How Employer Branding Can Help Public Sector Organizations Attract Strong Talent

Talent scarcity is a challenge for many public sector organizations. One of the reasons public sector organizations struggle to find good talent is a poor public image. There’s a perception that public sector organizations pay lower salaries and place higher workloads on their employees.

Of course, this isn’t entirely accurate. There are many public sector organizations with a positive culture where employees are thriving and well-compensated. Many job seekers are simply not aware of it because employer branding in the public sector isn’t as vigorously pursued as in the private sector. Here’s why employer branding is important in public sector recruitment.

What Is Employer Branding and Why Does It Matter?

According to a report by Link Humans, 72% of recruiting leaders say that employer branding has a significant impact on hiring. Some of our federal agencies agree and are taking positive steps to grow their employer brand, particularly in the digital sphere. But what is employer branding and why does it matter?

Employer branding is about building a reputation and culture that is desirable to both existing employees and job seekers. An effective employer branding strategy reflects the organization’s values such as how it supports its employees, nurtures employee growth and embraces diversity.  

Employer branding is essentially an employee value proposition (EVP). It’s the promise you make to prospective employees on what you offer in exchange for their experience, talents and skills.

Employer branding in the public sector should also showcase any external achievements that are making a positive impact in the community you serve. For example, do you support small businesses in the community? Have you started a community recycling project? Do you provide support to victims of domestic violence?

What you do both inside and outside of your organization all gets noticed by potential candidates. If they like what they see, they’ll be more eager to join your organization.

Here are a few eye-opening statistics that show why employee branding is so important in attracting strong talent.

  • 78% of people will research an organization’s reputation as an employer before applying for a job.
  • 88% of millennials feel that choosing an organization with the right workplace culture is very important.
  • 84% of employees will consider leaving their current job for an organization with a better reputation.
  • 67% of job seekers would accept a lower salary if an organization has positive reviews online.

How to Boost Your Employer Branding Online to Attract the Right Talent

As the above stats show, job seekers are researching organizations before they apply for a job and they’re doing it online.

If you’re not actively managing your brand online, social media chatter will do it for you and the conversations may not be an accurate reflection of your brand.

You can, however, use the power of digital marketing to shape a positive employer brand and attract the right talent.

1. Create a Recruitment Page on Your Website

Do prospective employees struggle to find information about your organization’s vision, values, recruitment process, leadership style and benefits?

Because government websites typically have a lot of information, resources, forms and processes, they can be difficult to navigate. To make it easier for job seekers, create a jobs or recruitment page that provides all the relevant information they need to decide whether your organization is the right match.

2. Digitize Your Recruitment Process to Slash Recruitment Times

It takes, on average, 98 days for federal employees to be hired compared to 42 days in the private sector. That’s just over three months! By then, a talented applicant has probably accepted a job somewhere else. Many may not even bother applying if they know they have to wait that long.

If you’re still using slow, manually operated recruitment software, it’s time for a revamp. Implement an integrative recruitment system featuring an online application that can automatically sift through candidates and identify the most suitable ones. If you can hire faster, you’re more likely to snag the most talented applicants.

3. Build a Digital Recruitment Pipeline

Building a recruitment pipeline online should be a key component of your employer branding strategy. The more you create content and engage with others online, the more your brand identity will grow.

Once you’ve established a recruitment pipeline, prospective employees may reach out to you. An informative blog post, groundbreaking research paper or video on an innovative project may have piqued their interest in your organization.

4. Let Your Employees Be Your Brand Ambassadors

Nothing sells your organization better than your current employees. If your employees are genuinely happy in their jobs, they probably won’t mind sharing their enthusiasm with others, whether in person or on social media.

Create the space for them to share stories of their success and growth within the organization. Include a few video testimonials on your website of employees talking about what makes your organization a great place to work for.

Key Takeaways

Building an employer brand doesn’t happen overnight. It also doesn’t end when an employee is hired. It’s an ongoing process throughout the employee’s journey. The more positive your employees’ experiences are, the more it sustains a positive brand image. That, in turn, is a game-changer when it comes to attracting the best talent.

Jason Litchney

Jason Litchney brings over 15 years of experience and passion in marketing for the public, private and non-profit sectors. Jason is a dedicated leader, national speaker and entrepreneur responsible for founding and managing the growth of multiple organizations recognized on the INC 500 fastest growing companies list. Jason serves as the Marketing and Employment Branding Manager at CPS HR Consulting and helps public agencies brand their organization to attract and retain talent.

About CPS HR Consulting

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.