Our very own Ali Hackett was recently joined by Charlotte Marshall, Global Employer Brand Lead at Danaher Corporation, and Bryan Adams, Founder & CEO at Ph.Creative, on a webinar to discuss how employers can move from crisis to confidence in a COVID-19 world.

With decades of industry expertise among them, we thought it would be useful to distill the most compelling insights from our discussion into one simple and easy-to-read article.

Covering topics from ‘how to engage with talent virtually’ to ‘using employee-generated content to bring your employer brand to life’, this fireside chat sparked a number of thought-provoking insights that are particularly relevant for any professional in the talent acquisition or employer brand space.

While the COVID-19 crisis has caused a seismic shift across the talent landscape, it’s clear that there has never been a more important time to invest in your employer brand and find innovative ways to bring the candidate experience to life.

Pulling insights from each of our thought leaders, below we explore six reasons why having an employer brand in a time of crisis is pivotal to long-term success.

1. The value of a ‘Give and Get’ employer brand

Fresh from the launch of their new book, ‘Give & Get Employer Branding’, Charlotte and Bryan raised an interesting point about the true purpose of an employer brand.

Conventional employer brand methodology relies on a one-way value exchange that focuses solely on the opportunities, benefits and strengths of joining your organization.

Instead, Charlotte and Bryan propose that your employer brand and EVP become much more effective when you couple the strengths, benefits and opportunities with the adversity people must embrace to thrive within your organization. This mutual value exchange is what they like to call the ‘Give and Get’.

2. Repel the many and compel the few

By using the principles of a ‘Give and Get’ employer brand, Charlotte has been able to redefine her organizations’ approach to sourcing and hiring talent.

Charlotte comments, “The first four employer brands I built at Fortune 500 companies followed the conventional employer brand methodology where you broadcast strengths and opportunities. But guess what happens? This creates a heap of challenges on the back end with a massive influx of unqualified candidates coming into your recruitment funnel.”

The answer, Charlotte says, is to use a two-way value exchange to articulate more than the benefits and opportunities. In this case, you lean into the harsh realities and vulnerabilities of your organization and communicate the demands and expectations that your company has of prospective talent.

In doing so, you can use your employer brand as a smart filter that sits between your recruitment and your recruitment marketing. This means you can repel the many and compel the few who are well matched to your unique organizational culture.

3. Dial up the personalisation in virtual recruitment strategies

It’s fair to say the world has changed a lot in the last three months, and many organizations have been forced to pivot and adapt quickly. The shift to digital has been challenging for some, particularly when it comes to ensuring the delivery of a high-quality candidate experience.

As our very own Ali Hackett notes, “Talent attraction teams have always been pulled in a million different directions, and now more so than ever. The best leaders are helping to enable the functioning of their team and articulate their employer brand proposition in the best way possible.”

To engage with talent in this new normal, Ali emphasizes the importance of implementing a virtual recruitment strategy that keeps candidates feeling engaged, informed and valued throughout the hiring process.

Ali says, “Working with 60 or so global brands, we’ve noticed that personalisation is key to engaging with talent virtually. Ask yourself, ‘What does my audience want right now?’ ‘How can I provide that to them?’ This could mean running skills-based sessions for students on how to build a great LinkedIn profile or how to build a personal brand.”

Ultimately, virtual recruiting strategies become much more effective when you tap into particular audience segments and layer these conversations with thoughtful and authentic employer brand comms.

4. Leverage employee-generated content

If you want to resonate with candidates virtually, then it’s vital that you tap into your organization’s greatest strength: its people.

Consider this: candidates are 3x more likely to trust a company’s employees than the company to provide credible information on what it’s like to work there.

As Ali notes, “Seeing content from real candidates and employees increases your credibility as a brand, because it’s believable and genuine.”

To leverage this, ask your hiring managers to run a live stream event for candidates, or set up an initiative where employees can share their own stories via video content and written blogs. Remember, authenticity is important in building trust and affinity with talent – especially when looking to connect with people virtually.

83% of candidates say the authenticity of company content would impact their level of trust in that organization, so spend time investing in your people. When you turn these stories into employer brand content, you can use the power of technology and social media to deliver humanised experiences – even if the candidate and employee never actually meet face-to-face.

5. Harness live chat technology to bring your employer brand to life

As new technology enters the scene, employers are now equipped with alternate methods for engaging candidates virtually. This means that social distancing restrictions don’t have to spell the end of authentic candidate engagement. With live chat technology, you can create real-time virtual events for candidates – run by your own employees.

If you’re thinking of investing in this software, then look for live chat technology that is fully customizable. Our platform, for example, allows you to bring your employer brand to life in a manner that feels truly authentic to your own unique identity.

Whether that means sharing blog posts, video content or information about roles and responsibilities, leveraging live chat rooms can be a fantastic way to double down on your employer brand values and help candidates feel connected, engaged and welcome.

6. 2020 could be the year of employer brand

As we round up our list, it’s important to take a step back and think about the role and value of employer brand from a wider perspective.

As Bryan notes, “I think we’ll look back on 2020 and consider this as the year of employer brand. True character is revealed under pressure, and I think it’s fair to say a lot of organisations are under pressure at the moment.”

“If you lack a coherent employer brand story, or you fail to understand your employee experience and identify what matters to your talent audience, then this could be a huge risk to your reputation.”

Bryan poignantly concludes, “How organisations communicate with employees and candidates has the distinct possibility of creating a long, lasting legacy – for good or for bad. For the companies that invest in their employer brand, there’s a real opportunity to take a giant leap forward.”

At a time of crisis, with so much worry, fear, uncertainty and volatility, it’s clear that your employer brand and employee value proposition can play a key role in providing certainty, clarity and familiarity to candidates and employees. For these reasons, and many more, it’s very possible this could be the year that proves the short-term and long-term value of investing in your employer brand. 

With clients in the USA, UK, EMEA and APAC, Meet & Engage is a global recruitment technology company that offers a suite of candidate experience technology to help employers engage with talent virtually.

If you missed the webinar and want to find out more about how you can dial up your virtual recruiting strategies, then feel free to reach out to conor.gilmore@meetandengage.com to discuss how we can help. Our Live Chat messaging platform, Candidate Experience Chatbots and Onboarding platform are all flexible and functional solutions for organizations looking to activate their employer brand and enhance the candidate experience.

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