How to promote Employer Brand at campus

Through the eyes of the candidates (The writer had been a candidate for many years!), it looks like almost every employer proposes the same values. The companies seem indifferentiable due to one simple reason: Everybody wants to reach the same talent -those with the highest potential. What’s more, those candidates would also like to enrol with the best employers. So if you are not a “Favorite employer”, then who are you left with?

The situation we find ourselves in could be better described through the 80/20 rule or the Pareto Principle. The rule asserts that, in many cases, 20% of all input results in 80% of overall output (Although the percentages might change up to or down to 10 points) This also means that the efficiency of your workforce is probably such that the 80% of our company’s outcome is the result of 20% of your employees -those people are vital. Similarly in our industry, every employer wants to hire the top 20% of the talent available in the market. This means that the classic rhetoric of “choosing a talent” has shifted, as now the talent chooses the employer instead. We have to be -really- fast to snatch that talent! As we are talking about the young people who cannot bear slow progress, your top candidates will probably get enrolled without a chance of you even making the first contact.

In an environment where many employers have some kind of “best employer” badge or competitors are known for their consumer brand, it might be difficult to both attract attention and stay in the mind of young candidates. However, talent acquisition is not the only step required for the efficiency of the company, thus a performance indicator of HR. Even before post-pandemic “The Big Quit”, people -especially young talent- tended to change jobs every 2 years… Either due to a projection of a better salary or a better title. This takes us to two main take-aways:

  • People may choose by prestige, but they are retained/engaged by the culture. Culture cannot be conveyed but experienced
  • The talent might leave due to being offered better functional benefits by an employer, and they might just leave… Nevertheless, if this person had a satisfying employee experience, they could both:
    • Come back later to you for the same or a higher position after improving their skills & vision as a result of experiencing different culture(s)
    • Refer you as an employer to their network, providing you with the best possible leads for the right talent.

We strive to create a sustainable talent pipeline with your employer brand. And how we do it is via employer branding, i.e. with communication activities, continuously attracting people by always holding a differentiated place in their minds. There are a plethora of ways for gaining exposure on the Campus and for overall Young Talent. However, before starting your brand communications, we have to make sure of a few key points…

Choose one: best talent vs right talent

Organizations strive to employ the best talent in the market, however, retaining the talent is even more crucial. Bearing in mind the various resources for the training and the integration of a newcomer, we could both see the importance of internal employer brand strategies and employer branding. In some cases, hiring the “best talent” might even hurt both the employer and the newcomer. If the P/O fit (Person/Organization Fit) does not show itself in the relationship, the employee would continuously lose motivation until it is time to leave for a better culture that fits them better. One can benefit from previous (and new) employee engagement surveys to prevent situations like this. Researching & analyzing existing employees to see the background of the best performers would greatly help create a candidate persona. In line with your best performers & growth strategies; then you could define the target audience best suited for our culture (Target universities, departments, etc.). Maybe your best-performing newcomers will come from backgrounds you have never even thought of! Better get prepared for the moment when there…So, what is YOUR elevator pitch as an employer?

Improve: Candidate Experience

We have taken this logically further away step from the beginning, as there is a lot to plan for and constantly improve on… Attracting the best or the right talent would do you no good if the candidate gets seriously frustrated by the brand image or application journey you provide. Whatever the step of the journey; think like the candidate while designing UI & UX (User Interface & User Experience; this also includes being consistent and & simple in communications) and make them feel like you are always there for

them. If you are successful in these simple steps, most probably you will create great word-of-mouth! Just remember: Candidate communication is not only about automated journey emails. Campus events, virtual office hours, interview workshops and more are also instances of candidate experience.

The “experience” factors are vast, but your authenticity approach holds great importance to attract the best talent best fit for your culture: Stand out to have not only a place at top of people’s minds but also a differentiated place in their hearts. As mentioned before, almost every employer seems to hold the same values, principles and vision-mission statements. So…

  • How much are you able to support your declarations with observable facts?
  • What tone of voice do you have, what does your design style say about you?
  • Were you able to clearly describe the roles with authenticity (Content & design) wise?
  • Can you walk the talk? For example, do you have Employee Generated Content for your diversity & inclusion approach?
  • Did you choose & train your internal speakers who will be the face of your employer brand, representing your culture and purpose?
  • How differentiated is your EVP?

A strategist could increase the number of questions immensely while getting to know the company as a corporate organization and an employer. In the meantime, you can work on the most visible side of yourself as an employer…

Connect: Digital

The classic paradigm had completely shifted in the post-pandemic era: From “good if has digital presence” to “good if has authentic, active, coherent presence and bad if not up-to-date & authentic”. Imagine your journey as a brand-consumer: Once we are aware of a brand or product, we tend to do a quick web & social media search. Now, let’s apply this to our topic: You -hopefully- offered a very attractive campus visit experience to the young talent. But once they reach the corporate site, they encounter a career page with very formal language and no image or video proof of people & culture… Not a good sign! Of course, a continuously updated career website or web page should also be accompanied by a great career social media page. We have talked about the importance of great social employer branding with 29 examples here.

Establish: Seamless Employee Onboarding & Orientation Process

People share on Social Media the most when they are excited… And starting a new role at a new company is pretty exciting! Clear job & process definitions, branded & thought-out content, buddy systems, weekly check-ins and more are just a few that come to mind. There is no clear-cut definition of a one-size-fits-all onboarding program. However, making the newcomer feel safe and like they are part of a community would help immensely for their motivation. The young generation might tend to switch employers after 1-2 years, but impressing them with your culture would result in great employee branding.

Integrate: EVP

Have you held or observed national research concerning what young talents want from an EVP? Mainly…

  • Opportunity: What they can accomplish with you, how they will grow and be supported, recognized, and move through the career ladder.
  • People Culture: How they can build relationships and be active, be included, in addition to how diverse, agile, transparent and horizontal you are.
  • Corporate: How your company is differentiated concerning continuous re-invention, vision, growth strategies, and more.
  • Rewards: What benefits does the employer offer other than a salary?

Increase: Visibility

We have now arrived at the meat & bones of what you came for: Online or offline career communications (including events) for the young talent, organized by student bodies/clubs, schools or corporations/agencies. Constantly meeting new people to further their careers faster is also a huge push for young talent, too. Cooperating with student bodies could benefit you with the highest quality leads available through peer networking. What’s more, they could also be your brand ambassador, supporting you through the details of activities.

If you are not sure about how to begin or operate these communication ideas, it might be a sound move to search for a brand communications agency with proficiency in this area. Administrating both brand management and operations management can be a difficult endeavour throughout your daily tasks. You will also need online or offline recruiting materials and promotional materials for events.

Let’s gear up to make everything exciting, ensuring that what we do is share-worthy, and thus reaches their peers. We will delve into the details of the below engagement ideas soon!

CAREER EVENTS

  • Career Fairs
  • Career Summits / Conferences/ Seminars / Panels

 INTERACTION

  • Class inclusion
  • Project inclusion
  • Interview simulation
  • Workshop (For soft skills or hard skills)
  • “Tea talks”
  • Corporate trip
  • Online Q&A session

YOUNG TALENT PROGRAMS

  • Internship program
  • MT program
  • Online experience/certificate program
  • Mentoring-Reverse Mentoring program
  • Brand Ambassadorship program

COMPETITIONS/CONTESTS

  • Ideathons/Hackathons/Bugathons
  • Quizzes
  • Case Studies

 

In the meantime, you can download my free ebook creating an authentic employer brand here or you can join a free week session of Employer Brand Academy certificate courses here.



Author: Ali Ayaz
Ali Ayaz is an Employer Brand and HR Consultant with Modern Management Consulting who is well-versed in Employer Brand Development, Candidate and Employee Surveys, Recruitment and Employee Engagement. Having successfully completed Employer Brand projects with multinational blue-chip companies in Automotive, Banking, FMCG, IT, Telecom and Retail industries, he teaches employer brand management, human resources and fundamentals of management at Employer Brand Academy (online) and European School of Economics (London). He is the author of the e-book “How to Built a Robust Employer Brand Strategy” and founder of the Employer Brand Academy. He is a chartered member of CIPD - the professional body for HR and people development.

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