Maggie BleharOctober 27, 2023
Topics: Talent Experience

Employer Brands That Stand the Test of Time

A robust employer brand acts as a magnet for top talent, attracting individuals whose values align with the company's. This not only ensures a continuous influx of skilled professionals, but creates a competitive advantage in retaining talent.

Amit Parmar, CEO of Cliquify, joined us on Talent Experience Live to explain the role of employer branding in securing employee retention, reducing recruitment costs, and building a workforce that is not just skilled, but deeply connected to the company's vision and values.

Read on for highlights, or catch the full episode below.

Why is employer branding critical now more than ever?

In our highly competitive job market, “the war for talent is on,” said Parmar, and it’s been on for a while now. In his view, there are three long-term trends that have been creating a “perfect storm,” making it harder for companies to attract and retain talent:

  1. Dwindling labor pools to draw from as birth rates decline

  2. Increasing costs for higher education means greater competition for highly skilled employees

  3. Stricter immigration policies that limit the global distribution of talent

In fact, Cliquify, which helps organizations increase talent attraction and engagement by amplifying its employer brand, was founded to assist companies in responding to these challenges and more by helping them create graphics and videos, amplify messages through their people, and measure content.

“If you look at the macro trends, companies that actually build their brands from the inside out for the long haul are the ones we believe are going to win in the marketplace,” he said.

How does employer branding intertwine with employee experience?

What does it mean to build a brand inside-out? In a competitive labor market, companies need their employer brand to focus as much on retaining the workforce they already have as on attracting new talent.

And a culture dedicated to internal growth and mobility is a key component of employer brands that stand the test of time. Some ways to think about infusing employer branding into the employee experience include:

  • Encourage transparent communication about career pathing between managers and employees. Managers are the number-one reason employees leave, Parmar pointed out. Open dialogue about what might be next can prevent turnover. Engaging in non-transactional conversations during one-on-ones is key to relationship-building, he added. For example, ask about family, what they’re enjoying about the job, and what they might need help with.

  • Unlock excitement about broad value propositions rather than just individual job roles. “It’s about communicating the overall value proposition to internals, and also having them become advocates,” Parmar said, noting that this is pivotal to referrals — a top source of high-quality, cost-effective hiring.

  • Build trust through authenticity. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, public trust in institutions has steadily declined over the past 20 years. How does that impact employer brand communications? Well, employee stories will probably resonate better than a message from the CEO. “You’ve got to have straight-up, non-corporate jargon connectivity that you have to build with your employee base,” Parmar said.

Related reading: Employer Branding Trends Too Good to Ignore

How can organizations encourage a culture of internal mobility?

Encouraging internal mobility starts with a mindset shift on the part of leaders and managers. And there’s a distinction between approaching internal mobility with a managerial mindset versus a leadership mindset, Parmar noted. A leader will recognize that talent belongs to the organization as a whole. Managers, on the other hand, often fear losing top performers.

"The term ‘manager’ has this transactional nature to it just by the virtue of the title. Leaders, however, lead with strategy and vision, and help create succession plans for their entire team. People are not viewed as assets by a manager. Whereas people are viewed as company assets by a leader."

Open dialogue about career pathing should take place early and often. In fact, onboarding is the ideal time to start talking about the employee’s goals and an internal path for growth, Parmar said.

How does employee experience technology fit in?

Career pathing technology helps companies walk the walk when it comes to instilling an employer brand that prioritizes internal growth.

Parmar’s take on it? While technology is important in enabling career pathing, employees have to be empowered to take action first.

Again, that’s where those one-on-one conversations about career pathing come in. “It may not even be a compensation discussion. It’s about, how do you want to build the skill sets that drive you as a person?” Parmar said.

Related reading: Improving Talent Agility Through Internal Mobility: The Definitive Guide

What are some tips for employee-generated content to support employer branding?

As mentioned, employee-generated content tends to make a bigger impact than branded corporate content. In fact, Cliquify has seen the veracity of this play out on social media channels. “When employees share something on their personal feed, we’re seeing six to eight times more engagement than company-shared content,” Parmar said.

Tips for hiring managers

When you pull up your LinkedIn feed, you’re likely to see a manager post that starts with, “I’m hiring.” But that’s not necessarily the best way to attract quality talent, Parmar said.

Instead, hiring managers should create a post that conveys their personal leadership style and commitment to developing talent. After that is when it’s time to mention a great opportunity coming up with their team.

Tips for employees

Employee-generated content is key, but staring at a blank page can be the biggest barrier for employees. AI-generated content tools like ChatGPT can assist employees with prompts that spark realistic content in line with employer brand values. “You’re going to see employees become more comfortable sharing content about their company in a co-piloted way,” Parmar said.

The bottom line? Building an employer brand requires more than a color scheme and eye-catching recruitment campaigns. “Those are table stakes,” Parmar said. “Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture, which is how to build an inside-out experience that will not only help retain talent, but help them become advocates and attract talent back to the organization.”

Learn all about creating a compelling, authentic employee experience through our Definitive Guide to Employee Development and Retention.

Maggie Blehar

Maggie is a writer at Phenom, bringing you information on all things talent experience. In addition to writing, she enjoys traveling, painting, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. 

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