 job hunters have given up an application that was too long or complex.
Okay, this one is a little out of left field, but we think it’s worth mentioning. Your employer brand isn’t just your ads, posts, and messaging, it also includes every stage of your recruitment process. At every turn, you should be working to establish yourself as an employer that treats its people with respect, values their time, and tries to make life easier for them. The best way to do this? By making your application process as painless as possible. This means that each ad or post that directs people to a particular job should link to a clean, easy-to-navigate landing page that is particular to that job. This will help keep applicants from dropping out of your process prematurely. If you follow that up with an online application that can either be completed quickly or saved and returned to later (or, better yet, both!) you’ll keep your applicants engaged and happy. Not only will they be less inclined to drop out of the process, they’ll come to appreciate the value your company places on their time.
5. 86% of those in HR think recruitment is becoming increasingly similar to marketing.
This, too, has an important corollary, which is that social media marketing is now being thought of as one of the most important skills that new recruiters can possess. But what, exactly, does it mean for recruitment to be more like traditional marketing? Well, for starters, it might mean that businesses are increasingly being called upon to tell an engaging, multimedia story about who they are and how they strive to add value for their employees. We don’t know about you, but from our perspective this seems like a good thing—it’s a new opportunity to engage with potential candidates and have an honest, authentic conversation with them. Of course, one of the other ways in which recruitment is becoming more like marketing is the rise of automation workflows taking over mundane tasks like social media scheduling and e-mail blasts. This, too, should be exciting to recruiters. The less time you have to spend managing the minutiae of an online recruitment marketing campaign, the more time you can spend refining an inimitable brand story that highlights your company’s EVP, mission, and values.