It’s a tough time to be a tech employer. Competition for talent is through the roof as hundreds of competing tech firms duke it out in order to scoop up the best tech free agents. For tech brands serious about contending in the labour market, a serious rethink of their approach to talent acquisition is often needed.
One of the best ways to improve your hiring success rate is by improving your employer branding.
Whether you know it or not, you have an employer brand that is separate from your overall business brand. Your employer branding is what differentiates you from competing employers in the labour market. Building and maintaining strong employer branding is often the key to successful recruitment campaigns. This blog will look at what an employer brand is, why it’s important, and how to build a strong employer brand.
What is employer branding?
If a business brand determines how a business is perceived by customers, then employer branding does the same thing for potential employees. It is both the outward and inward perception and reputation of a business to job seekers and employees. Having a strong brand in relation to your tech products or services can have absolutely no effect on talent attraction if a company has a negative reputation in the recruitment world.
Not only does employer branding help you win talent but it can also help you hold on to the talent already within your company. If you do employer branding right, you’ll be able to influence the dialogue surrounding your employee experience and boost your talent attraction and retention.
Building a winning employer brand to boost talent attraction
Telling an enticing story
Your employer branding should have the same starting point as your business branding: what are your values, vision and mission? What is your company culture?
These days, what you stand for, the things that your business believes in, is just as important as your benefits package. Just like customers, employees love to align themselves with the things that they believe in, and the best way to communicate what’s important to you is through your brand story.
A brand story is an explanation of the origins and motivations of your business. It explains the meaning behind your values, what your vision is for the future, and the mission your business wants to accomplish.
Your brand story needs to be enticing, it should play on prospective employees’ emotions; it should excite them! By the time someone finishes reading your brand story, they should be desperate to join you on your business journey!
Knowing your reputation
If your intention is to shape your reputation in the job market, you first need to know what that reputation is.
There are a few different ways you can find out how you’re perceived in the job world. A great way is to survey current employees. Not only are they able to give you insight into how the business is perceived from an employee perspective, but you’ll also have the opportunity to learn the positive elements of the company and its culture that you can double down on in your talent attraction efforts.
Company review sites like Glassdoor, along with some social media platforms, can often hold valuable insights for employers looking to gain information on their company’s reputation.
Your reputation analysis should give you a clearer idea of your strengths and weaknesses as an employer, and help you understand how to better attract talent.
Defining your value proposition as an employer
Your value proposition as an employer is very similar to your value proposition. It’s about what your business can offer job seekers on an emotional level. Your value proposition should transcend just bragging about your ping pong tables and competitive salary package. You need to have a laser focus on the purpose of the business, the lives of your employees, and how your business is positively affecting the world.
Tech job seekers aren’t just looking for the job advert with the most 0’s at the end of the salary, they’re looking for a fulfilling sense of purpose and self-actualisation in their work.
The key to a successful employer value proposition is honesty. Communicate your values and what you can offer employees, but don’t make any empty promises. Most people will see right through them, and those that don’t won’t want to stick around very long.
Involving your employees
If you’ve got a great team, why not show them off?
Ultimately, no one will be a more trusted source of what life at your company is like than your current employees. Anyone interested in working for your tech company won’t be satisfied with just reading your ‘about us’ page. They’ll look at your team photos, your staff LinkedIn pages, any work events you’ve posted about; all with an angle towards working out what day-to-day life is really like with your company. If you do it right, your staff can become your unofficial recruiters.
There are a few easy ways to have your staff improve your talent attraction:
- Keep up-to-date LinkedIn profiles. An easy one, but sometimes overlooked, is to have your team keep their LinkedIn profiles current with accurate job titles and descriptions. This makes it really easy for interested job-seekers to get familiar with the structure of your business.
- Encourage them to promote the company through their social media accounts. You cannot overstate the importance of personality within a company. From top to bottom, CEO to intern, a company is, in many ways, defined by its personalities. Having staff who are actively discussing the company they work for or the field they’re in on social media is a fantastic way to let their personalities shine through and get people excited about working in your company.
- Tap into your staff’s networks. Referral schemes don’t just work for customers, they’re pretty great for securing staff too. Incentivising your staff to draw in talent from their pool of connections can dramatically reduce the time and money that it takes to find skilled tech workers. The added bonus is that by recruiting this way, any potential recruitment targets will already have a personal connection with your business through the relationship they have with your current staff member.
Being creative with how you tell your story
Your employer brand story won’t tell itself. You’ll need to communicate it through your company’s communication channels. This is your opportunity to get really creative in the forms of communication you choose. You could create videos, high-quality images, slideshows, blogs, anything that you think will get the attention of your recruitment targets.
Think about how you can showcase your team members from top to bottom. Some common examples include a welcome video starring the CEO, a meet the team page, or a vlog of a staff away day. It’s also a really good idea to show off your workspace to give job seekers an inside look at where they could be working day to day.
Want to get inspired? check out our recruitment video!
Think long and hard about where you can distribute your recruitment collateral to make the biggest impact. Some of the best places will be your website, LinkedIn, and Youtube, along with other social media sites.
Improving your onboarding process
Getting staff is only half the recruitment battle, because once you’ve got them, you’ve got to keep them. A smooth transition into the business is key, and the way that’s done is with a comprehensive onboarding.
Your onboarding should prepare them with all of the information and tools they will need to make a great start with your business, whilst also getting them excited about the story and the mission they’ll be a part of. At the end of the onboarding process, they should feel completely confident in their decision to join your business journey.
Creating an inclusive environment
A final talent attraction hurdle that smaller tech brands often fall at is making sure their employer branding is attractive to a diverse audience. Some of the best tech talent available come from minority backgrounds, and they want to feel like the companies they work for value them and their unique backgrounds.
If you want to access this minority talent pool, your recruitment communications should reflect a company committed to creating an inclusive and diverse environment.
Employer branding examples
Shopify is an international eCommerce platform. Shopify’s branding is all about empowering entrepreneurs to create and scale a business, and this idea of the entrepreneurial spirit is reflected in their employer branding.
Shopify wants to attract individuals with a sense of autonomy and ambition, and so pitches itself as the business for self-starters looking to make a difference by enabling like-minded individuals to achieve their entrepreneurial dreams.
With a strong commitment to the work-from-anywhere model and a genuine commitment to employee wellbeing, Shopify presents itself to jobhunters as a business in which they’d have the autonomy and support to do their best work whilst maintaining a healthy work/life balance.
Shopify uses its social media and website to regularly promote its commitment to employee-centricity, turning its regular communication channels into recruitment heavyweights.
What can you learn from Shopify?
- Keep your business branding and employer branding aligned
- Align your mission with job-seekers goals
- Turn your existing communication channels into recruitment tools
Check out Shopify’s careers page for inspiration: https://www.shopify.com/careers
Cisco, the tech giant, is a perfect example of a tech company building inclusive and diverse employer branding.
As a multinational company, Cisco’s employer branding has to connect with a diverse range of job seekers across the globe. To do so, Cisco clearly commits to creating a diverse team across gender, ethnicity, and experience level.
To communicate their employer branding, Cisco lets its employees do the talking with social media channels dedicated to highlighting their team members and their stories.
What can you learn from Cisco?
- Make sure your employer branding is accessible to a diverse audience
- Get your employees involved in your employer branding
Check out Cisco’s careers page for inspiration: https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/about/careers.html
Hubspot is a leading provider of digital CRM and marketing tools for scaling businesses. As one of the largest providers of CRM software, Hubspot is always looking for talented tech professionals to join its team. One of the main ways Hubspot seeks to bring in employees is by promoting its culture.
In a 128-page slideshow, Hubspot explores its workplace culture and brand values and presents them in a way that potential employees can align themselves with them. By doing so, they are presenting themselves as a company in which job seekers will find a meaningful, fulfilling work-life.
Along with an agreeable culture and brand values, Hubspot also demonstrates a commitment to upskilling and employee development.
By doing this, Hubspot is adding legitimacy to the idea of their company offering a fulfilling, worthwhile work experience.
What can you learn from Hubspot?
- Be creative with how you present your culture and values
- Provide tangible evidence to back up the legitimacy of your employer branding.
Check out Hubspot’s careers page for inspiration: https://www.hubspot.com/careers?hubs_signup-cta=careers-nav-homepage
Developing your employer branding with 3 Colours Rule
If you’re struggling to attract top talent to your tech business and would like help defining and presenting your employer brand, the 3 Colours Rule creative team can help you achieve your recruitment targets.
At 3 Colours Rule, we specialise in technology, which means we know what it takes to develop tech employer branding that is tailor-made for a tech audience.
If you’d like to find out more about what we do, visit our about us page and then get in touch!
3 Colours Rule is a branding and marketing agency specialising in growing tech companies and start-ups. Beyond our brand strategy, design and marketing services; we also have a podcast: Tech Brains Talk where our founder has conversations with experts and entrepreneurs in tech. We also have a branding and marketing academy to support marketers expand their skills and entrepreneurs too. We also run our non-profit organisation, TLA Black Women In Tech, one of the fastest-growing communities for black female professionals and entrepreneurs in tech.