You know about employer brand, and you may have heard of brand gravity, but are you on top of your employer brand gravity? Brand gravity is defined in many ways, being a newer concept on the scene, so for our purposes we’re defining it as: “the pull your brand creates in people, on an emotional level, that makes them want to interact with you.”
In technical terms, this is a combination of your SEO pull and your overall brand recognition. In other words, it’s what you get when someone Googles both your brand name AND your ranking keywords. Considering that nearly 70% of all applicants (and 83% of millennials) use Google in their job searches, you can imagine how important your Google rankings can be. When people know your brand, and they know what your brand does, this is the result. Employer brand gravity is simply the application of that definition to your EB.
There are a couple of things you need to have a firm handle on before you can start worrying about employer brand gravity: your EB itself and your target candidate persona. Your employer brand is how you present yourself as the employer of choice in your industry to your target candidates. We’re going to be assuming you have these two things in hand as we present some ways you can develop your employer brand gravity.
Tell People a Story
People love a good story, and there’s often no better way to get a point across than to tell one. This starts with your content marketing and social media presence. Use both to construct a compelling story about your company, its values, it’s mission, and why it’s such an amazing place to work. Millennials especially love it when their employer’s values are in line with their own.
Part of your story is how others view you, so pay attention to your reviews on sites like Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and even Yelp. How you respond to criticism, how you take kudos, and how you interact with even your most ardent detractors all contribute to the narrative you’re working to build. Remember, approximately 50% of job seekers will check you out on these sites before they ever reach out directly. The reputation you develop has the power to stop potential candidates in their tracks and you may never find out what a perfect fit they were.
Another powerful piece of your company story is being told on social media, even if you’re not participating. As it happens, you take command of how your organization is seen on these immensely popular platforms with any number of strategies. Take branded hashtags as an example: simply by using a hashtag you develop in-house, you can control the direction your conversations take. Create a stable of possibilities for different scenarios, one for dealing with an unhappy customer, one for sharing milestones and other good news, and one for testimonials. Then, be sure to use them, and be sure your employees know about them too.
Include Your People in Their Story
What is your company story if not the story of your employees? Incorporating them into your narrative puts a human face on your business, and when people have a face to put to a name they tend to think more highly of that name. To wit, candidates rate a company's employees as 3x more trustworthy than the company itself, meaning that putting those employees front and center can have a big impact.
There are many ways you can incorporate your employees stories into your recruitment marketing campaigns, and by extension into your efforts at building solid employer brand gravity, from recording testimonial videos to share on Facebook, to conducting feedback sessions to find out what drew people to you in the first place. Not only will you get great information for your ongoing marketing efforts, you’ll also identify areas where you can make improvements to up that gravity.
Another fantastic way to include employees in your efforts is to post employee-created content. This can range from using your glowing Glassdoor reviews in your marketing material, to filming vignettes of employees talking about their achievements or how much they love coming into the office every day. You can even have non-marketers write some of your blog content or posts for social media.
All of these options will go a long way toward fostering trust in your audience. Trust that you are the great employer you seem to be. Trust that current employees truly do love working for your company. And finally, trust that the other material you’re posting is going to be just as honest and straightforward.
Always Be Authentic
Your audience wants to know what it’s like to work at your company. So what would happen if some candidates came in for interviews after making it through the screening process with you, only to find that the voice you’ve been using bears no resemblance to the tone around the office? How long before they posted all about their experience on Twitter? Facebook? How long before your candidate numbers would plummet?
We’ve talked about authenticity before, and it bears repeating in the context of brand gravity, use your authentic brand voice in ALL of your communications. All of your blog posts, all of your social media discussions, and all of your interactions with people once they’ve entered the pipeline. That way, you avoid any confusion or misunderstanding when they get to the office. Instead, they’ll meet you and other employees who all fit exactly the tone and voice they’ve come to expect and will be pleased with their decision to accept your offer.
Target Individuals, Not Demographics
When it comes to delighting your target candidates and driving up your employer brand gravity, it pays to remember that while they may be 22-35 years old with 6 years of applicable experience and 3-4 references—but more importantly they’re Bob, and Kristine, and Stacey.
People like to feel like they’re being addressed directly, even with a piece of content that they know is going out to hundreds or thousands of people. It’s not hard to keep your target demographic in mind, while addressing them each individually. Don’t generalize, don’t make broad sweeping comments, do use words like “you,” and “your.”
Employer brand gravity is something that takes time to develop. There’s no shortcut, no one-stop-shop for all the gravity you could want. Go for the emotional connection by telling your company story, including your current employees whenever possible, and always remembering your target audience are people, too.
By starting with a firm grasp on these items, you can make quick work of developing fantastic employer brand gravity to match your already sterling employer brand!