Why do your friends and colleagues associate with you? Is your reputation one to be admired or avoided? How have you maintained long lasting friendships, and also how have people come and gone into your life in a matter of months? How fulfilling are your social circles, and how do the people around you progress your personal and collective goals?
The public sector is always competing for good talent. Employer branding is a way to differentiate ourselves from other agencies and even from the private sector.
The answers to all of these questions circles around your identity--what makes you attractive to others in terms of growth and ongoing association. Much like your personal identity, public agencies also embody a distinct identity.
Your organization’s creation and maintenance of its identity is what is called employer branding. Similar to individual identity, employer branding is a continual process shaped by reputation, social capital and public image. 80% of recruiters cited good employer branding as a crucial way to attract talent, while 84% of job seekers claim employer reputation is a main reason that they apply for jobs(1).
Employer branding is important for three key reasons:
Let’s explore these more in-depth.
Hiring in our contemporary world is becoming more and more competitive. Qualified candidates are testing the waters with many different companies and organizations -- standing out from other organizations lies in employer branding. According to LinkedIn, a strong employer brand brings 1.5x more qualified applicants into the organization’s radar(2).
With the advent of social media as a significant platform for hiring potential candidates, social capital and frequent media presence is an important part of employer branding. 94% of candidates are more likely to apply to an organization with active social media channels(3). High rates of social media importance advocates for the maintenance of your organization’s main website, LinkedIn, Instagram, search engine optimization status, and other relevant online presence.
Once their interest is hooked, your employer brand must reel in the candidates. The decision for applicants to pursue employment with a organization lies in its reputation, as supported by outside reviews and the ease of understanding what your organization’s brand is, as well as the ease of the application process(4). Review sites such as Glassdoor offers transparency in employee experiences. Testimonials from current or past employees through word-of-mouth or videos also give credence to how an employer’s brand is accurately depicted. The purpose of your organization must be both accessible and understandable for a successful recruitment process.
Keeping good employees around for the long haul is the ultimate goal. A polished employer brand translates to the employee what your organization stands for, in effect fostering job satisfaction through personal goal alignments. Employee satisfaction not only leads to higher retention rates, but it also creates a more collaborative and engaging environment where employees work diligently at their responsibilities. Better environments lower job turnover, saving your organization time and money.
Like it or not, your agency already has an employer brand. If you are not currently controlling the messaging of that brand and continually reminding your employees - the brand will be defined for you.
Does your recruitment material reflect your organizational culture?
Do your job descriptions "speak" to the correct candidates.
Do your recruitment channels reflect your culture and target candidate?
In a world where people can size up an identity and personal brand by looking at a 3 x 3 grid of Instagram photos - does your organizational culture shine through in 20 seconds or less? A good identity is contagious. Make sure yours is clearly defined and communicated.
CPS HR Consulting is a self-supporting public agency providing a full range of integrated HR solutions to government and nonprofit clients across the country. Our strategic approach to increasing the effectiveness of human resources results in improved organizational performance for our clients. We have a deep expertise and unmatched perspective in guiding our clients in the areas of organizational strategy, recruitment and selection, classification and compensation, and training and development.