How to scale up Technology teams in a competitive hiring market?

Posted 14/5/2021 by Yvonne Moffat

Part 2: Your Employer Brand

This is one of the most important and often overlooked or neglected areas within a growing technology firm. The way companies recruit candidates for jobs and retain employees has changed. This is largely due to technology advancement, social media, and sites like Glassdoor that make it easier for job applicants to find information. The job market in the Scottish Tech industry is also unique in the sense that demand far outweighs supply when it comes to jobs created in relation to skilled candidates available. So creating a buzz around your company, with the aim of enabling your workplace to become a destination point for top tech talent is absolutely essential to enable high volume and sustainable growth.

By neglecting the importance of a strong employer brand, your company is missing out on top candidates, therefore impacting profitability and affecting other areas of the business. When growth comes as a result of increased workload, then failing to hire can mean lack of strategy, overworked employees, or staff having to fill into roles they don’t necessarily want to do. Another warning sign for attrition!

What is Employer Branding?

Simply put, this is your company’s reputation as an employer and the value it brings, or what it offers, to existing and prospective employees. Having a positive employer brand is critical not only to attract new employees – but also to avoid attrition and losing talent to competitors. We tend to find the average tenure of an employee is far higher within a company who gets employer branding right. Having colleagues and interviewers who have been with the company for a long period of time establishes confidence to new prospects.

I also think it’s important to differentiate between the consumer-facing brand – how your company is perceived by customers and clients – and the employer brand. Again, the companies that do this right manage to put focus on both external branding pieces equally. For example, some of the leading Tech employers in the UK will have a separate website or app for potential candidates than they would customers.

What can you do to maximise your employer brand?

  • Meetups and community events: Meetups (when safe to do so!) are a fantastic way to organically promote your technology, culture and people. Some of the leading tech companies will host events at their offices – a great way to show off their work space and the people who work there. These conversations are so important for long term branding strategy and looking at big picture growth. A lot of the attendees won’t be going for the sole purpose of finding a new job, but you can bet that a positive impression of your company from this event will mean that you will be at the very top of their list whenever they consider entering the job market.
  • Social media: Don’t be afraid to utilise social media to sing your praises! You’d be amazed at the amount of incredibly cool companies that I work with on a daily basis who don’t realise how brilliant their work is and how engaged their workforce are too. Make sure you are posting frequent, engaging and diverse content on all relevant platforms.
  • Have your employees fully engaged in what the company is doing: Encourage blogs, learning and development, upskilling and certifications. And then share these back to the community! People love seeing companies that empower their staff and encourage them to progress both personally and professionally.
  • Videos, podcasts and promotional activities: human beings are visual creatures and we all want to be able to get a true feel for what life in the company is like. Consider having a number of promotional videos on your careers page that include a full range of your employees. Showcase diversity, share success stories of promotions or successful projects. Make it real, make it believable and make it personal. People can see past the ping pong tables, beers fridges, bean bags and expensive coffee machines when the culture of the company is false! It’s great to be able to share this with candidates who are going through your interview process too. This helps to decrease drop outs, improve performance as candidates are full bought in and ready to impress and increase overall candidate experience and likelihood to recommend to a friend (even if unsuccessful in landing the job).
  • Be proactive on career sites: You need to make sure that your company is synonymous with hiring within your specific sector or skillset. By ensuring you have the right message, rightly worded job adverts and direct traffic to the right information points you will become engrained in the subconscious of candidates and be the first place passive candidates think about when they consider the next step in their career.
  • Work with the right recruitment agencies who will accurately promote your brand (wink wink!): At Net Talent, when we engage with a company we are to all intents and purposes an extension of the business. We help to promote the company to the right people, share the story on a personal level, and engage candidates who aren’t active on social media or wouldn’t normally hear about your company otherwise. By selecting the right recruitment partner, not only do you help to fill existing vacancies, but you are engaging in the best form of word to mouth, organic marketing possible. Recruiters can get a bad rep (and in some cases deservedly so!) but we pride ourselves in working in partnership with our clients and providing a full end to end service which encompasses employee branding.

Why An Employer Branding Strategy Is Important:

 

Remember – it can take time to build an employer brand. You need to be fully invested, appreciate it can take time to build and also be mindful that it can also disappear a lot quicker than you might think!

The best way to truly understand why having an employer branding strategy matters for your company is to see some real world stats.

As a massive data geek, here are some interesting points to validate the importance of your brand:

  • When making a decision on where to apply for a job, 84% of job seekers say the reputation of a company as an employer is important.
  • 9 out of 10 candidates would apply for a job when it’s from an employer brand that’s actively maintained.
  • 50% of candidates say they wouldn’t work for a company with a bad reputation – even for a pay increase.

 

Final thoughts:

Having the right employer brand in place should be the first thing you think about before hiring. One of my favourite quotes:

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” - Abraham Lincoln.

By getting the brand right and creating the right perceptive of your company to market, you will make hiring so much easier than coming in from a standing start. Your inbound and direct applications will increase, your engagement levels will sky rocket, you will help to keep current employees happy and you will save massive amounts of time and money. Other trickle down affects in the business will include an improvement in business development and sales platforms. You’d be amazed at how important it can be for potential customers to buy from a company that is full of happy, empowered and motivated employees who truly believe in what they are doing.

As always, I welcome feedback, discussions and will be happy to expand on any of the above to whoever is willing to listen!

Darren Dalrymple

Comments

Hey, What a fantastic post! This is a wealth of useful information. Check out https://www.primedtalent.com/recruitment If you want to hire job-ready professionals for your organization.
Posted on October 19, 2021 by Primed Talent
Hey, What a fantastic post! This is a wealth of useful information. Check out https://www.primedtalent.com/recruitment If you want to hire job-ready professionals for your organization.
Posted on September 23, 2021 by Primed Talent

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