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Avoid these Five Employer Branding Mistakes to Reach Top Talent

Does your company have a strong EVP? Are you promoting your best benefits? Do you highlight real employees? These tactics will help vault your employer brand to a higher level.

Avoid these Five Employer Branding Mistakes to Reach Top Talent

The word is out--employer branding is a powerful way to reach today’s information-hungry talent. But it turns out that’s not all it can do. Employer branding actually helps motivate job seekers to act. 

Monster’s post-apply survey data shows that applicants put a high value on three components of an employer brand, including a company’s reputation, the information they provide and their values. All three are factors in why seekers applied for the job. 

If your company still struggles with mastering your employer brand, don’t worry—we’ve got your back. 

To help avoid the same obstacles that other companies face, we’ve outlined five common mistakes that businesses often make in their employer branding efforts and provided some strategies for how to overcome them.
 
Mistake #1: Touting unique perks without understanding what candidates really want
Monster’s post-apply survey data found that applicants rank work-life balance as a top priority. Yet that benefit is often no longer enough. More and more employers are attempting to differentiate themselves by offering unique employee benefits such as indoor rock climbing walls, free snacks and even private concierge services — especially when trying to recruit Millennials. 

This could be a good strategy for some employers if they’ve done their homework and are starting with a strong employee value proposition (EVP). But for many, it’s simply an off-brand Band-Aid.

That’s because Millennials may enjoy those perks, but they’re hardly their top priority. According to a survey by Grovo, Millennials are looking for companies that offer autonomy, communicate effectively, provide training and professional development, give them the opportunity to do meaningful work, and make innovation a core company value.
 
Why this happens
When trying to quickly recruit new employees, especially highly skilled ones, flashy perks are a easy tactic. And with many other companies offering them, it often becomes a case of keeping up with the Joneses. Yet implementing an uncommon perk—just for the sake of touting it on career sites—is likely to only achieve a temporary bump in job applications. 

While offering housecleaning and in-house espresso bars can certainly get attention, the verdict is out on whether they will inspire the right candidates to apply to and stay with your company.
 
What to do instead
Develop an employee value proposition—or EVP—to better understand the main reasons your best employees want to work for you. That starts with asking your employees for their input, rather than deciding in a conference room absent any real data or evidence. 

Once you’ve defined what employees get out of working for your company, use this knowledge to create a succinct statement that communicates your EVP. From that point on, align it with any new perks.
 
When you’re thinking up new perks, ask your employees for their feedback. Those discussions will help you identify ideas that both enhance your employees’ lives and boost their productivity at work. That way you’ll implement perks that matter to your employees and attract the right candidates. 
 
Mistake #2: Keeping benefits info hush-hush
Today’s job seekers often shop for their next role much like they shop for a new car, and that includes using research in their job decision. Job seekers increasingly expect to be able to find information on the benefits offered by prospective employers. Unfortunately, most companies keep their lips sealed when it comes to the benefits they offer. 
 
Why this happens
Employers have a variety reasons for keeping their benefits packages vague until an offer is extended. Some employers likely know that their benefits package could be better. Some employers may simply be unaware that job seekers are looking for this information, particularly in the job description. Whatever the reason, a veiled approach to benefits can be a missed opportunity with job seekers.
 
What to do instead
If you already offer killer benefits and have the green light from legal to show them off be sure to  include detailed benefits information on your careers site. Better yet, consider creating a separate—and public—one that’s dedicated solely to your employee benefits. 

If your benefits are ho-hum, or if you don’t have the permission to share them explicitly, consider getting more personal by creating a content campaign in which current employees share stories about how their employment benefits have positively impacted their lives. 

No matter which strategy you go with, you need to start referencing your benefits in job descriptions and recruitment content ASAP.
 
Mistake #3: Neglecting to highlight real employees—and their work
Have you ever heard someone talk about how much they like their job without hearing about their co-workers? Neither have we. Job seekers want to know the people they’d work with, what these people think about their work and how they affect the company’s culture. Too few companies go this route and their recruiting suffers as a result. 
 
Why this happens
Many employers don’t realize how effective showcasing the everyday lives of current employees can be. As a result, they don’t invest in creating content that accomplishes this. But doing so is a great way to help job seekers envision themselves in your offices.
 
What to do instead
Humanize your workplace. Create content that highlights your own people and their work. Even if you don’t have budget for a video tour of your office, you can still ask great employees to guest blog about their work on your career site blog. 
 
Mistake #4: Creating content but not promoting it
Producing great recruiting content is an important step—but keep in mind that it’s just the first step. Many employers publish recruiting content on their career site but then neglect to put a distribution strategy in place.

Why this happens
Even seasoned marketing teams are sometimes guilty of investing heavily in the creation of content without allocating some budget to promote and distribute it. Not only does this hamper your ability to recruit great talent, you’re also doing your team’s efforts a disservice. Without promotion, your content is likely to underperform, simply because no one knows it’s there! 

What to do instead
When you plan your next piece of recruitment content, include a marketing strategy for how and where you’ll promote it--beyond your own career site and blog. Consider setting aside funds to distribute your content to target audiences.  

Advanced targeting options will help your job ad reach the people you most want to attract. This can be a good time to collaborate with an experienced recruitment partner like Monster to better target your job ad to the right audience—or getting it out on job sites where people are when they’re looking for jobs.
 
Mistake #5: Missing out on employee brand ambassadors
Your own satisfied employees—particularly top performers—could be your best tool for attracting more candidates with similar attributes. Empower your brand ambassadors to promote your company as an employer of choice. Too many employers overlook this valuable resource. 
 
Why this happens
Some companies still fear what could happen when their employees outwardly represent them, especially on social media. But with a little training—and a little trust—your employees can be a powerful weapon in your recruitment arsenal.   
 
What to do instead
Start by communicating (or creating!) a company social media policy. Include positive ways and rallying points for employees to share and promote your brand. You can even consider reaching out to some of your best and happiest people to get the ball rolling. Check out how Booking.com employees share their experiences and how the company promotes them. 

These lessons will enable your company to find its unique employer brand voice. And remember--Monster Employer Brand solutions can help you accelerate the process and attract the talent you need.