Improve employer branding with employee onboarding
Hiring managers and recruiters understand better than anyone the investment of time and money that goes into attracting top talent. But what if quality job candidates began voluntarily reaching out to inquire about job openings? Imagine that your company’s reputation began growing through social media and word of mouth as a great place to work? What we’re talking about is the importance of building your employer brand. Moreover, how you can improve employer branding with employee onboarding – immediately.
Employer branding strategy
Image and reputation make up the two primary components of an employer brand strategy. Brands create a public perception using language that is strategically curated and upholds a unique tone of voice and personality. This conveys the employer’s Unique Value Proposition and is used for marketing and job postings.
However, a great brand must offer a great brand experience, and if the two don’t align, there’s a problem. This is where reputation can tarnish your brand credibility. Reputation is made up of a mix of sentiments from clients, your customers, your people (employees), and also potential employees who are your candidates.
Individually, each will form judgments about whether to work with you (clients) or work for you (employees). Collectively, these sentiments form an organization’s rating as an employer of choice.
Cultivating the right image is widely understood, but forging a healthy reputation is not as straightforward. Employers need to be aware that candidates can be particularly astute and are likely to see past a media-rich career page on your website with a compelling job description that promises cultural incentives. If the promises don’t hold up in reality, top talent won’t walk through the door.
The power of the internet on employer branding
Employee experiences with your company can spread like wildfire on social media and employer review sites. This access to personnel connections is frequently taken into account when deciding whether to apply for positions or whether to accept a job offer. Popular sites like Glassdoor, where employees rate their employers, are commonly used by employees to see if they want to apply or choose a job.
A recent survey shared by CNBC found that “1 in 3 people have turned down a job offer because of a company’s bad online reviews”.
Most employee review sites offer potential candidates the opportunity to review a company from the moment of their first contact. Some employees write reviews before they’ve even started the first day. Bad onboarding is a common theme when it comes to employee reviews and could include comments such as, “I was hired, but haven’t heard a word. I don’t even know where to go on my first day”.
On the contrary, a positive review could read, “I feel like I’m a part of the team and I haven’t even started yet”. Investing in the employee experience in the onboarding phase is critical for employer branding. Chances are likely that job seekers and job candidates alike in the interview process will take notice.
Employee onboarding can jumpstart employer branding
Take a moment to hear the story of “Patrick”, our fictional friend who nonetheless depicts the real-life power of employee onboarding on employer branding. Patrick accepted a job offer from a national retail chain nearly two weeks ago. He has just a matter of days now before his first day but has received no contact aside from the offer letter.
In the meantime, he received another job offer from a competing store. This was in thanks to an employee referral from his friend who worked there. He heard great feedback from his friend which was confirmed by online reviews that showed a stark difference in how the employers treated new hires.
It wasn’t a hard decision for Patrick to rescind his job acceptance to the initial job just a day before he was due to start. He would normally have felt bad for doing so on such short notice, but it didn’t seem to him like the company would have cared all that much.
Read our article on employee pre-boarding to learn more.
He has been on the job for two weeks with the second company and his experience has been much better. During the pre-boarding phase, he received his onboarding paperwork as well as a video introduction to his direct supervisor.
As the first day neared, he received detailed instructions preparing him for his first day with answers to frequently asked questions. He already felt like a valued member of the team and couldn’t wait to get started. He was so impressed that he filled out a Glassdoor review about the interviewing process and posted his experience on Linkedin and Facebook.
Patrick participated from the moment he received his first pre-boarding messages. These formed Patrick’s perceptions of the company culture rather than leaving it to chance. He was impressed with the level of organization and communication throughout the onboarding process.
Employer branding efforts pay off
By using the right process, tools, and culture for great onboarding, you enable people to do their best work. Employees attain a strong sense of belonging, self-esteem, and even self-actualization.
This will consequently build your company’s employer branding and, by default, enable it to retain the best people. The employee onboarding process is a powerful place to start. This stage of the employee experience is the first impression and initiation of the employee into the company culture.