How to Build a Better Employer Brand (Like Top Employers Do)

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The job market is changing, and job seekers are taking advantage of an improving market.

According to a Jobvite survey conducted in November 2014, job seekers are finding jobs easier, and more professionals are looking. The survey found that 45 percent of workers are open to a new job, even though they are satisfied in their current positions.

In sales especially, job seekers have an upper hand when choosing employers. CareerBuilder’s 2015 U.S. Job Forecast, conducted from November to December 2014, found that 36 percent of employers who plan to add full-time staff this year are looking for sales talent, representing the top industry adding new employees.

In this new hiring environment, an employer brand is more important than ever. Sales job seekers will choose to apply for and accept positions at the companies they most want to work for. We’ve heard that employer brand is important, but what are the best ways to build it?

Take a look at how top employers create winning brands to attract the best sales talent:

1. Show value

Most professionals don’t want to just work—they want to make a difference. In a survey of job seekers spanning multiple generations published by Millennial Branding in May 2014, meaningful work was one of the most important characteristics of an employer during the job search.

How the pros do it: Major medical device company and winner of a 2015 Best Places to Work in Medical Sales survey, Medtronic, uses its company website and social media pages to focus on the value of its products. Its careers page on Facebook shares stories of patients and how they have been impacted by the company and its products.

By placing the spotlight on how Medtronic’s efforts help to improve the lives of others, prospective employees immediately see how working for the company could result in a fulfilling career.

The takeaway: Don’t waste time telling job seekers the company offers rewarding positions. Instead, show them with specific stories that demonstrate the difference their work can make. In sales especially, the deeper impact of the job may not be obvious. Use written and video testimonials to show the big picture and focus on what makes the work meaningful.

2. Highlight perks

More professionals are on the search for work-life balance. In the Jobvite survey, men and women put the same value on balance when looking for a new job. To help achieve balance, flexible work options are becoming more important to job seekers, according to a report published by Indeed in December 2014.

How the pros do it: Stryker, a medical technologies firm named to Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2014 and Glassdoor’s Employee’s Choice Best Places to Work 2015, dedicates a page on its careers website showcasing the value placed on what the company calls “work-life integration.” The page features stories of employees in different positions and how they were able to tailor their work schedules to fit their lifestyles.

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The takeaway: Allowing employees to describe their experience with the employer in their own words gives job seekers an inside look at the actual benefits of the job. Back up your work-life claims with real examples from actual employees.

3. Give more than job postings.

Building an employer brand shouldn’t be limited to promoting the positives of the company and posting job openings. Branding efforts should showcase the personality of the company and help to give a face to the employer.

How the pros do it: Medical device and pharmaceuticals powerhouse Johnson & Johnson adds a human factor to its employer brand by offering career and job search advice. Its careers website provides a run-down of each step in the application and hiring process and features a video with company-specific interview tips. Its Twitter careers account also shares general job search tips, stories from employees, and other resources to help job seekers.

The takeaway: Show prospective employees that the company is more than a big corporation guarded by austere recruiters and hiring managers. Just like in any social media effort, the emphasis should be placed on starting conversations and building a community. Focus on the human aspects of the company by offering resources, advice, and other information of interest to job seekers.

Building an employer brand that attracts top sales talent comes down to transparency. Professionals want to gain a sense of the application process, the company culture, and the expectations of the position. Let current employees speak for the work culture for the largest impact.

How do you showcase your employer brand? What other tips are important?

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