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Basics of Employer Branding
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Employer Branding: The Basics
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Employer Branding: The Basics

Definition - What is employer branding?

Employer branding is a strategy used by companies to build a strong employer brand through targeted measures. Various marketing concepts are often used to build an employer brand in order to create a positive corporate image in the public eye and present the company as an attractive employer.

The aim of employer branding is

  1. Improvements in employee recruitment and
  2. the long-term loyalty of employees to the company,

in order to achieve economic benefits for the company.

A central component of the employer branding strategy is the definition and communication of an employer value proposition. The employer value proposition is the company's unique selling point and should show how the company differs from its competitors (in terms of employees).

In order to determine the employer value proposition, a clear vision of what the company wants to stand for is required. Ideally, existing employees should be involved in the development of the employer value proposition and provide useful feedback on what they particularly value about the company.

Why is employer branding important? And what advantages does it offer?

Importance of employer branding

For years, the balance of power has been continuously shifting away from employers and towards employees. Whereas it used to be enough to advertise a vacancy and select the best candidate, recruiters are now confronted with significantly higher demands from employees.
In addition, issues such as digitalization, demographic change and, in particular, globalization are intensifying competition among companies in the battle for the best talent. Standing out from other employers and giving employees and candidates compelling reasons to choose your company is therefore more important today than ever before.

Advantages of employer branding

If you meet these requirements and can position yourself as an attractive employer through employer branding, this can result in numerous advantages for your own organization.

Employee recruitment
The term employer branding is often associated with recruiting measures aimed at attracting more or better employees. Employer branding measures help potential applicants to become aware of the company in the first place and arouse their interest in the company. With clear communication of culture and values, employer branding also has a "filter function" and creates incentives, especially for people who identify with the company as much as possible. Last but not least, a positive employer brand naturally also leads to the best candidates applying for the respective positions.

Employee retention
At the same time, employer branding measures also help to retain employees in the company in the long term and avoid resignations. A pleasant working environment and a clearly communicated and practiced corporate culture lead to a stronger identification of employees with the company, a greater emotional bond and, last but not least, a higher willingness to perform.

Economic benefits
Of course, none of these measures are an end in themselves. Instead, successful employer branding leads to long-term economic benefits for the organization. For example, optimized application processes lead to a reduction in bounce rates and consequently in talent acquisition costs. If the company succeeds in attracting the best applicants, this has a direct positive impact on the company's productivity. Last but not least, strong employee retention and low staff turnover reduce costs by reducing the effort required to find and train new staff.

What factors influence the employer brand?

How a company is perceived by employees and potential candidates depends on a variety of factors. Examples of this are

Corporate identity

The corporate identity is based on various pillars. These include

  • Corporate Identity
  • Corporate Philosophy
  • Corporate Culture
  • Corporate Communication
  • Corporate Behavior
  • Corporate Design

Basically, this can be understood as the appearance of the company. For example, the way in which the company communicates with its target groups (e.g. young & cheeky vs. serious) has an impact, as do the topics that are addressed in the communication or the channels that are used for communication.

Attractiveness of products & services

The products and services offered by the company itself also have an influence on the perception of the employer brand. The American company Apple, for example, with its iPhones and MacBooks, not only stands for technically high-quality, but also modern lifestyle products. This in turn is directly reflected in the perception of the company, which is now perceived as modern and progressive.

Strengths of the company

Of course, specific career factors in the company also play a role. How high are the salaries paid , what career and promotion opportunities does the company offer or what importance is attached to a good work-life balance. However, looking at these factors in isolation is only of limited help. Rather, they should always be considered in relation to the company's environment. A salary comparison between Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz is much more meaningful than between Google and a newly founded creative agency.

Integrity

The integrity of the company as a whole, but also of its employees, is one of the often underestimated but most important factors. A company that regularly communicates its commitment to climate protection but does not attach any importance to this issue in the manufacture of its products, for example, casts doubt on its integrity and damages its image and trust in its own employer brand.

What measures are there? Tips for successful employer branding

Employer branding should be a holistic approach in which the various measures are integrated into the overall strategy. There are many different ways to strengthen your employer brand. The following overview of measures & tips for employer branding is therefore only exemplary and not exhaustive.

Using digital channels to recruit employees

Numerous digital marketing channels can be used to arouse interest. After all, just like customers, potential employees are people who can be reached through these channels.

An important starting point is often the careers section on your own website. This offers a suitable opportunity to provide an appealing and informative insight into the company and its corporate culture, for example by introducing the individual departments.

Social media channels such as Instagram and LinkedIn can be used to address potential applicants. At the same time, they can also be used to communicate the company transparently to the outside world.

Nowadays, the first port of call for many interested parties to find out about the company are review portals such as Glassdoor or Kununu. A well-maintained and up-to-date company entry on such platforms is now the minimum requirement for an employer branding strategy.

All other marketing approaches - sponsoring, poster advertising, etc. - can also be used not only to promote products and services to men and women, but also to arouse the interest of potential applicants.

Optimization of the application process

Once interest has been aroused, a well-structured application process not only ensures greater efficiency in the recruiting department, but also a positive perception among candidates. This includes, for example, efficient and transparent application options (e-recruiting) and an overall applicant-friendly process (candidate experience).

Company Benefits

Company benefits for employees can be important for employee recruitment as well as satisfaction throughout the entire employee lifecycle and thus long-term loyalty. Long dismissed as a start-up idea, most companies have now recognized the importance of the various benefits for employees.

Whether it's free drinks and snacks at work or table football for a change of pace during or after working hours, company benefits are an easy way to show your appreciation for your employees. With free access to fitness classes or even a dedicated fitness area, you also show that you care about their health. Last but not least, joint team and company evenings are an important part of the company culture and strengthen cohesion between colleagues.

Company benefits are standard in many industries today. For top performers in particular, they are therefore the minimum rather than the decisive reason for choosing an employer.

Workplace oasis of well-being

Anyone who spends a significant part of the day at work attaches great importance to a pleasantly designed and professionally equipped working environment. The health of employees must be taken into account at all times.

Fueled by the corona crisis, the working environment is no longer just the company office, but also the home workplace when working from home. However, what many companies fail to consider is that the same ergonomic requirements apply to home office workplaces as to office workplaces.

Lendis - The operating system for hybrid work

Lendis specializes in equipping complete workspaces for hybrid working. On the one hand, we help companies to transform their corporate office into a multi-purpose space. This must meet the changing requirements of collaboration between on-site employees and remote workers and at the same time function as a place for collaboration and exchange. Lendis not only supports you with the planning, but also rents out the right office equipment and takes care of the delivery and set-up on site.

On the other hand, with our Lendis OS, we help office and HR managers to quickly and easily equip all employees in their home office. Using the platform, you can put together all the furniture and technology for your colleagues with just a few clicks and send it directly to their home office. The entire administration is done conveniently via the platform and you are always aware of who has which equipment.

More than just work

However, much more important than the benefits mentioned above are the factors of daily (collaborative) work. A meaningful job and the opportunity to actively shape the development of the company have become much more important to many employees and often cannot be compensated for by a higher salary. In many companies, traditional hierarchies are therefore increasingly being dissolved and employees can contribute their thoughts and ideas, regardless of their position.

Personal development opportunities within the company are also playing an increasingly important role in the choice of employer. On the one hand, this includes the possibility of further professional training. Mentoring programs or training budgets can be offered for free use for this purpose.

On the other hand, this naturally also includes opportunities for advancement within the company and the chance to take on more responsibility. To this end, it is important to provide employees with a clear promotion plan and the necessary conditions. Last but not least, it is also important to reward good performance accordingly and thus provide suitable incentives.

Examples of successful employer branding

More authenticity & transparency

An example of successful employer branding: Techniker Krankenkasse does away with extravagance, preferring instead to focus on transparency and showcasing employee satisfaction. Through the combination of an employer video and bundled social media power, TK focuses on authentic insights into everyday working life and communicating appreciation for its employees. Transparency and a clear approach to applicants are bearing fruit: It is no coincidence that TK was named one of the "Top National Employers 2018" by Fokus Money.

Unusual paths also lead to the goal

ALDI has had the image of a cheap discounter for decades. Through clever employer branding measures, the company managed to push its outdated brand image into the background at the Cologne Graduate Congress and score points with a new brand. During the congress, graduates and recruiters met in a black box. This enabled ALDI to present itself as an exciting and creative employer beyond superficial prejudices. A creative approach for companies with an entrenched image.

Turning the innermost to the outermost

Authenticity, humanity and a family atmosphere are particularly important for generations Y and Z. The digital agency Carrot cultivates its family image with a regular annual review. A video review that documents everything that the employees have experienced between successes, failures, spontaneous photo campaigns and private family happiness. The simultaneously authentic and creative insight into the inner workings of the company makes it clear to everyone watching: "This is a pretty cool, human company."