Capturing Authentic Employee Stories to Promote Your Employer Brand — Talent Works International
As the talent market is set to grow even more competitive in the coming year, Employer Branding is sure to be the main differentiator between organisations. How employees and candidates perceive a business as a place to work will hold more influence than ever before as employers become compelled to match salaries and benefits if they wish to attract top tech talent.
No one can control their employer brand; the very definition is how you are perceived. The only thing you can take ownership of is the content you put out there to show your company culture and make sure your values and culture live up to the promises outlined in your Employee Value Proposition (EVP). Therefore, you must communicate your employer brand in an authentic way that celebrates your best points.
One hugely influential part of communicating your employer brand stories is to give your employees a voice. Candidates are more likely to join the organisation if they hear about employees’ real-life experiences working with you. There’s a reason review sites like glassdoor are so popular with candidates. They want to hear the truth about working with you directly from the people who work for you. Sadly, you have no influence over the reviews on these sites, and candidates will notice any fake reviews pretty quickly. However, as an employer, you can control some of the content that employees put out, thereby giving them a platform and a voice to share their own stories and opinions.
We recently ran a blog writing workshop with cinch and worked on a filming day to capture employee stories and empower them to share their experiences. We filmed conversations with employees discussing their role, their favourite elements of working at cinch, and what incoming candidates could expect. However, we also shared tips for sharing stories and experiences beyond their role to help cinch become an authoritative name in the tech recruitment game.
The more content you put out into the world surrounding employment, the greater your employer brand awareness will be. It gives you more opportunities to be seen, and the more you’re seen, the more you’ll stick in the minds of candidates. Plus, your employees are likely to have a network of past colleagues, university course mates and other connections who are equally as skilled and qualified. Allowing employees to share their stories and content will expand your talent pool to these people too. With social media and digital content being one of the prime ways candidates research and find out about your business, it’s a valuable tool to teach them more about the positive aspects of your employer brand.
Here are our tips for sharing authentic employee stories:
As humans, we all take in information differently. Some of us are visual people, and others prefer to read; that’s what makes us all unique. Therefore, when you’re sharing employee stories, it’s great to try various content styles to resonate with more people than possible. That’s why when we went to cinch, we conducted a photo shoot, a video shoot, and a blog writing workshop. For our messaging to really hit home and give employees a voice on as many platforms as possible, we decided that a mixture of media would provide us with the best chance of attracting a wider talent pool and accurately portraying our employer brand.
It doesn’t have to be role-related
Of course, their role plays a huge part of their daily life, and it’s great for candidates to learn about the specific day to day experiences of engineers and tech professionals. But, an employer or career choice can also impact your employees in other ways. For example, they might want to talk about how their career has impacted their mental health, how they manage to balance a family with work or other aspects of daily life which could be relevant to future candidates. There’s so much more to working life than the actual day to day role, and your employees are best placed to talk about this. They’re the ones who experience aspects of your culture day in day out, they are the ones that are affected by issues, and they can make the stories more personal, which is always much more engaging.
They could also weigh in on trending topics in the world of work. For example, say an employer is facing an employer brand crisis and is making headlines, your employees may want to write about how they feel about this and how their employer is different. This is a great way to join in with online conversations and ensure your employer brand remains relevant and on topic. In addition, it keeps you one step ahead in the eyes of candidates.
Ask your teams to think back to when they applied
Chances are, as a tech startup, it wasn’t that long ago that your current team applied for a position you. This could be used to your advantage. For one, it will give you a wealth of content ideas, but it can also ensure that your blogs remain relevant to your target audience. If a blog aims to promote your employer brand, then you need to resonate with candidates; the best way to do this is to talk to recent applicants. Ask your teams what they wish they knew when they were applying? Which aspects of your employer brand helped to influence their decision? What were their biggest concerns? Most of all, understand what’s different to past employers or other companies they applied to. Then, use this as fuel for your content. By constantly engaging your team in these conversations, you’ll have a wealth of blog topics and content ideas, but also, your teams will be more motivated and encouraged to write these stories themselves.
Make it SEO friendly
Your blog can help your career site or overall website rank for specific keywords on Google if done correctly. This can help candidates find you if they use Google for their job search. And, if they’re just browsing for general career advice, say they’re in the early stages of theirs, or they’re thinking about reskilling into tech, your advice, articles and guidance will be some of the top choices. This means you’ll be top of mind when these specific candidates are eventually ready to apply. They’ll recognise your brand and the positive aspects they’ve read about while researching their career path.
If you use the correct keywords and add them into your blog in a way that feels natural, not spammy, you could start to rank for them. These keywords will help Google to know what your article is all about and understand more about your business so that the content can appear to relevant candidates. The ideal length for an article on Google is 1,500–2,000 words, but this doesn’t mean that you should elongate content and add in words for the sake of it. Quality is better than quantity. Adding links to other blogs and pages can also help Google gain more context and can help to keep your audience on your site for longer.
Share, share, share
An article or video is worth nothing if no one sees it. Social media is the perfect tool for sharing your employee stories. They have their own networks, as does your business. If they’re proud of the articles and content that they’ve created, then they’ll likely share it and have friends engage with it, which will ensure the largest possible network sees your blogs. This means that your employer brand will be shared with a massive amount of people in a way that shares valuable and engaging content rather than simply advertising vacancies. The more exposure your brand gets to potential candidates, the better and asking your employees to share content on social media is a great way to ensure that this happens.
Similarly, your employees may have their own content sources to inform them of industry trends and career news. If they have any newsletters that they subscribe to, LinkedIn groups that they’re a member of or if they’re an active member of forums, these could all be possible avenues to share your content on. Ask your employees where and how they engage with content or ask them to reach out to any of these newsletters. To reach tech candidates, you need to think like a tech candidate, and who better to do this than a tech employee?
Use your business marketing function and your employees’ networks to create as many touchpoints for candidates as possible and ensure that your content stands the best chance of being seen. There’s no harm in sharing content around the business and asking other team members to engage with it or share it themselves. Every little helps when it comes to getting brand exposure. The more momentum this content receives, the more willing employees will be to share their experiences and contribute to your employer brand communication strategy. Making it into a team effort will show you’re all in it together. Employer branding and reputation should be everyone’s business as all of your employees can influence it. It’s no longer just your talent team’s responsibility.