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How startups can nail their employer branding to attract talent

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by Startacus Admin

employer branding
How do you make sure your employer brand knocks your competitors out of the park to attract talent to your startup? Dee Murphy, Organisational Psychologist and Head of Employer Branding at Jobbio, has this to offer...

JobbioToday’s employment market is a talent driven one.

More people than ever have high expectations of the companies they work for - a pay cheque doesn’t cut the mustard for job seekers anymore. A recent Jobbio study shows that for 18-35 year olds the ‘ability to develop and grow’ is the #1 reason to accept a job. 78% of people look into a company’s reputation as employers before applying for a job and 92% of employees would consider leaving their current job if a company with a better employer brand offered them a role. Over 50% of people would take a job that pays less in a company with a strong reputation. Reputation is everything and the power of online review sites like Glassdoor means that companies who don’t work on their employee engagement strategies will lose out in the war for talent.

So how do you make sure Employer Brand knocks your competitors out of the park? 

Create Your Story

Firstly, you need to understand who you are as a company. Not who you’d like to be - who you really, truly are. You need to create a story that embraces the ‘warts and all’ reality so you attract the right people for your working culture. Organise round table discussions, focus groups, town halls or anonymous surveys inviting your current employees (and even previous employer branding and hiring talentones!) to give honest, open feedback about what makes your company a great place to work, what makes it a challenging place to work and what it looks like on a really, really hard day.

Get your teams to tell you what they believe your mission and values are and harness all this great information to formulate your unique ‘come work for us’ pitch. Then educate your entire organisation and communicate the message often so there’s whole team buy in and everyone is singing the same tune.

Content Is King

There’s no point in having a great story, if nobody gets to hear it! You need publicity if you’re going to compete for top talent, which means creating content and distributing it through the right channels. Blogs, videos, eBooks and podcasts are all wonderfully engaging ways to tell your story - our research showed that 78% of candidates feel that behind the scenes video impact their perception of an employer, leading to a 36% increase in job applications.

If it all seems too daunting, never fear - companies like Jobbio have teams of specialists who can create this content with you and help you make the most of it by sharing it on the right platforms!

Let Your Team Tell Your Story

Your employees are unquestionably your best advocates - if they’re willing to talk you up it’s a great way to showcase your employer brand. Use the above mentioned platforms, and allow them to talk about their passion, their skillset and what they bring to the table. You’ll benefit from the networks of your individual employer branding and hiring talentemployees, giving you even more reach and a super engaged audience of passive candidates as well as active job seekers! Educate them on how to put their best foot forward - the best articles or videos are educational, helpful and insightful.

But don’t micromanage their efforts, encourage people to be candid and frank when it comes to the areas of the job or the company that they find challenging. This authenticity in your content will work in your favour, as candidates appreciate hearing about what works and what doesn’t. It also means that whoever isn’t scared off is likely to face these challenges in a positive way, they won’t feel sucker punched by unexpected downsides and they’ll be excited to face these challenges head on.

Get Online

Thanks to the power of social media, a global audience of millions is within easy reach. If funds allow, hiring a smart digital native with a solid understanding of paid and organic SEO optimisation to manage your distribution will give you an edge. From Facebook and LinkedIn to Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube, there’s plenty of community building platforms to leverage, but be aware that more channels doesn’t necessarily mean more traction - building communities is HARD!

You need to invest time in nurturing the audiences you’re targeting: understand your audience to make sure you’re sharing the right kind of content at the right time, get involved in online discussions, respond positively to everyone that engages with you (especially those with negative feedback) and monitor your progress and tweak your approach as you go.

Get Offline

As powerful as your online efforts can be, nothing beats face-to-face communication. Careers fairs are one route to accessing talent, but don’t be afraid to open your doors and host events of your own - inviting people to come and spend time in your office, meeting the people who work for you and learning about what you do and why you do it. Keep these gatherings informal - and if you can put on a spread of pizza and beer, even better! Also, get involved with what’s going on locally. Most cities have plenty of networking events that you can register for - target the ones that align with your hiring needs, mission and message (such as Dee Murphydiversity, coding or women in business events). Having your people sit on panels, deliver seminars or present keynotes as specialists in their field will give you credibility and a stage to tell your story. 

Dee Murphy is an Organisational Psychologist and Head of Employer Branding at Jobbio, developing innovative and engaging creative solutions to help clients build their culture and brand, target talent and engage their teams.

Connect with Dee on LinkedIn.

Find out more about how Jobbio can help you build your brand and attract great talent -


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Published on: 16th July 2018

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