According to many experts, employer branding is not what HR or your leadership think it is; it’s what your employees and job seekers say it is. Their perception is your reality. What we do in employment branding is develop and share messages intended to influence or change perceptions. We’re content creators and storytellers purveying glimpses behind our corporate walls, across many channels.
The luckiest of employment brand marketers have unlimited budgets, while others have a “what budget?” budget. Regardless of where you fall on this spectrum, here are some simple ideas for increasing awareness of your brand and job opportunities.
ABSOLUTELY FREE TACTICS FOR HR MARKETERS
- Recruiter Training: Your recruiters may be the only person from your organization that someone meets face-to-face. In many ways, it’s their job is to deliver on your employment value proposition. Ensuring that your recruiters know your company’s story and what makes it a great place to work are critical to elevating your brand.
- Online Forums: The bigger your organization, the greater the probability that people are asking questions and sharing their thoughts about your company via forums, including Indeed and Yahoo! Answers. Monitoring the forums and offering guidance, when appropriate, could be helpful to your brand and recruiting efforts.
- Google Alerts: I am surprised by the number of people who have not set up Google alerts using keywords such as “ABC Company + Jobs.” I frequently find inspiration in and share articles that I first learned of via my alerts. (There are some rumors that Google alerts are going away; I certainly hope not.)
- LinkedIn Student Jobs: College students are the “fastest growing and most engaged” population on LinkedIn. If your company is interested in attracting Gen Y, you may want to consider posting your entry level jobs there. Now through June 30th, there is no cost to post.
NO TO LOW COST WAYS TO SHARE YOUR STORY
- Job Descriptions: Writing effective job descriptions — that draw in the reader and effectively sell your company’s opportunity, benefits and culture — takes a lot of time, but doesn’t necessarily have to cost a dime. However, if you’d like an agency to write your postings with SEO in mind, I’ve seen per posting price tags range from $100 – $500 per posting.
- Facebook Pages: Is there anything you can’t do on Facebook? You can share videos, post jobs, upload photos, chat with candidates, and build a community interested in your company. For several years, I have dabbled with Facebook pay per click ads and seen varied results. The new “boost post” feature could be a good option to consider, as you can increase exposure to a page post starting as low as five bucks. Quick tip! Your company could be eligible to have Indeed scrape your ATS and feed your jobs to a Facebook tab at no cost. This integration doesn’t offer all of the “bells and whistles” of other social integration platforms, but could be a good starting point for some.
- Twitter Account: It’s so easy search Twitter using relevant hashtags and keywords (Company + Jobs, Company + Interview, Company + Apply) and then listen to the conversations, RT or @ message where appropriate. If someone tweets that they are thinking about applying to your company … that would be a good time to chime in, right? Additionally, Twitter recently rolled out “self-serve advertising” where you can promote targeted tweets. I haven’t personally used this paid feature; if you have, please share your insight in the comments!
- Recruitment Videos: Video is my favorite brand channel! I’ve seen employee testimonial videos on YouTube taken with an iPhone and videos produced by interns. Personally, I work with an in-house team which keeps production costs low. Of course, you could spend much more … I’ve heard of agencies charging upwards of $30,000 for three-minute videos. Another tip! According to a recent Recruiting Trends webinar, @joelcheesman said that advertising on YouTube is “dirt cheap … pennies on the dollar.”
SO MANY WAYS TO STAND OUT AMIDST THE CLUTTER
I often hear job seekers talk about ways to stand out from crowd; meanwhile, companies are trying to do the same thing. Hey, job seekers … look here! We want you to notice us, too.
As HR marketers, there are countless ways to spend money. Job distribution services, social recruiting and SEO platforms, LinkedIn and Glassdoor company pages, college recruiting campaigns, banner ads, print ads, community events, pay per click campaigns, talent communities, remarketing and retargeting campaigns, career site redesigns, mobile apps, mobile career sites, SMS campaigns, niche job boards, video interviewing, and the list goes on and on and on.
When it comes to employment branding, it’s important to know what makes your company different, what your employees are saying and, in general, what people think. As you explore ways to share your company’s story and increase job awareness, it’s equally important to ensure that you’re creatively selling your company through a realistic lens.
NOT DESIGNED TO BE AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING LIST
What are some of the no or low cost ideas that you’ve tried? Do you have any tips, tricks or tactics to share?
Article by Shannon Smedstad
Shannon Smedstad spends her days leading HR social media and employment branding at GEICO and has more than 14 years of recruiting experience. In 2013, she was named a Talent Warrior by Glassdoor.com for social recruiting leadership and innovation. Outside of the daily grind, Shannon is a work@home mom raising two awesome girls who also enjoys reading, traveling and her morning coffee. You can connect with her on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. (Opinions are her own and not those of her company.)
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