Gone are the days when companies rely solely on job boards and recruitment agencies to recruit talent. Today, social media is becoming part of the recruitment marketing mix as companies start to realise its pros: jobs can be filled faster due to social media’s high usage rate and immediate response time; a larger pool of qualified candidates will know about the openings through social networks; and low cost with high return on investment (ROI) amongst other benefits.

 This is not surprising with the massive growth of social media over the years. 2012 saw a 305% increase in the number of social media users since 2009. More popular sites have attracted hundreds million of users – LinkedIn (150 million), Twitter (300 million) and Facebook (845 million). Today, social media has become a part of our lives and we use it for so many purposes – shopping, networking and searching for jobs (and even love) online!

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This social media boom has created an opportunity for companies to tap on more channels to increase the visibility of their employment brand online and promote interaction with candidates. What is surprising is while employers see social media as a useful recruitment tool, they are not actively using it to recruit talents according to the 2013 XpertHR survey - only 46% of employers use it.

SEE ALSO: Why Your Employer Branding Matters

How can companies leverage social media for employer branding?

Besides consistent communications of the Employee Value Proposition (EVP) to candidates and employees, it is important that internal and external communications work in tandem to optimise employer branding online. Some suggestions are to:

  • Build online profiles

Create a full company profile which communicates the EVP to candidates. This also serves as an example for employees on the tone, style and content of the company’s social media presence.

  • Support virtual interaction

Use a channel to promote ongoing conversations for candidates to ask questions and connect with employees. This can draw on the passion of employees.

  • Engage in online forums

Employers and employees can contribute to online groups and provide useful information about company, and leverage employee testimonials to make its online presence more genuine for candidates.

  • Encourage employee profiles

Train employees to use social media platforms – build their personal brand and promote the EVP. This sends a strong signal to candidates that employees are proud to endorse their company.

  •  Think about multiple profiles

While this may not work for a smaller company, a larger one may want to consider multiple profile pages such as different job functions or geographical locations to target candidates more precisely.

  • Think before you jump onto the social bandwagon

It is important to have a strategy for social media recruitment – what your company wants to do and how to do it. Here are some points and questions to consider:

  • Set objectives

Be clear about your business, marketing and social media goals. Do you want to drive recruitment, build employer brand awareness or reach new candidates?

  • Understand target audiences

Know the social graphics of your candidates. What are they doing online and who are their social influencers?

  • Validate through social listening

Conduct a market analysis. Do you understand your employer brand presence in the social space? What are your competitors doing online?

  • Define your strategy

Establish resources, roles and stakeholders, and plan for budget. Who is the social strategist and community manager in your company? Do you have funds for headcount, tools, training, development and consulting?

  • Define implementation plan

Select the channels and plan the content. Do you want to use LinkedIn, Facebook and/or YouTube? What are the types of posts? What is the content calendar line-up?

  • Define rules of engagement

Work out disclosure/ethics, social media, community and response policies. Have your employees attended social media training? Do your company and employees know how to response to comments posted in the social media?

  • Establish ongoing measurements

Set quantifiable goals and metrics to monitor. Do you want to raise awareness about your EVP or increase website traffic? How will you track the responses?

Social media will continue to be an employer branding trend in 2013 and it is important that employers leverage on social media to reach the talent pool, as part of the communications strategy. Companies who use only one-way or two-way communications may not be able to reach out effectively and efficiently to candidates and employees. Engaging the target audiences and promoting interactions about the company in the social media can help companies to build trust in the EVP and strengthen their employment brand.

Talent War

In today’s talent war, a strong internal and employer brand can help companies attract and retain top talent and positively impact its business performance.

Companies that are perceived to be attractive employers will find it easier to attract talent as people want to work for popular employers. By communicating about what the work environment is like, companies are also more likely to attract the right talent that fits their organisational culture. More applicants, better candidates and higher offer-acceptance rates are critical for employee attraction in today’s tight labour market.

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A strong employer branding also goes a long way in engaging employees. By developing consistent internal and external messages about what it is like to work for the company, employer branding creates a stronger corporate culture. An attractive employer creates a positive image in the mind of employees. A company’s reputation is among the factors that potential employees consider when choosing a job. A reputable company is which makes them proud to work for the company and motivates them to stay.

To remain an employer of choice, companies will also implement better management practices such as talent development and performance management programmes that will further enhance talent retention which in turn, reduces recruiting cost and attrition rates.

By hiring and retaining strong talents, companies can grow and maintain a competitive edge. Corporate and employer brands are also interlinked. Like employees who want to work for top employers, customers want to do business with a popular employer. Thus, a good employment brand supports the corporate brand and creates positive effect on the business.

Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

At the heart of employment branding is the Employee Value Proposition (EVP) – the perceived employment experience that a company offers employees. An EVP includes total rewards, purpose and values of the organisation, job nature, culture and colleagues. Only an established EVP will allow employer branding to unleash its full potential to communicate the key propositions why people want to work for the company.

Many top employers have compelling EVPs which enables them to build strong employer brands that enhance employee attraction and retention. Let us take a look at some of the world’s most attractive employers in 2012 (based on Universum’s global index of employer attractiveness) and find out what differentiates them in the marketplace.

 

  • Google

The world’s most attractive employer receives over one million applications a year! Google’s employer brand is clearly communicated –  the technology giant offers a fun and creative work environment that requires employees to play hard and work hard, and to collaborate with great people to solve big technology problems and produce great results. Candidates know what to expect and want to be part of this culture.

 

  • L’Oreal

L’Oreal is an award-winning company for both its products and human resources initiatives. Its slogan ‘Because you’re worth it’ is engrained in its culture and conveys that employees deserve the long-term investment that the company has put in them. Policies such as global profit sharing and good career prospects make it an attractive place to work.

 

  • Procter & Gamble

By building from within, Procter & Gamble consistently put out the message that it encourages employee potential and enables them to succeed. Its internal people development system is what makes its employer brand unique and differentiates it from competitors. The internal promotion mechanism enables employees to identify with the corporate culture and contributes to the development of the company and the employees.

 

  • Microsoft

Microsoft has strong values that focus on a global approach, highest quality, and innovation. Employees are given the opportunity to work with innovative products. Externally, the company emphasizes on being creative on the job. Internally, the company ensures that employees can develop continuously and strike a work-life balance. This aligns with its employer branding of being innovative, powerful and global.

 

  • Unilever

At Unilever, product innovation and sustainable living are the crux of its brand. This intertwines with its employment brand to be the employer of choice for people who want to work on the future in a sustainable way. Its ‘Made By You’ message communicates that employees have the opportunity to build big consumer brands and develop lasting, challenging careers at the same time.

 

Five steps to Employer Branding

Universum, the global leader in employer branding, suggests five steps for companies to develop the employer brand:

1.    Research

Know the positioning of your company in the employment market so as to determine the appropriate action plan.

 2.    Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

Analyse the factors influencing the employer brand, and define a strong and true EVP. This will help you to deliver sound communications and develop an attractive employment brand.

 3.    Communication strategy

Choose the most efficient and effective channels to reach the talent pool. It is important to emphasise the most attractive factors and be consistent in employer communications.

 4.    Communication Solutions

Use the right words and images to express your company’s EVP so it is in line with the corporate identity and branding efforts. Always strive to develop consistency for all communication materials.

 5.    Action

Implement all the steps, monitor closely what works and adjust the action plan all the time. It is important to set clear and measurable goals on what your company wants to achieve with the planned activities.

 

If your company has not started on the employer branding journey, it is time to take the first step and reap the benefits of a strong employer brand.

Cindy is a freelance writer and has 10 years of communications and human resource experience in the public and service sector. She is an expert in employee engagement and employer branding and has won major HR Awards.

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Are you working in HR?  We can help you with your employer branding. Reach out to us at contact@jobiness.com

 

Welcoming distractions, procrastination and entertaining all your boss’ requests are among the ways of looking really busy at work without getting anything done. To make up for this, sometimes we work overtime just to feel better about our lack of focus. How can you really make the most of your 9 to 6? You can achieve more during your work hours by simply working smarter, not just harder.

 

Apply these tips to achieve higher productivity and better results:

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1)    Start your day with a to-do list.

After listing your tasks, prioritize them according to importance and deadlines. One simple way is to give an ABC rating of your tasks – ‘A’ for critical ones (must be done by the day), ‘B’ for less urgent but important tasks (can be tackled after ‘A’) and ‘C’ (can be completed later). Doing so will help you to stay focused.

 

2)    Procrastinate no more.

Do you find yourself doing tasks that you like first? Tackle more challenging tasks when your energy level is high at the start of the day. It is tough to be productive when you start feeling tired during the day. Overcome procrastination by breaking complex projects into smaller parts so you can focus on completing one at a time.

 

3)    Organise your desk.

Are you spending too much time on searching for documents, tools or files? A cluttered desk can be a source of stress. Precious time can be saved if you keep your desk organized. Remove the clutter on your desk by designating places for different items, getting rid of things that you don’t need and creating folders for meetings and projects.

 

4)    Take enough breaks.

Do not feel guilty when you take a toilet break or walk to the pantry for a coffee break. Studies have shown that taking regular breaks at work can improve productivity. They help you to clear your mind so you can continue your task with a fresh mind. If you are tired, staying focused on your work will be a challenge.

 

5)    Learn to say no.

Being excellent at work does not mean you have to say yes all the time. You have a good reason to say no if you simply do not have enough time to help your co-workers or your other work will suffer if you take on a new project. By saying no, you can concentrate on the tasks at hand and deliver them on target. Explain your reasons to your boss and colleagues so they can understand where you are coming from.

 

SEE ALSO: Finding Meaning in Your Job

 

6)    Stay away from distractions.

Do you know that checking emails whenever you receive a notification or chatting with colleagues who stop by your desk will take you away from getting work done? Reducing distractions can help you to focus on completing your work. This includes saying no to social media. Carve out work periods, retreating to a quiet zone and disabling digital notifications to minimise interruptions.

 

7)    Focus on one task at a time.

Research has shown that multitasking is counter-productive. Reading your emails while making a call may result in you not fully comprehending the messages. Staying focused on one task at a time will help you to work faster and get more done.

 

8)    Batch together similar tasks.

How much time do you spend transitioning between tasks each day? Setting specific times to respond to your emails at one go and processing business expenses once a month are some of the ways to reduce the amount of time wasted on moving from one task to another.

 

 9)    Concentrate single-mindedly on a task.

Single-handling is a powerful time management technique for boosting productivity and improving efficiency. Once you start on a task, put your heart into it. Be disciplined and do not switch tasks halfway. Stay at it until its completion.

 

10)  Live a healthy lifestyle.

Research has shown that eating, exercising and sleeping habits can affect productivity at work. Eat well and get enough exercise and sleep so you have the energy to get through a busy work day. Skipping your meals or burning the mid-night oil to produce that proposal may be counter-productive.

 

A good worker pursues excellence. Start inculcating these good habits and it will go a long way in helping you stay on top of your game and be increasingly competent. It translates to better work-life balance, freeing you to pursue your interests and spend more time with your loved ones.

 

What’s a day at work like for you? Share it here. 

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