"Your company brand is your employment brand and it is the most important asset you possess. That was not the case fifteen years ago. Companies are compelled to invest in their employment brand like they have their consumer or market-facing brands," says Adam Robinson, CEO of Hireology (the all-in-one hiring and talent management platform for business of all sizes), in my recent interview with him.
A strong employer brand goes beyond attracting quality talent, according to Robinson, "[the emerging generations] are much less likely to do business with a company where they have had a poor experience as a job applicant than previous generations." Treat job candidates the same as you would potential customers because in many cases they're the same.
A poor employer brand impacts the bottom line.
To be favorably positioned as an ideal employer and/or future business partner in the minds of the 90 percent of Millennials open to hearing about new job opportunities, companies should consider these six tips.
6 Steps to Improve Your Employer Brand and Attract Millennials
1. Get on a "best place to work" list.
Sixty-five percent of all job searches start on Google, according to Robinson. More and more job seekers are searching "best place to work in Atlanta" or "best place to work for college students" or "best place to work for nurses" so it's advantageous for employers to get their company on a "best place to work" list such as Inc, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, or some other local or specialized list.
Not only does appearing on the "best place to work" lists have a low (if not the lowest) cost per applicant, it also provides employers the best crack at the most qualified Millennial candidates.
2. Use social media to help candidates visualize themselves at your company.
After searching companies on Google, next-generation job seekers will begin researching the company. "Candidates are spending upwards of eight to nine hours researching specific companies before they decide to apply," says Robinson. One of the places where they are researching is on social media. Millennials are more likely than any other generation to turn to social media to discover more about companies.
Before applying for a job, the top challenge Millennials have is "not clearly understanding what working at the company would be like." Social media (especially YouTube) is a great channel for employers to provide a glimpse into the company and what it's like to work there.
3. Actively manage your employer brand on Glassdoor.
In parallel with social media, the next-generation job seeker will research a company on Glassdoor, a website where employees and former employees anonymously review companies and their management.
Seventy percent of candidates look to [company] reviews before they make career decisions and 69 percent are likely to apply to a job if the employer actively manages its employer brand (e.g., responds to reviews, updates their profile, shares updates on the culture and work environment).
With over 10 million of Glassdoor's 32 million unique monthly users being Millennials or Generation Z, it's critical companies prioritize their employer brand on Glassdoor. Read this to learn how SAP is masterfully using Glassdoor to recruit Generation Z.
4. Create an insightful career page that showcases your company culture.
After next-generation job seekers search and research employers, they are then likely to apply directly via a company's careers page. "Quality applicants are almost six times more likely to come directly to a company's dedicated careers page via a search engine than they are from a paid job posting," says Robinson.
Fifty-five percent of Millennials said that the company website is their first stop when applying for a job and 27 percent want to learn about your culture when they the visit the site. Use visuals and video to provide a glimpse into the company culture. Check out Spotify and Square for strong examples of career pages.
5. Deliver prompt responses to all job applicants.
Forty-three percent of Millennials say that receiving a prompt follow-up after each round of interviews was important for them to have a positive interview experience. Sluggish response times not only hurt your employer brand, but it hurts your entire brand because Millennials are the most likely generation to not do future business with a company where they had a poor experience as a job applicant.
6. Incentivize current employees to refer candidates.
The best employer brand ambassadors are those that are currently working at your company. Create a worthwhile employee referral program that provides incentives for current employees to refer their family and friends. Encouraging Millennials to leverage their robust social networks can expand an employer's pool of talent in ways never before experienced.
As a Millennial and Generation Z keynote speaker and trainer, I help companies lead, engage, and sell to the emerging generations. If you'd like help solving tough generational challenges inside your organization, click here.