An employer image is how your staff, jobseekers, and also customers see you as a place of work. Developing yours and improving it can be a challenge since you are relying on other’s people perception of you.
However, there are steps you can take to boost your employer image and highlight the good aspects of it so that both employees and future applicants can see you in a better light.
In fact, a better organizational image results in better recruitment, stronger work culture, and increased financial returns.
Some aspects of an organization receive more attention. A study by Elsevier surveyed 600 adults, both employed and seeking for jobs, and found specific areas that employees value when measuring the attractiveness of an employer's image.
Here are 5 tips that can help you focus on these aspects and evaluate whether your business can work to improve its employer image:
1. Use and Value Employee Creativity
The Elsevier study discovered that the most important factor for employees when assessing a company was its social value. A company’s social value is essentially its ability to give its workforce opportunities for growth, recognition, feelings of acceptance, and job security.
Regardless of the employee position, organizations can create opportunities to brainstorm, share ideas, solve problems, and suggest changes. These are skills that use critical thinking, and if nurtured, can turn working spaces into creativity tanks.
An organization should attempt to implement these good ideas by employees. Holding monthly discussions, or an innovation idea contest would be a great place to start.
The rewards are mutual, since employees would feel more involved in their work, and the business would earn their partnership and investment.
2. Focus on Your Brand
Whether your business is a small SMB or a larger organization with multiple branches, sculpting your company brand helps you know where your company has come from and is heading towards.
Company brand is the self-crafted portrait a business has created, while an image is how the world perceives it. Knowing your own brand can impact the way others see your employer image.
Define your company story, maintain consistent visuals across channels, and create a voice. These steps would make it easy for jobseekers to understand your company beyond what products or services it provides.
Workers value being part of a company that is innovative and customer-oriented. Pinpointing your brand would help see others your approach to those goals.
3. Conduct Audience Research
If you are hiring, consider conducting audience research to find the right audience for your job postings and any ads you create.
After having defined your brand story as suggested above, focusing on researching the targets you want to reach will help you use necessary resources and avoid wasted time and effort.
For research, you can interview current employees, look for what kind of language competitors use to hire, run social media ads and track responses, and even search around forums to learn about current topics job seekers are passionate about.
Just like you would create a buyer persona for your business, create an applicant persona. What problems within your organization are you trying to solve? Determine applicant wants, demographics, and any questions they may have.
4. Give Back to Your Community
Many workers look for organizations that align with their values. In fact, deriving a sense of meaning for work is one of the top reasons millennials and Gen Z members chose their current workplace.
Many of them are likely to stay with a company for longer if that company has a good societal and environment impact. Has your business assessed ways that they could contribute to its community?
If you have a small business, this doesn’t have to be a huge task. Organizing a workday for your whole staff to do community clean-ups, donation drives, or a skill share would be a good start.
Consider also donating to causes your employees care about. You can hold surveys to find out a common cause.
Business leaders and staff could also teach their skills to communities in need. This can give your workforce a sense of purpose as well as help them develop leadership skills.
5. Evaluate the Environment
56% of workers ranked a strong workplace culture as more important than salary. And many would consider a company’s culture before applying there.
Another valued aspect applicants are looking for is a good workplace environment. This does not necessarily mean a physical facility with state-of-the-art technology, but rather a place where people can feel excited and comfortable.
Does your company value communications between colleagues and also between leaders and team members? Does your staff feel supported and empowered? If they feel constricted, what can be done to change that?
Giving your hires the tools and resources to solve problems and to communicate with each other goes a long way to changing your employer image. Your personnel can feel excited about the work they do, but also about the place where they do it.
To achieve this, implementing open-door policies, conducting employee surveys, using a platform for skill learning and sharing, etc., can go a long way to make your employees feel comfortable and in turn improve their image of your organization.
Although an employer image is how others perceive your business as a place of work, there are steps you can take to improve it. Following these steps will affect the image your employees have of you, and therefore change their reviews and recommendations.
Valuing your staff’s creativity, giving them chances to communicate and grow, focusing on your brand and your audience, and giving back are some of the ways to influence the way employees and outsiders see your organization.
By following these steps, in time, you can achieve a change in your employee image — one that makes workers, leaders, and also clients proud to partner with you.
If you want to learn more about attracting the right job candidates and retaining great employees, watch our webinar, Overcoming the Talent Shortage, part of the Modern Business Requirements series, a video series examining all areas of business to help organizations stay competitive.