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Leveraging Your Employer Brand to Attract Top Talent

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The Talent Board North American Candidate Experience Research Report recently found that job candidates want three primary things from a hiring company:

  • A clear understanding of the company culture
  • Insight into the employee experience
  • A sense of connection with the employer brand

The way a company presents its culture, workplace and brand is an increasingly crucial component of an effective talent acquisition strategy. A positive brand that accurately represents and promotes your company culture and employee value proposition can help increase your candidate pool and keep your staffing pipeline full.

What kind of culture do employees want?

Offbeat perks like foosball tables and nap pods don’t matter to today’s job candidates, Aerotek Account Manager Jason Johnson says. “What they want — what everyone wants — is to know the company is invested in its employees as people,” he continues. “They want recognition, appreciation for a job well done, training and opportunities for advancement. For busy managers, it can be hard to give time and effort, but that’s really the only thing that works.” Other drivers of employee satisfaction and positive culture include:

Accountability

Fostering an environment of accountability leads to improved competency and commitment to work, increased employee morale and work satisfaction. It’s also known to improve creativity and innovation because the employee is more invested in the future of the organization. They also want to know that they have a role in the company’s success and that their managers are held to the same high standards they are.

Teamwork

Two (or four or six) heads are better than one, which is why teamwork is so prized by employers. But employees also benefit from the processes of working together, including creative brainstorming, recognizing others’ complementary strengths and resolving conflicts. Along the way, they develop relationships of support and encouragement that increase their connection with the company.

Opportunities for advancement

Employees want to know that they have an upward trajectory in their careers. Ensuring they have the chance for learning more and moving up can make incline them to be more invested in the company, suggests Johnson. They’ll go the extra mile or stay 30 minutes late to finish a project, he says, because they’ll see their work as a career rather than just a job.

Assessing your company culture

To help determine your company culture, think about what makes your company great rather than just good, says Johnson. “Although many companies may share similar values — hard work, honesty, integrity— company culture is different,” he explains. “Your business is unique to you.”

Make sure you’re staying true to your own priorities, he recommends. “You might incorporate elements of Google’s culture, but don’t try to replicate that culture completely, or it won’t be authentic to who you are.”

Culture boosts retention

Great Place to Work compared employees from different organizations and found that employees who said they have a great place to work were 13 times more likely than average to say they want to work there for a long time. That research also showed that a high-trust culture led to turnover rates that are 50 percent lower than industry competitors.

“There’s a certain amount of attrition you can’t avoid, but you can impact it. If you invest in employees and set them up so that they’re capable of getting any job they want, they’re more likely to want to stay,” says Johnson. “And if they do leave, you have a former employee who speaks well of your company and even helps net you referrals.”

A positive company culture will aid in retention of valued employees and also be a selling point for new employees. To address engagement and turnover issues as well as accompanying productivity risks, it’s critical for employers to understand that employees are looking for a meaningful and personal atmosphere where their efforts really matter.