HR · 25 July 2017

Why brand awareness can help drive a recruitment strategy

Four in ten job seekers said they wanted to hear about company culture upon first contact
Four in ten job seekers said they wanted to hear about company culture upon first contact

Better brand awareness could help smaller employers gain a vital edge in today’s competitive job market, as new research suggests recruiters are failing to provide candidates with a vision of working life at a company.

As part of a wider study, professional network LinkedIn surveyed over 6,500 UK workers to find that four in five were currently seeking a new job opportunity.

However, a fifth claimed they were unable to imagine what working for a business would be like before applying for a job. Further, 14 per cent said information on company websites was vague and hard to find.

The research also looked at the experiences of 7,700 recent job-switchers, showing that almost two-thirds knew little to nothing about their new employer before entering the role.

The takeaway for smaller employers from the study was to reach candidates through increased brand awareness before a better-known company snaps up the talent.

An active approach to recruitment was also championed by LinkedIn. Some 63 per cent of professionals said they felt flattered when an employer directly reached out to them.

Commenting on the findings, Jon Addison, LinkedIn UK’s head of talent solutions, said record-high employment had created a “candidate-centric” job market, with over 5.5m companies competing in a narrowing recruitment pool.

“One effect of this is that the battle for talent between employers has become fierce, and British employers cannot afford to rest on their laurels when it comes to attracting candidates – both active and passive,” he said.

A pay rise was uncovered in the study as the greatest motivation for current job seekers, followed closely by a role that reflected personal interests and the search for a better work-life balance.

However, communicating values was also revealed as important. Some 40 per cent said they wanted to hear about a company’s culture in their first contact with a recruiter.

In response to the high number of professionals seeking new opportunities at UK firms, Addison added: “British businesses simply aren’t doing enough to promote their employer brands and show candidates why they are great places to work. It’s important that they address this, or risk being left behind as top talent joins forces with better known brands.’’

To inspire the recruitment strategies of small business owners, LinkedIn left behind three crucial advice points to help develop brand awareness.

  1. Join up recruitment and marketing

“By drawing on the skills and experience of marketing specialists in your organisation, recruitment teams can make sure they are pitching their employer brand message in ways that will resonate with and reach your target audience.”

  1. Leverage your employee ambassadors

“No one can say why you’re a great place to work as well as your existing employees. Encourage them to share their experiences of work with their own networks to widen the pool of potential candidates you reach.”

  1. Get creative

“To stand out from the crowd as an employer, it is important to inject creativity into your employer brand campaigns. This doesn’t need to cost the earth; a simple social strategy, or developing engaging content for your website can be effective ways of showing what you offer to candidates.”

Our three-part guide to recruiting your first member of staff is an essential resource for small business owners:

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Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.