Bolstering your employer brand during COVID-19

First impressions are everything. In the recruitment game, an employer’s brand represents an early opportunity — and the first potential barrier — to find the right candidates for the right jobs.

The coronavirus pandemic has created an influx of proactive candidates who are more focused than ever on an employer’s brand and culture. That’s why it’s crucial for each touchpoint in the process to clearly demonstrate why candidates would want to work for you. From communicating in the right tone to tactics for highlighting culture, here are three steps to take to promote a positive employer brand during COVID-19.

Be social
When it comes to building an employer brand, social media platforms are key channels for recruiters and HR managers. These profiles (or an internal network) can be the face, voice and spirit of a company all at once. The nature and breadth of social media platforms also allows for flexibility, agility and authenticity that other marketing channels can’t always replicate. It’s critical to recognize that during a time when empathy and authentic communication are more important than ever, social media can help you reach prospective candidates in ways that will resonate.

How can employers integrate social media with recruiting efforts?

Don’t limit your social channels to consumer content, such as advertising or announcements. Demonstrate your organization’s core mission and values, and highlight the strengths of your culture by, for example, showing how your employees are interacting remotely during COVID-19. You can also feature work they’re doing and, if possible, how that’s contributing to society’s collective response to the pandemic. Specific content ideas might include personalized video messages from employees to your audience, polls asking followers how they’re dealing with self-isolation or sharing insights about how your culture is adapting to rapidly shifting industry trends.

Be visible
The recruitment experience is a culmination of several interactions your candidates will have with your organization. Ensure your employer brand is reflected positively in everything you do and say, taking every advantage to showcase the strengths of your brand. During COVID-19, many candidates are acting deliberately and discerningly as they search for roles, particularly if those roles are related to the pandemic response efforts. You can show them how joining your organization will help them make a real difference in the way they want to.

How can your employer brand be more visible?

Prominently including information about your core mission and values in recruitment materials is a great first step — and focus on the larger picture, not just one role. Give examples of how your company is caring for and strategically thinking about employees, such as how you’re supporting them, listening to them and helping them individually manage during the crisis. This could include commending your technology teams for how they’ve equipped teams to work remotely or even celebrating how individual employees have uniquely and creatively exemplified your mission and values despite the circumstances. Use every touchpoint to showcase a positive, thoughtful employer brand now that your candidates know will translate to a stellar employee experience later.

Be responsive

Whether they’re aware of it or not, organizations begin interacting with potential candidates before they’ve met them. From the first moment candidates are exposed to your brand, everything they do is part of their recruitment experience, including if they decide not to apply at your company. Your responsiveness – directly with candidates or in public interactions – can go a long way toward determining whether or not they see you as a people-driven organization or a faceless company. When employer brand is strong and clear, the company demonstrates it can adapt quickly and easily to whatever happens next. And with so much information coming at us so quickly in our current environment, a demonstration of timely responsiveness as an organization can show how engaged you are as a potential employer and how engaged candidates will feel when they’re working for you.

How can employers be responsive to employee needs?

Time is a scarce resource. But if you can find a way to free more of yours up, you’ll have the agility you need to respond to candidates more quickly. This is especially important during stressful and uncertain times because it can directly impact urgent priorities like accelerating time to hire for essential roles or adapting to candidates’ availability, depending on their current job situation and security. Lean on partnerships, technology and improved communication practices to support your own COVID-19 response while also building the best employer brand possible: the one that attracts the best candidates.

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