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The HR’s Guide To Employer Branding In 2021 For Remote Companies

Remote employer brand is about where your remote employees stand in your company culture and what you have to offer your remote employees. If you are CEO or HR manager worried about your remote employer branding. Then this guide is for you.
Sagrika Mehta

Sagrika Mehta

Employer Branding

Employer branding has always been recognized as a core component of workplace effectiveness by helping in producing loyal employees and increase in productivity.

It is fast emerging as a long-term human resource (HR) strategy to attract and retain a talented workforce. 

“A strong employer brand resonates with the modern interviewer or candidate – it tells them you have an exciting company to work at and it gives you the edge over other companies that can’t tell that story”

James Parker, Senior Manager of Global Talent Acquisition.

Employer brand has been rightly called ‘The hottest strategy in employment’ by Sullivan.

The changes that came along with the pandemic in 2020 have further enhanced the importance of employer branding and its role in the new cultural movement in 2021.

What is remote employer branding?

Employer brand is how you are perceived as an employer by your former, present, and potential employees. The company’s values, culture, and mission all encompass this employer brand.

Remote employer brand is about where your remote employees stand in your company culture and what you have to offer your remote employees.

As Fleishman puts it, “How you market and position your company, not only as a great place to work but a great place to work remotely, is really important as that becomes more competitive.”

It’s an opportunity for your organization to showcase the value you offer your employees and highlight what makes you unique among your competitors.

It is the sum of your company’s efforts to communicate with your existing and prospective employees that your organization is a desirable place to work.

It describes your EVP i.e employee value proposition to employees in exchange for their experience, talents, contacts, or skills.

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Why should employer branding be your top priority?

employer branding strategy

Without Employer branding, hiring, and maintaining employee engagement and retention can become challenging and costly.

“Building an employer brand attracts and retains the right kind of people to fit your organization’s culture and strategy and aligns your employees’ work experience with your customers’ valued outcomes.”

Ken Carrig & Patrick M. Wright

It will help you promote a favorable image among potential as well as current employees.

It will not only help your organization recruit the best of the available talents across the globe but also contributes towards its competitiveness, retention rate, and employee engagement ratio.

According to LinkedIn, 75% of candidates research a company’s employer brand before applying for a job, and 86% of workers won’t work for a company with a bad or non-existent employer brand.

Not investing in an employer brand can cost a company an average of a whopping $5,000 per employee.

Can your remote employer brand impact hiring?

Employer Branding

Bad Recruiting can obviously cost your company a whole lot of money. No matter what kind of work you’re in, to help your company run and grow you need to emphasise on hiring quality employees.

LinkedIn found that 72% of recruiting leaders worldwide agree that employer brand has a significant impact on hiring.

The pandemic has changed the employers’ stance towards hiring. In the present competitive talent market, to recruit effectively for your organization, your brand needs to be known and understood.

“Those organizations that successfully develop, market, and maintain attractive employer brand images will move one step closer to winning the talent war” Crystal M. Harold & Kevin P. Nolan.

Simply put, your employer brand is your company’s reputation as an employer. If your company has a bad reputation, it will not only increase your cost per hire but also push the best talents away.

Harvard Business Review found that employers with a poor reputation had to offer a 10% higher salary in comparison to employers with a better reputation in order to get applicants to accept a position. In addition, companies had to pay $4,723 more per hire in order to convince a candidate.

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On the other hand, survey research suggests that a good employer brand can reduce your cost-per-hire by 50 percent. It will help you get 50 percent more qualified applicants.

Therefore it’s become necessary to strategically bring to the world the human side of the employer with branding.

 A robust and positive employer brand will help you attract the best talents for your organization. It can turn your organization into a talent magnet.

80% of talent acquisition managers believe that employer branding has a significant impact on the ability to hire great talent. 

In other words, when your employer brand is strong, your recruiters experience less friction introducing your company to top talent and getting them to the offer stage.

Remote employer brand for Retention

Research has shown a positive relationship between the outcomes of employer branding (job satisfaction and psychological contract) and employee retention.

Employee turnover can be reduced by 28% by investing in employer brand. (Office Vibe)

Many tangible practices and behaviors contribute to creating an employer brand. But the first step is research, engaging your employees, and listening to their feedback. To make things easier for you…..

Here are the top  6 strategies for you to upskill your 2021 employer branding

1Cultivate the desired company culture

Whether you are a small, medium, or large scale company office culture is the root of your remote employer brand.

Don’t distinguish between your office culture and remote culture. For example- HubSpot’s approach has been to stop treating remote culture as a separate wing of its employer brand.

2Measure and Adapt

Do an audit of your employer brand by measuring and adapting to the data. It will help you understand what is working in your company so that you can amplify it. You will also get a preview of what’s not working so that you can discover ways to improve it.

How can you measure your employer brand strength?

To determine whether the employee experience actually matches up to your employer brand or not, you need to understand and measure the employee experience.

For this, you can analyze data from employee surveys and exit interviews.

 You can also leverage tools like  Net Promoter Score, which looks at how likely your employees are to recommend the company as an employer.

You can also opt for monthly or weekly employee pulse surveys to help you take swift action.

Measure the employer branding awareness and performance by monitoring your social media mentions and interactions and engagement rate.

For example, you can collect the metrics of a number of good or bad reviews on your LinkedIn posts or the number of retweets by current and former employees. 

Measure the conversion rate to see if you have been successful in convincing those looking at your jobs to apply. Also, consider measuring the source of hire. 

Measure employee referral rates and employee retention rates.

Companies nowadays are also choosing AI-driven tools to get insight into their internal employer brand.

For example- Glint is an AI tool that offers employers continual feedback asking employees for feedback on important changes or events and analyzing their views and opinions about them. 

“A majority of candidates read at least 5 reviews before forming an opinion about a company.”

Websites like Comparably, and Indeed provide overall company ratings, CEO approval ratings, current and existing employee reviews, and many other helpful details. You can also use Glassdoor to measure your Brand engagement analytics, Sentiment analysis along with Reviews and ratings.

Use a multitude of metrics to measure your employer brand such as average time spent on-page to understand if your viewers can resonate with your content.

Net Promoter Scoring can be used to determine if you are delivering a good candidate experience, and total applications to see if you are succeeding at attracting new talent. 

You can also survey your new hires to determine how your employer brand had impacted their decision to work with you.

Remember: Only “Pick metrics that you know you can have an impact on, but that also move the needle on your overall recruitment goals.” –Hannah Fleishman, Hubspot

3See it to believe it

 glassdoor employer branding

Social Media a key aspect of building a strong remote employer brand. So, visualize your organization’s culture on social media. 

Leverage your social media marketing by thinking beyond the logo and slogan. And by making your employees’ voices heard.

According to jobbatical, at least 84% of organizations currently use social media for recruitment and 9% of those who don’t use it yet are planning to.

Case study

Talkspace

Talkspace an online therapy service provider has centred its entire Instagram presence around the company’s mission — to provide and advocate for mental health services throughout people’s daily lives.

HubSpot

From sharing quotes and resources to professing support of the Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ movements, HubSpot has found several creative ways to showcase their company culture and keep their employees across the globe engaged. This Instagram stories post by Hubspot shows their diverse and international cultures from Berlin, Singapore, Sydney. 

The diversity showcased on the Instagram account with many posts tied to real-life HubSpot employees within underrepresented groups, it inspires people to start working remotely, especially with them. 

Blogs are another source of social proof when it comes to employee experience at any organization. You can also use your blogs to create career-related content to build up brand awareness and covert qualified candidates.

Case study

Automattic

Automatticians write about their first-hand experiences in their blogs.

Buffer

Buffer through their blogs has established their employer brand as remote work experts.

You can also host podcasts by interviewing your in-house talent to speak for your employer brand.

Bonus tip: Create a Story Brand on social media.

As with all branding, crafting a strong remote employer brand is about good storytelling. Branding is about creating an emotional connection. Share your personalized story to stand out from the crowd.

Who can better tell a story than someone that’s lived it? Humanness really matters and people want to see human stories and the humans behind organizations. 

So let your employees tell their stories whenever possible for an authentic point of view that candidates will trust.  

4Define your EVP 

Employer Branding in 2021

A few things really don’t change when it comes to employer branding for a remote vs. in-office company. Defining your employee value proposition (EVP)is one of them.

Understand your company culture to define your unique brand promise in a creative way. Define who you are trying to reach and what you can offer your remote employees.

This can include work environment, benefits, culture, and other perks. An effective EVP states simply what makes your organization a great choice.

“Your Culture Is Your Brand” Tony Hsieh, Zappos 

 But just an attractive PR campaign can not make an effective employer brand. “ In the year 2021, potential talent will definitely look to work for organizations that appear to be values-driven and community-focused as much as they will look to focus on stability and growth.”-Economic Times  

Reinforcing your EVP through employee activities. 9 out of 10 candidates would apply for a job when it’s from an employer brand that’s actively maintained. (Workable)

People who are searching for Remote work opportunities are not looking for office perks. Here comes the culture to play an important role. Another important factor here is that your organization has to be remote-first to attract the best remote talents. As no one would want to be treated as second class citizens at your organization.

5Employee engagement is the new employer branding

Employee engagement is the foundation of your employer branding strategy. Because Satisfied employees are your loudest speaker box.

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How can employee engagement impact your remote employer branding?

Employee engagement impacts glassdoor reviews and further directly impacts the employer branding and which helps you attract talent even when you are hiring remotely.

Glassdoor is the site where past and present employees share information regarding a company’s internal culture and values, senior management, career opportunities, compensation and benefits and other aspects of working for the business.

Thus “a company’s Glassdoor rating is a mirror into what’s really happening within a business. If employee sentiment is high, this will be reflected in the Glassdoor rating”.-Jo Cresswell, Community Expert at Glassdoor.

Satisfied and engaged employees can directly impact your employer brand. Happy employees will recommend your company to their friends, it’s a sign of good employer branding.

“Every organization is known for certain things when it comes to how it treats its employees. This “employer brand” is a key part of what attracts talent to a company.” Edward E. Lawler

Your employees can be your brand ambassadors both inside and outside the office. They have the power to make or break your company’s brand. As Ted Coine and Mark Babbitt have said “ if the company is good, employees will say so. If not, they will say that too”

So how can you turn your employees into your employer brand ambassadors? 

  1. Focus on retention.
  2. Feature your remote employer brand on the company’s website, with videos that show employees talking about what it is like to work for the organization and what the brand means to them.
  3. Provide continuous growth opportunities.
  4. Set up an employee referral program
  5. Highlight employee testimonials on social media.
  6. Encourage your employees to be creative and express their personalities as well as their professional interests and experience in your blog. This will give the potential candidates a peep into the lives of their future colleagues. It’s a great way to hold attention.

Bonus tip: Employer branding starts and ends with your employees. Their experience mirrors what you’re communicating via your brand. Thus it’s very important to be honest while communicating your brand to your audience. Otherwise it can work against you as well. Make sure you deliver what you promise. If you don’t, new employees will quickly become disengaged and leave.”

6Align your internal and external brand communication

employer brand management

How the business communicates internally is just as important as how it’s presented externally.

Only 27 percent of employees believe in the purpose and core values of their employer’s brand, according to a Gallup survey. The solution is to create a culture that unifies your team and brand image. 

“Successful internal branding must involve all constituencies. Involve marketing, public relations, advertising, corporate communications, talent acquisition, learning and development, compensation and benefits, facilities, and any other group that delivers products, experiences, or amenities to employees.” Libby Sartain

How can you weave your brand into your company culture?

Educate your new employees on the company’s mission, values and culture. Educate them on the core business activities, processes, and philosophies that characterize how your organization does work day-to-day. If they know what your organization stands for they will reflect this on their interactions whether it’s a blog or on social media.

Brand content shared by employees has a 561 percent further reach than content shared by the actual company, as reported by Forbes

Reward on “brand behavior”.  Tenet Partners explain those rewarding employees for exemplifying the brand values develop a culture in which “employees feel nurtured and inspired to act on-brand.” 

Bonus strategy: Hold virtual events, summits, and career fairs to build personal connections with your potential candidates. It will give them a further look into your company.  

2021 employer brand predictions and trends

  • The relationship between employee and employer will be at the core.
  • More focus on candidate experience by HR technologies.
  • Organizations to be held accountable for public commitments.

Conclusion

To sum, the Remote employer brand is about how you communicate what you can offer to your remote employees by positioning yourself as the best place to work.

According to research from Talent Now, 84% of job seekers say that the reputation of a company as an employer is important when making job-switching decisions.

Elsewhere, 50% of job candidates say that they wouldn’t work for a company with a poor reputation – even if there was the prospect of a pay rise. 

This evidently shows how important a role employer branding can play for your organization.

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