Employer Branding: an Indispensable Employee Retention Strategy

· Blog

While it’s always been in constant change, the world of work has had more than its share of upheavals in the past two years as the pandemic overwhelmed every area of professional life. The disruption has led to many people choosing to make a career change in order to find a better work-life balance, to get better pay or to join a professional sphere more attuned to their personal values.As either a people manager or a recruiter, what can you do to help boost your employer’s brand and retain your employees?

The employer’s brand

The employer’s brand is the image projected by a business and is a key tool to make it attractive to future employees while also working to ensure it is actually felt by current employees. Part of this brand also involves distinguishing the company from its competitors in a way that is felt positively by both current and potential future employees.

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It’s here that factors come into play to make an employer attractive so that the human resources marketing initiatives can best attract and retain top talent. Each business will have its own specific approaches in this important area.

Since everything is so easily accessible online, potential employment candidates will quickly get an idea of the brand of companies where they are considering applying: social networks, blogs by the company, evaluations from clients – all such information is quickly available after a few clicks for potential new employees to make their evaluations. This makes it vital to ensure those materials convey a healthy and attractive, but also realistic, image of the business.

Word of mouth is a key factor in building the employer brand. Current employees, and also previous ones, can play a large role in influencing, either positively or negatively, the hiring of a new employee based on their personal experience of the business.

Every employee acts as an ambassador for the employer’s brand, which gives all the more reason to ensure the brand is a good one and well cared for!

More specifically, what is the employer’s brand?

A number of factors can have a specific effect on influencing and shaping an employer’s brand, including having a positive business culture, the conditions and environment of work, the benefits offered, an interesting product or service, and so on.

Different strategies to achieve this positive brand are used by different businesses but can include holding special themed days, social activities or other team-building events. While these events are helpful, they must be backed up by clear mission and vision statements and the development and application of defined and fair internal policies. 

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It’s not enough to just have flashy campaigns to recruit new employees. There has to be clear demonstration to existing employees that what’s conveyed in the campaign is consistent with the existing reality.

There is no doubt that happy and satisfied employees will spread the word and help build organic interest from potential employment candidates. A strong employer brand will lead to better performance and financial results because a company is able to attract the best possible talent.

A few ways to recruit and retain employees

Anyone who has worked in human resources or has otherwise been involved in employee recruitment knows that the process can be long and difficult. As a result, it’s clearly evident that investing to keep a productive and qualified employee is far less expensive than having to recruit and train a new one. When an employee does leave, it can be very useful to take the time to learn why by holding a frank exit interview to learn how the company can improve its retention.

As for recruiting new employees, what makes one company more attractive than another?

As mentioned, a strong employer brand is of more than passing interest, it’s crucial. But how can a company build that strong brand in an era of remote working for many businesses that makes it even more challenging to create strong team bonds and an inviting work atmosphere? It’s not enough that employees be well paid. They need to identify with the culture of the company and for that there’s one key word: authenticity.

Working conditions

Good working conditions are essential, including competitive salaries, flexibility of schedules, potential for advancement, good work-life balance, a healthy work environment and more. If these do not meet the needs of new recruits, they will soon seek out greener pastures.

Communication and support

In all professional settings, it’s important to have clear objectives in place and to take the time for clear communications and consultation with employees. On the other hand, a lack of transparency can be seen as a lack of confidence and will likely lead to concerns and apprehension by employees.

Individual communication and follow-up is an important element, as is ensuring adequate resources for employees to succeed, showing empathy and establishing good connections (even when working remotely!).

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Recognition and training

Employees who feel neither recognized nor appreciated will likely lose their motivation to do a good job. One way to maintain their interest is to offer training or workshops to stimulate them. It’s also crucial to recognize successes and to hold special events that mark particular milestones.

The values of the business

It’s not enough to just talk about a company’s values or to present them to employees in a nice pamphlet. They have to be put into practice. One of the biggest reasons leading to issues of employee retention is for the company to not live up to the image its puts forward, particularly if combined with poor leadership or inadequate team management.

What makes Capital-Image different?

At Capital-Image, our employer brand is demonstrated in various ways.Every two months, the management team conducts a poll of all employees to monitor their satisfaction. This is particularly important during this time of remote working because it allows exact learning of the team’s attitudes, totally anonymously.

The “Stars of the Month” program allows the regular recognition of team members to congratulate them on particular noteworthy accomplishments. The winners get a $100 gift certificate of their choice and a mention of their accomplishment on the company’s social media platforms to congratulate them.

Marking the milestones of our team and organizing social activities is also indispensable, even during the pandemic. We held a variety of innovative events even while not being able to get together physically, such as employees receiving a personalized meal by delivery on their birthday and gift packages themed to events such as Halloween, Valentine’s Day and Easter, and even a summer outing to Super Aqua Club.

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We have the well-being of our employees at heart and all are eligible to use accumulated overtime to take additional half-day or full-day holidays.

As well, we believe supporting our community is an important part of our business values, which is why we support Montreal’s Old Brewery Mission which helps meet the needs of those who are homeless and assists them in leaving street life. We collect new winter gear and personal hygiene products for them. In February, our team sent them more than 250 articles which we know were put to very good use. It’s an important part of our employer brand.

Is your company doing what it needs to do to retain its employees as much as possible? Is your employer brand attractive? What are you doing to improve it? What works best?