Contrary to popular belief, there are some ways to strengthen your employer brand without spending any money on marketing. As impossible as that might seem at a first glimpse, it can be done only if you compromise. Since you’re not investing any money to attract top talent and retain the people already working for you, you will still be investing in something; and that is time – a precious commodity that must be spent wisely.
Needless to say, to strengthen your employer brand, you need to have a brand. A little disclaimer: this article addresses established, profitable companies. If you’re just getting started in the world of business – and you are a startup – please note that you need to build your employer brand prior to being able to strengthen it.
Bring out your company culture
There’s really no need to spend any money to make your company shine. Leverage social media channels to emphasize the core strengths of your brand. What are your company values? Whether it’s transparency, diversity, innovation, teamwork, integrity, or anything else that sets you apart, bring them out into the world, or in this case, on social media.
Core company values matter because they guarantee that all employees – from entry-level to top management – work towards a common goal, a master purpose that is critical for employee satisfaction. 73% of workers embracing the values of the company they work for are more satisfied at work. Furthermore, let’s not forget that values don’t just create successful, long-term relationships, but will also improve your ROI.
How to take action
Build a weekly social media calendar and share different posts emphasizing your company culture. You can:
- Interview employees and ask them why they enjoy working for you. Upload those interviews on Facebook, YouTube, or LinkedIn and encourage likes & shares to spread the word and foster employee advocacy
- Get creative with employees perks and show off the cool side of your company with “Mohito Fridays” or “Motivational Mondays”.
- Share pictures from previous company parties (e.g. Christmas, Haloween, employee birthdays), events, workshops, team buildings.
It’s really important to stick to your social media calendar if you want to see results. Since you’re not spending money on any paid promotion, it might take some time for potential candidates to notice you.
Look after your employees emphasizing on non-financial perks
Not all candidates applying for a job at your company expect a six-figure salary. To strengthen your brand and convince them to come work for you, sometimes it pays to be human. Non-financial perks can be just as valuable, but then again, you need to offer something that matters to them; and that depends because people have different priorities. A flexible work environment, excellent health insurance, and career development opportunities are among the most common non-financial benefits future candidates want to receive.
According to a Glassdoor analysis, some employees care less about pay raises and more about career opportunities and the company culture. The more you focus on the individual needs of your people, the better chances you have to strengthen your employer brand.
How to take action
Word of mouth still goes a very long way, and always remember that not all employees lash out on the internet. The happiest share great experiences with other people whereas the less happy post negative reviews on Glassdoor. Regardless of your company’s “reputation”, it pays to:
- Be transparent when hiring new people and don’t offer perks you can’t provide!
- Assess employee engagement every month via an anonymous employee survey. This will help you spot glitches and give you an opportunity to fix them.
- Be honest and make sure that a “flexible work schedule” is genuinely flexible.
Your employees, your brand ambassadors
Employees are a company’s most valuable resource. They determine the success and failure of any business, which means they must be properly valued. The more you care, the better chances you have to turn them into brand ambassadors. In the long term, that approach will strengthen your employer brand.
Although an employee leaving a company can easily be replaced physically, no other candidate can replace his/her exact know-how and skillsets. That’s why nurturing for long-term success is so important. For them to want to become ambassadors, they must love working for your company.
How to take action
Assuming you’ve earned your people’s trust and loyalty, the next step is to encourage them to talk about you. Allow them to speak on your company’s behalf and encourage them to join conversations – both online and offline. Here’s how:
- Ask employees to share your company’s social media posts
- Ask employees to participate in local conferences as speakers
- Encourage content creation and publish monthly blog posts written by employees
Spending zero money to strengthen your employer brand takes time. Needless to say, you need to have an established company culture to make it happen. Paid marketing does have its own advantages because you can leverage all of the above tips to turn them into a killer campaign showcasing your coolness and your “specialness”.
Always remember that tough times shouldn’t define but refine you. Yes, in the context of COVID-19 even the most profitable companies out there are running low on money. And that’s okay. The way you approach the situation can make all the difference. Everywhere we look on social we see Zoom screenshots with people working from home; as well as different WFH guidelines turned into fun challenges meant to keep employees motivated without affecting productivity. No matter where you are right now, the best thing that you can do is to BE PRESENT even from behind the screen.
Stuck in a rut? Let us help. Contact us for more information on what you can do to keep your employer brand alive during these tough times.