Employee retention has become even more important during the lockdown because the pandemic brought some changes to the job market. Due to the fact that a great number of companies failed to maintain their business and had to downsize their offices, on one hand, a significant number of professionals have become job seekers. On the other hand, the structure and mechanism of employment funnels have also changed, and most employers will agree that it’s getting harder to filter out the real talents, as the number of candidates entering the funnel is higher than before. Many HR specialists nowadays challenge themselves much to fill the vacancy, others find it simple due to the bigger number of applicants and their lower expectations caused by the crisis.
Observing the job market in general and having started my cooperation in the field of recruiting with one of the online language institutes, I came to the conclusion that employee branding is one of the key points of the modern business if it has got the right strategy and company owners to understand it’s importance. What is cheaper these days, to hire, or to retain an employee. In the short-term impact, I would say that for many companies which face low profitability, it’s getting harder to retain the employees each single day. But if to consider the long-term perspective, whether you have a good HR manager in your staff, you outsource your needs to the recruiting agencies, or you feel professional enough to hire people yourself, in all of the mentioned cases you’ll need the money and a great deal of time and effort. Proper employer branding strategy will help business owners retain their employees and hire new ones much easier. Let’s analyze a couple of examples. Do you consider your employees your stakeholders, clients, or just a labor force? That’s the main question you have to answer because in this way you can easily anticipate the problems that your company will face in the nearest future.
If a business owner thinks of the employees as the labor force, at least he/she should have a strong HR department that is capable of finding new employees quickly and with the minimum cost. Permanent staff turnover is one of the distinctive features of this type of company. So, fast recruiting and fast employee induction process are the main duties of HRM and their officers in such companies. On the other hand, we’ve got a bazillion of the platforms where the unsatisfied employees may reveal their opinion (if it’s not restricted by the contract), so sooner or later the employer’s brand will get the unpleasant consequences of this kind of strategy. And even in the period of economic crisis when people are more interested in any kind of employment the number of candidates entering the recruitment fallen will decrease significantly.
If the company applies the concept of “employees as stakeholders”, the situation differs much from those mentioned above. Employees think of the company brand as if it is their personal brand, they start to fulfill another kind of duties aiming to conquer the market share and raise the awareness towards the company brand among existing and potential customers. Within this model of cooperation, employers are not interested in the short-term employers as the process of induction, training, and the cooperation itself have some eye-catching costs, so the later the employee resigns, the more profitable is his/her stay for the employer. On the other hand, there is a great concern about the control of the way the brand is represented. For example, a company producing materials for the stretch ceilings with a lot of representative agents in different areas of the country, even having provided the mechanisms of presentation, scripts, and advertising materials, never knows how far can creativity of the employee go in the means of brand presentation and value proposition.
If the company thinks of its employees as clients, the other strategy is relevant for them. Among many other objectives, companies spend much time on preventing the brand switching of their customers, so in this way, they apply different marketing tools to assure the audience will stay under their flags. So, a similar situation happens when you have your employees on the client list. That’s why employee retention is one of the key goals. If you analyze the posts of these companies on social media, at least one out of 10 is dedicated to their employees: pictures from the last team-building session, the employee of the month details, greetings on the employees’ birthdays, and work anniversaries. If you have come to the conclusion, yesterday was the right time to start the employer branding, analyze the following tips that will help you start building the proper strategy with minimum cost.
1. Use your own resources
According to the recent researches, self-development, and career development opportunities in the company are the compulsory expectations for more than 70% of employees. That’s why if you are planning some changes in the company and establishing new departments or entering a new field of activity, don’t hurry to invite new employees, look for the necessary people inside the company. If your SEO specialist is looking for a content architect to write for your own site or outreach blogging, look who can do it in your company. If you know that Ms. Jackson from the production department has an interesting blog on Facebook and nice writing skills, and what is much more important, her working time is not that stuffed, talk to her. She’ll probably enjoy the new opportunity and some addition to her salary. In this way, you’ll demonstrate you appreciate the different talents and skills of your employees, provide them with new opportunities to grow inside the company, and of course, as a client, your employee’s brand switching cost will definitely raise.
2. Focus on education
Employee education should not be limited to the short sentence in your organization’s growth plan. It is one of the key conditions for successful employer branding. Of course, you must hire talents, but you also have to help these talents grow inside your company. Many business owners may say that it’s quite tricky, and having achieved additional knowledge employees may easily leave for better opportunities. And actually, it’s been one of the most common misconceptions among the companies who represent the so-called older generation. In this way, they limit their opportunities as far as professional growth and skill development are very important for employees. Moreover, the majority of employees see the reason to stay in this, as they feel the management understands they are worth time, information, and additional financial investment. Besides, if your employees grow and are further promoted to better positions inside the company, you can easily maintain and save the intellectual property, because each time a talent leaves the organization it’s a big loss. You need to find someone to replace him or her, and you face the problem of the informational drain inside the company.
3. Provide reasonable benefits
When the majority of us hear the word benefit, all of the muscles contract in our body, as the only thing we can imagine is extra fees. But don’t forget there are a lot of other things employees can get happy with. The first thing that is really relevant to extra organizational benefits is an opportunity to work within a flexible schedule. If your company focuses on task-based employee management, it’s a good thing to offer a flexible schedule for those employees who show better results. Some companies cannot afford to provide paid leaves for their employees, but if you know that your team needs a fresh air breath once in a while, manage their working hours in a way they can easily take advantage of additional days off.
4. Your success is the success of your employee
It’s always a big pressure to organize the process of hiring new talents in a short time. That’s why when we talk about the employer branding, we mean a combination of activities distant in time from the moment X, but that will help you reduce the cost and effort to hire new employers when you need it. The first thing you should pay attention to is the same strategy of humanizing your business. The same thing we do for the products and services in the process of branding is highly applicable to the process of company promotion in the field of employment attractiveness. Don’t turn your Instagram or Facebook page into a copy of your company’s catalog. Plan scheduled posts about your employees. Show that the working conditions in the company are safe, provide visual evidence. Of course, it must be TRUE! Corporate culture should be also shown: how you celebrate your holidays together, charity activities inside of the team, team building sessions, the employees of the week/month/year. Don’t be afraid to promote your employees, because, in this way, you show they are successful inside your company. It’s much better than if they were seen successful only in their own profiles without any mentioning of you. A successful company is not about the high level of its annual income, but also about the ability to develop a good working team.
5. Don’t forget about transparency
Setting goals and announcing them at the beginning of the year or a month, and then providing reports on their successful or not very successful fulfillment is very important. Your employees need to know where exactly you want to move and what you expect from them within this process of growth and development. Ask your employees about their ideas on how to boost productivity. If they feel they get heard, and they know the company’s plans, they feel that it’s more than work from 9 to 6, your company is a team, it’s their second family. Many business owners are afraid to share their plans with their team. It’s the same as if a father was afraid to share his ideas with his child. Being afraid, and the lack of trust shows that you haven’t been successful enough to build a good team, you can always be sincere with.
6. Use diversity and inclusion techniques in hiring
There are a lot of reports proving that ethically, culturally and racially diverse companies are more effective, more attractive for new employees, and have better potentials for stable growth. Companies mirror society, and they build this society at the same time. Cultural diversity can bring new colors to the informal communication between employees, and boost passive studying within the working process, as the employees of different national backgrounds can share really new and interesting experiences and approaches with each other. Inclusion strategies can’t be limited to the national and ethnic issues, you can also think about hiring a totally different employee or a consultant to fulfill the educational needs of the company of organizing the extra benefits for your employees. For example, a teacher of a foreign language is a good choice for a part-time employee in your company if you work internationally, and see that your employees find it necessary to get their language skills tuned. It’s a good tendency to hire a nutrition advisor, or a yoga trainer if your employees work long hour and their duties need constant sitting and a high level of concentration. They will definitely appreciate it. But pay attention that all the additional classes and training sessions should be included in working time. Otherwise, your employees will feel you are trying to use their personal time and won’t have any motivation for those highly effective tools.
Anyway, if you want to build a strong company brand, employer branding techniques and strategies for employee retention are very important to be taken into account. Be able to listen to your team, share your goals with them, and let them gore inside your company. Otherwise, they will easily find other places to grow and develop, but this time without you.
Looking forward to your comments 😉
Lots of love,