Employer brand 'vital for attracting top talent'

HR departments are constantly looking for the silver bullet when it comes to attracting and retaining the best talent.

Creating a benefits package that appeals to workers on an individual level is a good start, but companies also need to focus on their brand image if they want to hold on to their best staff.

A new report by LinkedIn, called Winning Talent, has discovered just how important employer branding is in today's digitally-driven workplace, as 53 per cent of workers in the UK said they would not move to a business that has a reputation for poor job security or poor leadership, even if they were offered more money.

Indeed, job security unsurprisingly holds massive appeal with people, as nearly one in five of those questioned would be willing to accept a smaller pay packet in exchange for greater development opportunities.

"A strong employer brand helps retention and engagement, so the true value is even greater than this data suggests," stated LinkedIn director of UK talent solutions Chris Brown.

"Finding the best people remains the number one driver of success for any business. Better communicating the benefits and attractions of their business to potential recruits has to be top of the agenda."

Building a strong brand

Organisational culture has long been an important factor in talent retention, and over a third of respondents could be persuaded to take up a new role if the organisation's internal culture was positive. A further 28 per cent would join a company that had a good industry reputation.

Flexible working continues to be hugely popular with job seekers, as 36 per cent of workers would take on a role that came with this benefit. With technological advancements making flexible working easier than ever, all businesses should be considering their strategies on this measure.

So with employer branding playing such a vital role in talent retention and attraction, how can companies make sure they are communicating their brand effectively?

Be active on social media - Taking part in discussion groups offers employers the chance to control the narrative, building brand awareness in the process. Establishing yourself as a thought leader on issues that are pertinent to your business model will only stand you in good stead.

Demonstrate your culture - Any company can wax lyrical about the great company culture they foster, but actually showing it in progress will be much more compelling. So post blogs featuring photos and videos to make sure prospective staff are aware of the initiatives you have in place.

Take a holistic approach to involvement - You should be aiming to make current employees brand ambassadors, as this will help to show that your company practices what it preaches. Ask everyone to be involved in creating brand values and accurately developing your brand story, as this will make the whole process feel real.

Companies cannot afford to develop a bad reputation if they want to implement a successful brand strategy, so advocacy really is key. No one wants to lose out on talent over perceptions, especially if they are way off the mark, so a truly inclusive top-down approach can make sure business show themselves off in the right light.