Resourcing | Building your employer brand on a COVID-hit budget

Building your employer brand on a COVID-hit budget

As a result of the pandemic, recruitment levels are low in many sectors, and money is tight in most HR departments. But it’s a mistake to think that now is a time to cut back on employer branding activities.

A highly mobile workforce

Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index found that that 40% of the global workforce are considering leaving their employer this year. Which means that now is the time to act. Firstly, to make sure your organisation isn’t about to lose key talent. Secondly, to ensure you’re attracting more than your fair share of the talent on the move from your competitors – and beyond.

Here are 5 ways CA3 have been helping our clients do just that, by positively building their employer brands without breaking the bank.

1. Surveys and research

A few statistics. In Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index, 70% of workers said they wanted flexible remote work options to continue post-pandemic. 60% of Gen Z workers said they were just struggling or surviving right now (as opposed to just 39% of business leaders). 39% of all those polled felt exhausted.

Do you have an accurate picture of how your people are feeling right now? Is there a fear around job security that could be assuaged? How do people feel about returning to a physical workplace – and is there a strong appetite for a new hybrid working approach? How has their wellbeing fared – and what do they feel can be done to improve this?

Whether you’re gathering information on your biggest strengths as an employer so you can highlight them internally and externally, or finding out what areas are consistent negatives so they can be addressed strategically, surveys are invaluable.

2. Building brand champions

A study from LinkedIn found that candidates trust employees three times more than the company they work for when it comes to providing credible information. So your people can be your strongest asset in building your employer brand.

Appointing official brand ambassadors to create stories and content for your corporate feeds can be very powerful. Although you’ll be asking them to share their own experiences, you can target messaging successfully both by suggesting key subject areas for people to talk about, and through your choice of champions. Whether champions are exploring your organisation’s support for younger workers who have been so adversely affected during the pandemic, or how your business innovated to adapt to the changes Covid has brought, they can help change perceptions and boost confidence.

As well as appointing more formal champions, creating a culture where every employee feels encouraged to share their own success stories (and spread other people’s stories more widely) should be the ultimate goal. This amplifies your message, and ensures it reaches people from a trusted source. All of your employees are your brand advocates. And a post or two a month about a positive story is all you need. When you have the majority of your workforce engaged in this, the impact can be huge! You just need to let your people know that it’s ok to talk about work.

3. Social media upskilling

You want to use the authentic voices of your employees on social media but you also want to avoid any faux pas. This is where training – whether through live online sessions, videos or ‘how to’ manuals – can be invaluable. From the do’s and don’ts of your own employer brand, to when it’s better to tweet, or when LinkedIn’s the place to be, training can be invaluable. Start by asking your employees to share posts from your organisation’s social pages, but as you and they grow in confidence, they can start to post their own authentic stories about life at work. This is one of the best ways to grow your brand presence organically, and a great way to reach talent with the similar skills, values and strengths as your current people. Your champions can play a key role in this process, supporting your teams on their social journey, as well as generating content and running live events for their area of your business.

4. Employee generated video content

Employee generated videos deliver your brand message with an authentic voice and allow you to produce a wide range of content at relatively small cost. The result? You have a suite of personalised content that targets very specific audiences. Videos can be completely employee generated – or you can add some polish to them either by having your agency do a light editing job, or by using specialist software to edit and brand content.

5. Reviewing internal communications

After such great upheaval, now is an ideal time to review your internal communications – both in terms of messaging and channels. In a recent TotalJobs survey, 32% of those who were considering leaving their company cited job security as their main reason for the move. So it’s more important than ever to be communicating clearly to your people on everything from your organisation’s strategy during the Covid recovery and what the workplace will look like going forward, to how you will navigate the changes brought about by Brexit.

Whether you’re optimising communication channels during the new era of hybrid work or spreading the message on how your organisation is going to build back better through your employee and onboarding comms, keeping your current people informed, confident and enthused is vital.

Now is the time to build confidence in your employer brand, so that people inside and outside your organisation feel it’s a place where they can thrive and grow – even in these difficult times.

Contact CA3 to discuss how we can help you super charge the power of your employer brand at this vital time.

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