Why a Lockdown is the Ideal Time to Perfect your Employer Brand

In a competitive market, your employer brand is what sets you apart from the competition and makes candidates choose to work for you. Your reputation as a respectable employer and a great place to work is vital and, even amid crisis, will help you to attract the best talent. Unlike established brands who have no trouble attracting top talent, startups and even mid-sized businesses must work a bit harder.

Having a strong employer brand reduces your employee turnover, almost halves the cost per hire, attracts more high-quality applicants and rapidly improves your time to hire.

A survey by LinkedIn claims 72 % of recruiting leaders worldwide agree that an employer brand has a significant impact on hiring. While now might not feel like the right time to be thinking about building your employer brand, and recruitment may not be your focus, there couldn’t be a better time.

In the same survey, 39 % of respondents claimed an employer brand would be a trend to focus on in the future, and amid the lockdown, it’s imposed remote working culture and the overall global slow-down created by Covid-19, the time to focus on your employer brand is now!

Here’s why:

1. You have time

It’s quite simple, you can’t leave the house unless it’s for essentials. You aren’t commuting for an hour a day, business is inevitably slower, and priorities are changing. You and your team are likely to have more time on your hands. This is time that you could use worrying about things out of your control, or you could be proactive and work on your employer brand.

When in a normal working week do you get the chance to sit down and assess who you are and what your brand proposition is? The greatest gift this pandemic can give us is time to reflect and think creatively, rather than pushing things back and rushing decisions. In a lockdown you can take the time to work out what makes your business different and what your mission is, which will help you attract candidates when the time is right. Consider how you wish to be perceived as both a business and an employer and create a plan of how to achieve this. It can be a complete overhaul of your employer brand or simply refining and changing certain elements to position you as an employer of choice.

Perhaps it’s time to offer a survey; find out what your employees love or hate about the business, what makes them stay and what makes the leave. Discover what benefits, career opportunities and extras they truly want from you while everyone in the business has time available. You’ll never have a better opportunity to address these issues and think creatively about how to implement change.

Use your time wisely and your brand will flourish.

2. Ethics matter

Recent studies suggest that millennials and younger generations care about companies that have good ethics and a moral purpose. If anything, the Covid-19 crisis has brought this to light.

Employers who give back to their community for example, donate to food banks or offer perks to NHS workers, gain positive publicity which in turn impacts their employer brand.

While it’s easy to get caught up in business matters in your normal day-to-day life, we’re currently living in a time that is far from normal. With more organisations than ever needing a helping hand, showing your business puts purpose over profit couldn’t be easier or more appreciated. This will reflect positively on your organisation and help people, what could be a better combination?

3. People are losing faith in their employers

As many employers are showing they have a heart, unfortunately, many others are showing that they don’t. People are losing faith in their employers every day because of how they’ve handled themselves during this crisis. Covering everything from laying off staff, not offering sick pay and even refusing to provide basic protection; some employers are getting a bad reputation. Naturally, this ill-treatment should make employees reconsider their role and be more open to offers from other companies. 93% of employees say they’re more likely to stay with an empathetic employer and 50% of candidates say they wouldn’t work for a company with a bad reputation – even for a pay increase.

Another company’s loss could very much be your gain so make sure you’re promoting how you take care of your staff and why you’re so great to work with in every way possible. Ask your existing employees to spread the message using review sites like Glassdoor and Facebook, use social media to your advantage and even consider a clever recruitment marketing campaign featuring authentic testimonials and videos.

4. People are on social media

Another reason you should be pushing your employer brand on social media is that -to put it simply – people are on social media right now. In fact Twitter has reported a 23% increase in daily users to 164 million since the outbreak of covid19. We’re all currently in a lockdown which means whether we like it or not we’re spending more time than ever on our phones and on social media apps. What else is there to do in our homes? Plus with many of us working from home, we’re even on social media more during our workday (sorry employers!).

Get creative with your social media recruitment marketing and you can attract both passive and active candidates. They’re almost a captive audience right now and it would be silly not to utilise it. Post organically to showcase what’s great about your business, how you’re dealing with the crisis and what it’s like to work for you generally. Then use advertising to promote your employer brand even further to a targeted audience who are likely to possess the skills you require.

5. More time to refine the candidate experience

Once again, we’re back to the matter of time. However, now you have time to focus on your entire brand you also have time to make sure your candidate experience is smooth and simple. Make it as easy as possible for people to apply when your roles become available and your employer brand will benefit. We hate to break it to you, but no one wants to spend 4 hours on one job application even in a lockdown, times have changed! A study from Appcast states, recruiters can improve online applications by up to 365% by reducing the length of the application process to five minutes or less.

Use this time to reassess and map your candidate experience; put yourself in a job seekers shoes and see if your process is up to the standard you’d expect. 78% of job seekers say the overall candidate experience is an indicator of how a company values its people, so don’t overlook its importance.

From job descriptions to careers pages, even including how easy you are to contact on social media; candidates expect a lot and having a poor experience will damage your brand. Use both your time and your employees’ time to refine this and perfect it for when the hiring process fires back up again.

6. You’ll be in a better position when the storm passes

If you spend time building up your reputation, establishing an employer brand and refining your candidate experience during this crisis you’ll be in a much stronger position when it lifts. Getting the hard work done now means that when you’re ready to hire, you’ll be an employer of choice and you’ll have a competitive edge.

It may not seem like it now, but the storm will pass and when it does, you need to ensure you can attract the talent that will push your business to the next level. Your employer brand will do this. LinkedIn claims that 75% of job seekers consider an employer brand before even applying for a job, so make sure yours is an honest representation of your company, but also an exciting proposition for them.

Talent Works has produced an eBook on creating the perfect employer brand to help guide you through the process. Our experts are also on hand to help whether you’d like to outsource your entire recruitment efforts or simply need help with a section of it; we’re here to help you weather the storm of Covid-19 and come out ready to recruit.