What will the New Year bring for the world of employer branding? We’ve already talked many times about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the IT sector. Also, some of us have certainly become bored with trite advice on “how to (insert a verb here) effectively in the times of the pandemic.” So…
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It’s time to say this loud and clear: we are living in a new reality. Simply put, the times have changed, and business organizations have adapted, for better or for worse, to these new conditions. For this reason, we should look at the different aspects of HR and IT efforts as new challenges, as opposed to changes driven by the need to adapt. In today’s post, I will share insights with you that will help you to better communicate about your brand as an employer, and I will describe trends to look out for in 2021. Both are inspired by the takeaways from our recent webinar and interview with Edyta Sander of MBE Group (Thank you, Edyta, once again for a productive meeting!) and the conclusions that we draw from our day-to-day work.
Here’s a list of 5 employer branding strategies that will bring a lot of benefits to your business. Read on to find out more!
Now more than ever, in light of the current shift to working from home, employees need to feel cared for. Such standard benefits as MultiSport cards and office chill-out zones have become a thing of the past. Companies are putting more thought into how they spend their money: instead of following the crowd, they are seeking tailor-made solutions. And that’s a good thing! We suggest you first identify accurately the needs of your employees and then adjust your support accordingly. For example, you might consider offering benefits related to childcare.
For many employees, especially those who live alone, the only human contact they have during the day is with other team members. Obviously, this excludes the situations in which they need to leave their homes to satisfy their basic needs, for example to buy groceries, but this is often not something they do every day. This creates many problems related to work-life balance. When your employees want to unwind after work, often their only options are to watch TV shows or play various games. Again alone and in the quiet of their homes.
As an employer, it will be enough if you schedule such activities during work hours, but for the whole team. For example, pick a day of the week for all team members to spend half an hour or an hour playing a fun game together such as Among Us or Heads Up! Additionally, you can arrange virtual coffee breaks using video conferencing tools. You and your team can schedule Coffee Mondays to complain about your least favorite day of the week or draw inspiration from King Stanisław August and hold truly royal Thursday Lunches! Such get-togethers may be a great opportunity to catch up with everyone in the team. If you are a manager, you may use these meetings to see if your team members have any problems that hinder or prevent them from feeling comfortable at work.
Our team during a virtual get-together before Christmas ?
A fun-filled time of games, food, and drinks (almost in the Scandinavian spirit of hygge) ?
Whenever you can, opt for transparency. Keep your employees up-to-date about the company’s financial situation and plans for the days, months, and quarters ahead. Of course, there are situations in which you can’t reveal all details of your company’s financial performance. If you have a SaaS company, you can solve this problem very easily. For example, you can let your employees know about the number of subscribers and the value of the subscriptions. Also, you can showcase the new business partnerships that you’ve forged with other companies. Tell your employees how you imagine a return to full-time office work and if you are considering this possibility once the pandemic restrictions are lifted. Employees really need to know what their situation is. It is not without reason that during the recruitment process IT specialists are now a lot more likely to ask how employers have navigated the pandemic. Did they cut back on staff? Is their business stable?
Remember that employer branding starts from within, and your employees are your best brand ambassadors and can provide endorsements of your business. But more on this in the next paragraphs.
The employer branding goals that many companies have set for themselves in 2021 certainly include proving that their business is stable. And what better way to achieve this goal than by showcasing your employees’ stories? We recommend a twofold approach.
First, let your employees talk about the projects they’re carrying out. They should feel free to share their successes on social media such as LinkedIn. In this case, you must lead by example, so if you are a manager or a team leader, you should also publish such posts.
Secondly, involve your employees in your marketing campaigns, especially in the recruiting process. Needless to say, employee engagement can’t be forced. It can only be enabled. Your employees know the ins and outs of your business, so they also know best how to attract top talent to your company. You can certainly count on them to come up with great ideas.
That said, you need to remember that employee advocacy is not something you can buy. It must be voluntary and authentic. In exchange, you should appreciate the efforts done by your employees and praise them using the company’s social media accounts. Obviously, you need to make it clear that such extra activities count as work hours. And this is also when you should enable such engagement.
Employer branding efforts are ultimately aimed at retaining good employees and hiring top talent. In the latter case, IT job advertisements constantly evolve, but many companies still have some catching up to do in this respect. Make sure you’re not one of them, and remember to put together an information pack addressing key questions that potential candidates may ask, such as:
You should know that if you don’t provide such information, developers will know something’s not right. ?
But seriously, if candidates can see that you have a clear policy on these issues, they will be definitely more convinced that your business is stable. Of course, this is by no means an exclusive list of the questions that you should address to boost your company’s image, but they are certainly among the most popular ones. And, as our experience shows, among the ones that are important for IT specialists.
Amazon has published 21 job interview tips for 2021. We recommend using similar types of content to address key questions related to your job advertisements on social media! 🙂
That’s all for today!
If I were to sum up this post into one piece of advice, I’d say be authentic. We live in times in which almost every piece of information is easily verifiable. Don’t limit yourself to a beautiful career page with professional photos of smiling employees. Above all, you should care about the employee experience. Make sure your employees feel safe and enable them to engage in your company’s activities. In return, they will be your best brand ambassadors. Once you take care of your brand on the inside, don’t forget to add details of how you’re navigating the new market challenges to your job advertisements.
I hope that better awareness of employer branding trends will help you get off to a good start in 2021. Finally, I wish you every success and great relations with your employees in the New Year!