News & Blog

23 May

5 ways your SME business can build an enticing Employer Brand

If you think of the leading firms in your industry, who comes to mind? If you asked your staff which business they would most like to work for (if not yours), what do you think they’ll say?

Like ‘regular’ branding, ‘employer’ branding is about building personality, perception and positive feelings. It’s about the experience you promise someone when they interact with your organisation (in this case, as an employee).  It helps define what sets you apart as a workplace compared to the competition – and why great talent would choose to pursue their career with you rather than someone else.  

 If you’re a well known brand with a great reputation, or a big budget and team of HR professionals dedicated to talent acquisition, you’ve got a head start. But good news for SMEs, there are some simple and low cost techniques you can implement to compete with the ‘big boys’ in your field when it comes to attracting good applications.  

Be ‘always on’ when it comes to attracting talent   

They say that in an SME, the best time to recruit is all the time.  As a small business owner, finding the right talent to help you grow is important and therefore, something that you should be open to 24/7.  You don’t wait until a slow sales month to advertise for new customers and the same should apply to finding great staff. 

The downside of waiting until you actually have a seat to fill before talking to candidates, is that at any given time, only a small portion of your possible talent pool are open to opportunities. That’s why ongoing and consistent ‘you want to work here’ communications pay dividends.  Whether it’s paid advertising, SEO or social media, you should assign a small budget each month to employer branding activities.

Don’t limit your thinking to a single job post.   

Yes, you do need a Company Careers page  

69% of candidates are likely to apply for a job where the employer actively manages their employer brand.  First port of call; your website.  Can a prospective candidate easily see the benefits of working for you, what areas of expertise your regularly need and what opportunities you offer?

Don’t confuse this with your general ‘About Us’ company page.  You want to specifically talk to prospective employees and this needs more than a sentence about your values and how long you’ve been in business.  Dedicate at least one page to a well written summary of why someone would want to work for you vs your competitors, what benefits you offer and what you’re looking for in your team.  Share photos, publish vacancies and give insight into your people and culture.

Make it easy for people to express interest in working for you

This sounds basic but it’s important. Roll out the welcome mat, invite interested candidates to contact you 24/7 and make it easy via social media, email or online, even if you don’t have a vacancy.  

How do you manage all these EOIs efficiently? The best way is an online talent portal.  It’s easier to manage than a pile of emails and you can collate all EOIs from all sources, including social media. A talent pool system that enables you to find people based on their skills, respond to them and track communication will save you valuable hours.  It can also save you from having to advertise when you do have a vacancy.   Low cost cloud based systems can be implemented for less than $190 a month.   

Consider setting up a third party Company Profile page

Indeed, LinkedIn and Seek are amongst the big job boards that offer enduring company profile pages and reviews.  Used in conjunction with your own careers pages, these can help in your SEO, enable candidates to follow your vacancies, provide a platform for third party testimonials and make it easy for prospective candidates to research you when they are looking at your job adverts.  Cost and ease to set up varies by job board.

Identify your EBVP and work it

It’s important you assess your employer brand value proposition (EBVP) to get a feeling for what might set you apart for a potential employee.  If you don’t already know, ask your staff. Here are examples of some things they might tell you:

  • “I get to do more here than I would in a big firm, I’m learning on the job”
  • “My work here makes a difference to the team, I feel valued”
  • “I like how active the company is with local charity”
  • “The Friday night social club gets everyone together with partners and we always have fun”
  • “The boss is laid back and a great mentor”
  • “The company wins awards”
  • “I can bring my dog to work”

These insights can form the cornerstones of building a positive employer brand. These are the things you want to promote on your company profile page, your careers website and on social media.  

Big Splash specialise in low cost, effective ideas that build your profile as a great employer. Get   across major social networks, job search engines and on the relevant websites your candidate audience are visiting from just $450+gst per month.   

Need more convincing?  Read 3 reasons why your small business needs an employer brand.​

Learn more about starting an Employer Branding campaign

5 ways your SME business can build an enticing Employer Brand