Even during today’s tumultuous environment, maintaining your employer brand should still be a critical component of your talent strategy. Whether a company is hiring or perhaps downsizing, efforts to protect an organization’s reputation as an employer should remain a priority. A company’s brand will impact its future ability to attract talent, but there will be a halo effect on its overall business.

Elevate your attraction strategy with the right tools for the times

But to maintain your organization’s employer brand, you need a strategy that includes a robust set of tools that automate monitoring, planning and activating campaigns. Depending on your business, this can require extensive resources or very minimal effort. Whatever your needs are, be clear about the resources needed to build a strong brand and candidate experience. Doing so will ensure you will have an extensive and sustainable talent pipeline.

While some brand-building activities require subject matter expertise and project management skills, there are many tasks that can be automated or facilitated by technology. These tools help your employer brand managers focus on high-level, strategic work such as developing a compelling employee value proposition, nurturing brand ambassadors and creating an activation plan. 

Today’s technology is great for executing many painstaking, repetitive tasks, such as amplifying content or following up with job applicants. Others leverage artificial intelligence to make “smart” judgments about certain tasks such as data analytics. When integrated, they can serve as a powerful platform to activate your employer brand.

As with any class of HR technology, there are many to choose from, and no organization has unlimited budgets for employer brand-building tools. Some solutions, such as a recruitment marketing platform may be a significant investment, but others are free or are available at a minimal cost. To determine what’s right for you, establish clear goals for activating and monitoring your employer brand – whether that’s to improve your public employer review scores, draw more traffic to your career site or increase job applicant satisfaction. 

The bottom line: determine your budget for technology, and prioritize the investments that will help you attain these goals in the most expedient manner. Also consider the migration path of technologies you acquire, ensuring they can support your long-term goals as well as the immediate ones. Make sure that you budget for future expenditure because technology never stands still, and you should continuously monitor for innovation that can further your employer brand ambitions.

employee conversation
employee conversation

Tools to consider for your employer brand strategy:

recruitment marketing platforms

Possibly the most impactful technology, recruitment marketing platforms are proliferating rapidly as more companies focus on their employer brand. Typically a comprehensive suite of tools, the functionality of this technology goes well beyond the traditional applicant tracking system. Defined by analyst firm Aptitude Research as a platform that “manages outbound sourcing, inbound recruitment marketing and employer branding. A recruitment marketing platform includes capabilities that maintain the employer brand, foster candidate relationships, and enhance messaging and communication efforts.”

The 2021 Randstad Sourceright Talent Trends survey, which gauges the opinion of more than 800 human capital and executive leaders around the world, found that nearly half are investing in recruitment marketing platforms despite the decline in hiring globally. 

There are many good reasons for employers to invest in a recruitment marketing platform, including:

  • More efficient communication with candidates through e-mail and other automation
  • Tracking brand-building activities
  • Dashboard access to useful analytics 
  • Better management of career sites, SEO, referrals and talent communities/networks

All of these have an impact on the employer brand and candidate experience, and solutions such as Beamery can help employer brand managers, recruiters and other talent professionals enrich the recruitment funnel. Although it can be the most costly of the suite of tools you need, it can also perform the most tasks.

social media monitoring toolkit

One of the most important ways in which you brand reaches talent is through social media. Whether it’s your corporate brand on Facebook, your page on LinkedIn, the following of your Twitter account or the posts on Instagram, what you share through various channels – and shared about you online – should be carefully monitored. This will have a significant impact on your employer brand as many job seekers’ first contact with your business may be through social media. More importantly, you can tweak your employer brand strategy by listening to what others have to say about competitors, using this kind of feedback to create a differentiated reputation among your peers.

There are many tools available, and some of these have a minimal or no cost to implement. What may require more resources is training your employees to effectively use these tools to gather and disseminate data and recommendations. Some technologies help monitor many platforms such as Hootsuite, which is also a social distribution platform that supports major channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others), as well very targeted ones such as Chute for Travel. Other monitoring tools provide deep functionality such as TweetDeck, a complete monitoring and posting solution for all things Twitter. 

When it comes to measuring and tracking the employer brands of companies competing for the same talent you need, consider a platform such as HowSociable, which provides analytical data on any brand you wish to track – yours, competitors, industry leaders or others. Sites such as BuzzSumo can track content relating to your employer brand while Sprout Social offers a platform for leveraging employee advocacy to enhance your corporate and employer brand. 

There is a rapidly expanding universe of social media tools to help enhance your employer brand, but with so much to consider, be deliberate in what you choose and how you use it. Don’t forget that training is also a big element of the investment you have to make in social media.

employee brainstorming
employee brainstorming

candidate experience tools

According to the Talent Board, which publishes the annual CandE Benchmark Research Report on candidate experience, a host of tools are helping employers better communicate with job applicants, which leads to a stronger employer brand. For instance, it found that 43% of global companies in 2020 were planning to purchase text-based recruiting solutions in North America to reach talent, with the percentages lower in EMEA (18%), APAC, (31%) and Latin America (31%) respectively. 

Texting technology wasn’t the only one to gain momentum in the race to enhance the candidate experience. The report also found that the use of chatbots on career sites is also on the rise, up 15% since 2019. In fact, chatbots at times seem to perform better than human recruiters when encouraging workers to apply for roles. By being able to respond to candidates any time of the day or night, automation strengthens the perception of the employer as being more responsive.

For instance, AI-driven chatbot technologies such as Wade & Wendy provide virtual assistants to recruiters and job seekers. Using machine learning, the technology can help guide talent in their careers, suggest roles they are well qualified for and enroll them in talent communities. These tools are constantly evolving and learning. When incorporated into your recruitment process, it provides an always-on resource that offers a highly responsive way to engage with recruits.

Similarly, HireVue offers AI recruiting support that can help nurture relationships with active and passive candidates. By pushing content and regularly communicating with talent, it automatically strengthens an employer’s brand with its target audience.

employer review sites

How is your employer brand performing? This can be difficult to answer as the metrics are sometimes subject to interpretation, but employer review sites provide a solid glimpse into how current and former employees view your organization as an employer. Many job seekers often refer to these sites after checking out the career portals of prospective employers, so earning a high score will lead to greater attraction potential.

Sites such as Glassdoor and others provide a wealth of information on many businesses around the world. These portals offer authentic, unembellished reviews of companies, what it’s like to work there, the quality of leadership, corporate culture and other considerations. Some offer dashboards to monitor reviews and help employer brand managers to better respond to and engage with reviewers. All of these portals provide analytical capabilities that drill down to specific concerns or endorsements.

It’s important to closely monitor and manage your reviews and use available tools, such as dashboards, when available. This will help you benchmark performance and address issues before they become an impediment to your employer brand. 

looking ahead

There are many tools available in today’s tech-driven marketplace to help strengthen your employer brand. While we have listed only a few here, consider these as options you may want to more closely evaluate. For certain, there will be additional innovations to come along, and you may want to make additional investments. What’s important is that you continue to support your employer brand with a blend of processes, clear stakeholder ownership and the right tools to facilitate the effort.

about the author

Doris Schaad

Commercial Manager

Doris joined Randstad in 1996 and holds the position of Commercial Manager for Randstad Inhouse Services. Previously, she served as National Key Account Manager and District Manager for the Staffing Businessline. Doris is an employer branding expert and appreciates the interaction with customers. In her free time she is active and can be found out and about in nature or at the gym, which provides her with the ideal balance to her often busy workday.

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