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The easy way to manage your employer branding

By Kate Maunder on 17 Mar 2015

Managing your ‘employer brand’ is something that can sound daunting to many not for profit organisations, but it really isn’t something you have to spend a lot of time and money to do. Employer branding simply means your company’s reputation as an employer and how you present yourself as a great place to work for the people you want to attract.

It is like any other marketing campaign, but instead of focussing on donors or supporters, you are targeting potential employees.

Stick to these five fundamentals of employer branding, and you won’t go wrong.

1. Be clear about what you stand for

Your employer brand is inextricably linked with your organisation’s branding as a whole, particularly for charities, where the crossover between donors, supporters, volunteers and potential employees is very high. It’s important that not for profit organisations reflect the way they aim to help their beneficiaries in their attitude to their own employees. So you need to be clear about what your brand values are and how your organisation’s culture and staff embody them so that you can communicate them effectively to jobseekers.

There’s a useful guide to identifying and establishing your brand values here.

2. Summarise what you have to offer

You can’t convince others to come and work for you if you don’t know exactly what attractions your organisation has to offer. It’s not always possible to compete on salaries or working environment, but there are plenty of other ways to make your organisation stand out.

As well as any obvious benefits like holiday, pensions, medical or flexible working, you can think about the advantages of your office location, whether urban or rural. Your organisation’s heritage and history are important attractions, as are your plans for the future. For charities, the organisation’s mission is one of the key attractions for new employees, so make sure you talk about your impact when recruiting.

3. Be consistent in your recruitment

Once you’ve got your key messages in place, it’s time to overhaul your recruitment marketing so all of it is communicating the same things in the same way. Your job advertising, job descriptions, person specifications and careers web pages, as well as any handouts for potential employees or recruitment consultancies, all need to reflect your employer brand. Job ads in particular should be written to sell the organisation and opportunity, rather than simply list the functional aspects of the role. Interviews are also a key time to re-sell the organisation.

Remember that information that comes from the 'horse’s mouth' is the most powerful, so use testimonials and case studies from your current employees wherever possible.

You can also follow this into the induction process, making sure any material like employee handbooks reminds employees about your organisation’s values and the benefits of working for them.

4. Control the conversation

If employer branding is all about what people say about you, then social media is going to be where they are saying it, so it’s vital that you ensure your social media activity is supporting your employer branding. Even if you’re not actively recruiting right now, potential employees will still be coming in contact with your brand, so your messaging has to be consistent at all times.

Start by ensuring your LinkedIn company page has information about working for your organisation, as well as the work it does, as this is most likely to be the first place that jobseekers look. Make sure your current employees are linked to your company page and encourage them to keep their profiles up to date.

It’s also worth using Twitter and Facebook to share posts about any staff events or organisation news, ideally with plenty of photos and videos. You also need to carefully monitor social channels for any mentions of your organisation as a recruiter, so you can address any criticism as soon as it is posted.

5. Make sure you recruitment process is on-brand

It’s all very well working on the marketing to support your employer branding, but a negative recruitment experience can easily undo all your good work. There’s nothing worse than turning up for an interview and realising the interviewer has barely read your CV and hearing nothing at all from the employer afterwards. To a jobseeker, your recruitment process is a reflection of how you are likely to treat your employees and a bad experience can really put them off.

Think carefully about how you treat your candidates. Delays in recruitment, changing goalposts and failing to offer the advertised salary and failing to provide feedback after interviews are all likely to leave candidates with a negative impression of your organisation. And with social media, it’s very easy for them to share bad experiences, which could ultimately affect your donations.

Across the recruitment market in general, there has been an increase in the number of candidates dropping out after verbally agreeing an offer. This may be down to being counter-offered by their employer or having more options to choose from in a buoyant economy. At TPP we are working hard to make sure our candidates are informed at every stage of the recruitment process and that our consultants really understand their motivations. It is vital for non-profit organisations to ‘bearhug’ their candidates to ensure they have maximum choice and the most chance of success.

Employer Branding Case Studies

Teach First
Marie Stopes International
Broadway (requires CIPD membership)
Cancer Research UK