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Thinkstock/iStock/Shironosov
Thinkstock/iStock/Shironosov

Plugging the values vacuum: why companies need to put their employer brand first

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21st Sep 2016
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Traditionally, companies have been very good at explaining what they do, but not always why and how they do it.

However, according to recent research we’ve done at LinkedIn, more than half of UK professionals (52 per cent) are ready to turn down job offers from organisations who don’t match their purpose – so businesses need to catch up fast.

Increasingly we’re finding that people want to work for a company that’s aligned with their own values - yet our report shows that a third of companies fail to mention their values on their website, only a quarter include them in job adverts and 77 per cent don’t mention them on their LinkedIn Company Page.

This disconnect poses a serious problem for UK businesses: by failing to communicate their values they could be missing out on engaging with, and attracting, the best talent.

These findings should come as a wake-up call for UK businesses. By taking these simple steps they can start to bridge the values void:

Know your story

It’s often difficult for businesses to know where to start when it comes to building their story and our research found that one in ten HR and recruiting professionals couldn’t articulate their own company’s values. But it goes without saying that if you don’t know what your company stands for, you won’t be able to communicate it effectively to someone else.

So start off by drilling down into why your company matters. Set out in writing what you’re trying to achieve, and what makes your company valuable to the world around you.

Break down the barriers

A fifth of businesses say that their HR and marketing departments don’t work well together (or at all) to promote their company’s employer brand, which could be a huge missed opportunity.

In the digital world professionals are acutely aware of the culture and purpose of organisations, factors which are increasingly influential on their career decisions. However, the reality tends to be that businesses invest significant amounts of time and money marketing their consumer image, but this doesn’t always translate to employer brand.

It’s time for the silos to be broken down and marketing and HR teams to work together to establish harmonious and effective consumer and employer brands.  

Get social

An increasing number of employees scout out future employers on social media before they even register an application, which makes it vital for your company to be active and accessible there.

Your employees are your best ambassadors, so let their enthusiasm shine. Kick it off by getting the senior leadership team to set an example by being active online, and give your employees the tools they need to take part – whether that’s asking them to write blogs on their experiences, or preparing example social media posts.

Show and tell (but mainly show)

When interested candidates look you up online, they are looking for ways to learn more about you as an employer and what it’s like to work for your organisation, so try to make this as easy as possible for them to find.

By creating video content that showcases your company culture, provides employee testimonials and outlines day-to-day responsibilities you’ll be able to give job seekers an instant insight into what’s really on offer.

A big bonus when it comes to video content is that you don’t need fancy equipment or big budgets to make it a success - smartphones offer high quality video, and there’s a variety of simple editing applications available.

Our research shows that building an authentic employer brand is vital for attracting the best talent, and with a few simple steps, you can make your organisation more accessible to the brightest talent out there.

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