By Stephen Pritchard
A survey by PWC finding that 73 percent of CEOs are concerned about the availability of key skills amongst future employees suggests the growth of employer branding is set to continue.
The most successful cases of employer branding don’t just attract the brightest and best candidates, but use the opportunity to reinforce the core identity of the brand in a way that makes it more attractive to consumers.
Here we take a look at three cost-effective ways businesses can extend employer branding beyond the workforce.
Best Employer Branding Programs Have Generous Benefits
Google and other tech companies are well known for their generous and creative employee benefits, but Timberland proves you don’t necessarily need a laundry list of perks to attract talent and bolster your brand.
The outdoors clothing and footwear brand has long been associated with corporate social sustainability, introducing paid leave for community service in 1992.
It’s fair to say some employees wouldn’t consider this a particularly enticing perk (especially if it was one of the headline benefits), but that’s not a problem for Timberland.
The focus on helping in the community ensures the company attracts candidates with aligned values, and lends further credibility to a brand that has an unrivaled need to really walk the walk.
Here’s another example: A business selling baby clothes and toys offers extended maternity and paternity leave.
A mother-to-be who heard new parents had extra time off would be much more impressed than if it offered dozens of expensive and cool benefits that were completely unrelated.
Have Conversations that Cross Boundaries
The Marriott Careers Instagram account invites you to “Meet the world through a career with Marriott,” but even if you have no desire to work in the hospitality industry you’ll probably end up following them.
It’s easy to assume some hotel chains lack character or diversity. This account challenges that, showing staff brimming with personality, whether you picture the grinning faces as potential colleagues or someone helping to ensure you have a pleasant stay.
While the Marriott pictures of cityscapes, historical buildings and cool poolside’s look firmly at home on Instagram, what do you do if you’re a software reseller?
Find the crossover between the interests of potential employees and customers and start a conversation there, whether it’s on Twitter, via LinkedIn, or on a niche forum.
Hire the Communities You Serve
By now we shouldn’t need to still be arguing about the benefits of a diverse workforce.
Thankfully most people today appreciate that someone’s race, sexuality, or gender shouldn’t limit their employment options.
Many businesses publicly announce their commitment to fair hiring practices not only because they want the best people working for them, but because they want to attract a diverse, modern customer base.
With that said, there are circumstance when how much you value diversity shouldn’t be the headline.
One example: A company that sells disability and mobility aids will get more attention for focusing on how they will make adjustments at work to accommodate disabilities.
If we return to our fictional baby store for a moment, talking about flexible working arrangements and contributing to childcare costs will appeal to target customers who may have an understanding of the problems working parents face much more than a blanket statement on diversity.
Figure out what the most effective message will be and highlight that.
image credit: shutterstock