By: John Rossheim, Monster Senior Contributing Writer
To catch the brightest rising stars and best matches for job openings, savvy companies have long marketed their employer brand in display newspaper ads, on elite college campuses and in other carefully selected forums.
In 2011, presenting an attractive employer brand with consistent messaging has become more complex as media proliferate, especially online. So it takes expert strategizing and state-of-the-art marketing tools to reach those most desirable employees in the media where they live.
“If you have a brand message that needs to carry across multiple channels, you want to be consistent and portray all of your company brand’s features consistently across all media,” says Leslie Cope, senior product director at Monster.com. That means using a recognizable graphic presence and consistent messaging about your company, wherever you advertise jobs or promote your company.
Why Company Branding Still Matters
Given the current economy, you may be wondering: Why, with so many candidates knocking at your door in this supply-heavy labor market, does it make sense to invest even modestly in branding your company to job candidates? It’s the demographics.
“The recession has put a filter on workforce demographics,” says Bob Kelleher, CEO of Employee Engagement Group in Waltham, Mass. As Boomers continue to retire, the dearth of younger workers will be felt again within a year or two, Kelleher says.
James Durban says employer branding knows no season, because “the top people are always looking.” Superior company branding can even pay a cash dividend, according to Durbin, a principal with the recruitment firm Social Media Talent. “Having a good employment brand lets you bring people in for less money.”
Some companies will find that they can leverage another brand with a strong employment message to build their own image in the labor market. “Small employers that don’t have a strong presence elsewhere will benefit from Monster’s reach,” says Cope. “We drive traffic to both their job postings and Company Profile on Monster.”
Cope adds that companies can utilize Enhanced Job Branding to integrate their company brand into the job description. “This enables both passive and active job seekers to research both your brand and employment value proposition throughout their job search process.”
Using Media to Attract the Right People
More than ever, hiring is about matchmaking. “If you bring on people who aren’t well-aligned with your business and your company culture, you’re going to lose them,” says Jeff Quinn, Global Senior Director, Monster Insights at Monster.com.
The first trick of matchmaking is to narrow the field of potential candidates by being strategic about where you advertise. “Choosing media is about finding out where the right people are,” say Durbin. “The problem for recruiters is, ‘How do I get the right people to respond?’ A lot of people don’t answer their phones or email anymore -- you have to contact them in their medium.”
For these candidates -- many of them Gen Y or Millennials -- their medium is social. One way to marry “traditional” online recruitment media with newer forums is Social Recruiting Solution, which lets you put your job postings on Facebook or Twitter through a Monster job feed; it also includes a social media ad campaign that trumpets your employer brand on popular social networks.
Whatever you do with social media, you’ve got to monitor all activity in these interactive forums. “The company’s entire presence in social media -- including pages, posts and reactions by the company to fan posts -- will impact what will be the takeaways of prospective employees,” says Quinn.
Email Recruitment Marketing Should Play Up Your Brand
When distribution lists are carefully composed, email is an effective way to precisely target the best potential matches for your job postings. Graphic designs incorporating your brand complete the message.
“We give employers a lot of ownership,” says Dee Dellovo, senior director of product management at Monster.com. “We can send email with their branding. But -- particularly for small and medium-sized businesses -- we have cobranded email templates that convey the association between the employer and Monster.”
A carefully designed email campaign lets employers show off their brand to some of the most desirable candidates, the passive candidates, according to Dellovo. “Working with a database of resumes, you can reach people who aren’t explicitly looking.” Employers can further enhance their message and email open rates by carefully crafting the wording of email subject lines."
“TargetMail lets employers say, ‘I want people with this profile,’ and you can reach all those people immediately,” says Dellovo. You can target your distribution list by specifying level of education, years of experience and willingness to relocate, for example.
Whatever the medium, it’s important to never let the employer branding message get ahead of what life is really like at the company. “At the core of any employer brand is being genuine about who you are,” says Quinn. “If you live the brand -- say you advertise flexible hours and then actually give employees some flexibility -- it’s not so difficult to be consistent with your branding message.”