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Top Workplaces: All About Hiring

May 01, 2024 06:31AM ● By Bob Helbig

What is an employer all about? Why would people want to get on board? 

The difference between a good job opportunity and a bad job opportunity might look similar to an outsider. The key for jobseekers is to make an informed choice. And the key for employers is to find the right people for the right fit.

That’s why an employer brand is so important. It helps differentiate workplaces, so the right people can land in the right place.

“Picking a job matters,” said James Ellis, an expert on employer branding based in Chicago. “It’s a real choice.”

Every employer has a brand, whether it is painstakingly nurtured or grows on its own in the wild, without a strategy. The best companies shape their brand by effectively communicating what they offer and what makes them unique.

Good companies create desire, or an opportunity for people to join, Ellis said.

A positive online reputation helps companies stand out against the competition and attract top talent. Social media is a great way to promote an employer brand. Sharing company differentiators, community efforts, employee accomplishments, and well-being initiatives will boost an employer brand.

Job candidates want to know what a company truly stands for regarding the organization’s purpose and values. People want to work for employers who match their values to their vision. 

Candidates choose job offers from companies with strong values. Maintaining those core values ensures your employer brand matches goals and company culture.

Many employers are desperate to be liked by the masses, which is the wrong approach, Ellis said. It’s not important to be attractive to everyone. It’s about attracting the right people for the right culture. Companies need to compel people to choose them apart from others.

“The value is in being different,” Ellis said. Which is why generic and uninspiring job descriptions fail to capture the attention of potential candidates. Good ones convey the organization’s unique culture.

Employer brands help people make good, informed choices. Candidates are skeptical. They way to build a strong employer brand, he said, is to be specific, attractive, different and real.

To a jobseeker, Ellis describes the four legs of employer branding as follows:

·        What do current employees say about their work experience?

·        Where is the company going? What is the future vision of the company?

·        What options does a jobseeker have in finding a prospective employer?

·        What motivates the employee or prospect?

Some employers might doubt the importance of an employer brand, Ellis said, simply by saying they have more applications than they know what to do with. But are those the right applicants for the right jobs? Are they the right candidates for the workplace culture?

Others might do employer branding wrong. They’re out in the marketplace but don’t say anything interesting in their job posts, and their stated purpose could apply to any organization. They talk about culture but don’t define it.

Employers that do employer branding the right way have interesting career sites and interesting content, Ellis said. The job postings are unique and compelling. They use language that stands out. It’s clear who they want to hire and who they don’t want.

“There has to be a fit,” Ellis said. “It’s the place where our motivations are rewarded inherently. It’s the place where the way we work is how other people like to work. It’s a place where the goal to which the company is aspiring is a goal I can get behind. That’s a fit. That’s what matters.

“There’s no such thing as a dream job. And if there is, it doesn’t last for half a second. But there are lots of good fits out there.”

Ellis asks organizations, are you a strong brand or a weak brand? “Strong brands are crystal clear. They make you feel something.”

Employers need to tell their story about why people should choose them. How a company presents itself tells people who should be interested. 

Bob Helbig is media partnerships director at Energage, a Philadelphia-based employee survey firm. Energage is the survey partner for Top Workplaces.


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