May 23rd 2023
By: Andréanne Thibault

5 benefits of investing in your employer brand

Employer branding is now an essential aspect of recruitment today. After all, organizations are no longer just competing for products and services, but also for talent (because obviously, there is not enough to go around!). The concept is becoming increasingly topical, as the labour shortage has undoubtedly prompted many organizations to think about their human resources and, more importantly, what they can do to stand out from the crowd and attract the best candidates to their ranks.

Although everyone seems to agree on the principle, beyond being a trendy concept, what are the concrete advantages of having a strong employer brand for your recruitment?

Here are our top 5!

Drum roll!

1. The best target the best

That’s right! Unsurprisingly, the best talents want to work for the best organizations, i.e. reputable and attractive organizations. Your employer brand’s impact will be expressed not only by the number of applications, but more importantly, by the quality of the applicants. Since quality candidates are most likely already working somewhere (remember, we are in a full-employment context), they will not leave their current job before being reassured and convinced of their next choice of employer. They will therefore do more research to validate their perceptions (career page, testimonials, online reviews, etc.) and ultimately make a choice in that direction.

2. It allows for internal to external outreach

Since employer branding is all about retaining your existing talent, it means that the organization has above all the needs of its current staff at heart, as these needs are evolving. Whether it’s through surveys, focus groups or one-on-one interviews, the pulse is taken frequently to get a clear picture of the strengths and challenges of the employee experience in order to target actions for improvement. Organizations with a strong employer brand generally have a high internal referral rate. After all, happy employees tell their peers about it and encourage them to join the ranks with them (what’s better than working with friends?).

3. It differentiates you from others

As each human is unique, an organization made up of multiple people becomes even more unique! As a result, an organization’s culture is the aggregate of all these people, with its own DNA that distinguishes it from others. In other words: no two organizations have the same employer brand. It is precisely this “flavour” that candidates are looking for because they want to join an employer that corresponds to them in this uniqueness and authenticity. Normal is boring!

4. It manages expectations

Truthfulness is an essential aspect of a good employer brand. The opposite leads to failure, and that’s the risk of building your employer brand without consulting your employees. A strong employer brand means that the message conveyed externally is based on the internal reality, as perceived by employees (and not an image that one would like to be and/or that simply looks good). Consistency and honesty in the message help manage expectations and ensure a better fit between candidates and the organization. Truthfulness also means truthfulness about the less-than-stellar aspects. While from a candidate attraction perspective, it makes sense to want to put yourself out there (“marketing-wise”), it’s important to consider and mention the not-so-great parts of the job. Candidates want the right time and no one has time to waste (including recruiters). This expectation management may eliminate some candidates, but those who continue the process will know what to expect, which will limit the risk of disenchantment (when the coach turns into a pumpkin, the prince into a toad… you get the picture!) upon assuming the position and ultimately, the likelihood of resignation.

5. It makes your job easier

Whether it’s the average time to hire or the average cost to hire, having a good employer brand makes life much easier for your recruiters. Your reputation and notoriety bring more volume and quality applications and candidates who choose you for what you are. This limits the time required to fill positions and the costs associated with recruitment (posting platforms, advertising, headhunters, etc.). All of you who have invested in these tools are well aware that the average bill goes up quite quickly….! This also means that your managers will be grateful to you, as they often see their teams greatly impacted by the absence of one or more employees… Moreover, since the objective of the employer brand is also to retain your existing talent, this helps limit staff turnover (and therefore the number of positions to be filled) and therefore reduces the sense of urgency to fill positions too quickly … and to make mistakes!

**That being said, a large volume of applications can mean more analysis time, especially if your organization doesn’t have an ATS to help you sort and select the best applications from the lot.

In short, employer branding is a new necessity for any organization looking to modernize and improve the efficiency of its recruitment cycle.

As mentioned above, employer branding is not only about attracting, but also, and more importantly, about retaining. Purely speaking, little effort would be required in recruiting if your current talent all remained in place. That said, realistically, even good employers have some level of turnover and this is perfectly normal (sometimes even a good thing!). This means that there will always be some effort to recruit. So, what are you waiting for?

Andréanne Thibault, CRIA

Senior consultant, Talent Management