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How To Build an Employer Brand If You Are a StartUp?

In today’s candidate-driven talent market, job seekers are more selective than ever when looking for a job. Despite the wide variety of job positions to consider, they are less likely to find the one they like. The so-called paradox of choice becomes a big concern in the modern job market, where more and more job openings are becoming available. In a recent Forbes article, Dennis Fois elaborates on this phenomenon, explaining why too many choices may result in a bad decision or no decision at all. When employees have a few options, they make the decision they are happiest with – but fast forward to today, with thousands of jobs available in the market. Faced with too many options, people are more likely to simply walk away and try to avoid the fear of making the wrong decision. According to a CNBC article, there are about 1 million more job offerings than people looking for a job. Despite the wide choice of available positions, there are about 8.6 million unemployed people in the USA. But while candidates are overwhelmed with the variety of similar job openings, companies are trying to deal with regular job-switching. This is when the importance of startup marketing and employer branding arises.

An employer branding is “the honest story of ‘life as an employee’ inside your organization, as told by the employees in parallel with the company.”

Talent Brand Alliance

The talent branding definition above presents employer branding as a “story” told by your employees about your company. In other words, it’s the way your current and potential employees perceive your company. The goal of startup branding strategies is to successfully position and differentiate your company in the market so that potential employees don’t doubt the rightfulness of their choice in favor of your company. To gain their trust and encourage them to choose you over your competitors, you need to make sure that your recruitment and marketing strategies are aligned.

Branding For StartUps

Typically, when it comes to branding for startups, employers think about things like company logo, brand positioning, and brand messaging, while employer branding is often put on the side. Many startups underestimate the power of the first impression when it comes to attracting and hiring employers. In today’s technology-driven market, potential candidates can easily find information about the company through online platforms such as social media and career review sites. Statistics show that 84% of job-seekers say the reputation of a company as an employer is important when making a decision on where to apply. Moreover, 75% of them consider the company's reputation even before applying for a job. Considering these facts, we can confidently confirm that without a strong brand, a company is missing out on top candidates, which may affect all areas of business. So, let’s look at the top benefits of building an employer brand.

  • Attracts top professionals

Companies which implement employer branding strategies establish the good reputation of their brand and attract the right type of candidates to apply for a job with them. This, in turn, helps the company to succeed and grow even in the face of major obstacles.

  • Saves time and money

A strong employer brand puts a company in a better position to retain its current employees, thus saving the time and costs needed to find and hire the new candidates. The saved money can be rather invested in the areas of business that drive meaningful growth.

  • Saves time and money

A strong employer brand puts a company in a better position to retain its current employees, thus saving the time and costs needed to find and hire the new candidates. The saved money can be rather invested in the areas of business that drive meaningful growth.

  • Retains current employees

A well-developed employer brand can also help to not only attract top talents but also encourage them to connect with a brand on a deeper level. Loyal employees are more likely to work harder and stay with a company for a long period of time. At Employa, we always try to make sure that our clients build loyal and long-lasting relationships by giving some tips on how to engage and communicate with potential employees.

  • Enhances customer experience

A high-value employer brand creates more engaged employees and staff, who sincerely desire to serve the company and help it to achieve its goals. Consequently, engaged employees can deliver better customer experience and lead to a faster company’s growth.

“Your employees’ voice is your employer brand. There is nothing stronger and more attractive to job-seekers and candidates than getting an authentic and balanced point of view on what it’s like to be a part of your organization.”

Eric Pettit, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Glassdoor

Building Brand

Knowing how to build a brand is essential for startups which strive to compete against big brands with loyal employees and unlimited marketing budgets. A startup should find its unique way to build a brand that employees can be proud of. It is important to understand that branding does not happen overnight. It is definitely a structured process that requires strategy. However, a brand startup creates will eventually result in establishing long-lasting relationships with employees and customers. The word branding is closely aligned with the word identity, yet it still means slightly different things. While branding refers to the marketing practice of shaping a brand, brand identity is what makes a startup instantly recognizable to stakeholders. Therefore, it is important to focus on not only building a brand but creating a brand identity that would have a deeper level of meaning to stakeholders.

StartUp Brand Identity

Building brand identity is probably the most valuable brand strategy for startups. Brand identity is a manner in which a company presents itself to the public. It usually consists of a collection of elements that a company creates to portray an image to its stakeholders. Brand identity is what makes a company stand out to people who are looking for jobs, thus playing a great role for startups who recently joined the market. Brand identity is at the heart of how companies ‘win’ great candidates. Building brand identity can be summarized in five steps:

  1. Research your competitors and target market
  2. Identify your main focus
  3. Design your brand name and logo
  4. Integrate language to use to advertise your brand
  5. Apply branding across your business

Don’t forget that the most important thing you can bring to the table as no one else can is your unique perspective. Therefore, it is essential to revisit the five steps above and make sure that your brand image is an accurate reflection of your brand identity. Some organizations prefer to seek help from outside by involving agencies in their brand building process. Digital agencies specializing in brand building may help you to build a strong identity and increase your efficiency as a startup. The Digital Agency Network has a list of best branding companies for startups.

Once you have identified and built your startup brand identity, you can start thinking about possible startup branding strategies to attract top talents to your organization.

Branding Strategies for StartUps

When it comes to employer branding strategies, the HR team plays a lead role in helping build a brand that showcases company’s identity and attracts top-quality specialists. At a startup, one job of a recruiter is to help to build and tell the story of the company to potential employees. This startup recruiter definition is a major part of the talent branding that we defined earlier. In other words, to achieve the best results, HR and Marketing teams should work hand-in-hand to present their company in the best light.

Below is some of the advice that the experts of Forbes Human Resources Council give on how to improve employer brand.

  • Show off your culture

A startup should display its corporate culture from the very start of the recruitment process. You should consider creating an HR section on the company’s website where the potential candidates can get an idea of what it is like working at your company.

  • Put your employees it the spotlight

Remember, your employees define your brand; they are your brand ambassadors. Therefore, don’t hesitate to interview those who are willing to share their successful company journeys and share their stories on your website or social media.

  • Don’t promise what you can’t give

It is important that the HR team accurately reflects what the company is about and does not make unrealistic promises. Being honest about your offerings helps to build trustworthy and long-lasting relationships with potential employees.

  • Engage with your brand online

Don’t forget to remind yourself about your brand online by making posts, writing comments, and sharing real-life videos and images of your colleagues at work (with permission). Remember, that job-seekers are more likely to apply for a job at a company that manages its employer brand.

  • Encourage excited employees to talk about your brand within their networks

Encourage your employees to share their experiences of working at your company on various reviews websites. Make sure that you politely respond to both positive and negative reviews. It shows you care about your current and potential employees, as well as your brand.

  • Make sure your organization invests in its talent

In the new normal of working remotely, employee engagement is crucial. Your HR team needs to make sure that your employees are truly engaged. This can be done by promoting networking, sharing knowledge, providing peer coaching and work support, promoting diversity and inclusion, and, most importantly, offering skills development and career growth.

You can  try some employer brand strategy templates online such as this to simplify your employer branding process. Also, check how Employa helps to improve the candidate experience and increases your chances of building a strong employer brand.

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