Highly talented tech professionals are spoilt for choice, so attracting them is all about standing out from the crowd. Gary Crowe from jobs board DICE explains how to create a strong employer brand and ensure you secure the best talent.
To succeed in the competitive world of technology, it’s vital that you have access to the best talent. It’s the people working for you who make your company what it is, dictating the quality of your work, influencing the organisational culture and being central to the image you project both internally and externally. Highly talented tech professionals are spoilt for choice, so attracting them is all about standing out from the crowd – and salary is only part of the story.
Your employer brand is part of your overall brand, but in reality it doesn’t hurt to consider it separately from a strategic point of view. Getting your employer branding right is so crucial; if they’re to join your company, techies want to understand the business, the culture and ultimately the challenge that lies ahead, not to mention how they can grow within the organisation. Our 2017 Job Market Report found that as many as 94% of tech pros research a company online before applying for a job, and 79% said that their research would influence their decision to apply.
How important is employer branding?
Maintaining a positive public profile is crucial, especially considering that by 2025 75% of the workforce will be made up of millennials, whose appetite for digital consumption shows no sign of abating.
Currently more than two thirds of tech pros wouldn’t take a job at a company with a poor market reputation. Techies are tuned in to brands’ digital footprints, so this must become a key focus for any company that wants to succeed in the tech space.
Is there a distinction between your employer brand and your core brand?
Yes and no. Your employer brand should be part of your overall brand strategy, but it also represents what your company means to existing staff and what it can be to those who are considering joining you.
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It’s great to project a positive brand image in general, but if attracting the best people matters to you, you need to be addressing some of that output directly to them. After all, that’s what they’ll be looking for when they do their research.
So what will attract the top tech pros to your brand?
Your company’s reputation is influenced by all of your public-facing communications, as well as word of mouth and the media. Aside from avoiding unwanted publicity, you can have a lot of say in what people hear about you through your social media content, as well as gaining positive press with things like community initiatives and corporate social responsibility efforts.
With 61% of techies following brands on social and professional media, this is a good place to start. The image you project should be fun. Also you should be promoting major tech projects, talk about events you attend, celebrate any awards and achievements, and get your staff to post content giving an ‘insider’s view’ of what it’s like to work for you. Your potential new employees need to feel like they’ll be valued, so make sure your existing staff are connected and demonstrate the company DNA.
What are the right social media platforms to use?
Your social media strategy needs to be tailored, both in terms of channels and content. The most important starting point is to figure out where your target audience hang out and engage. Dice’s 2017 Social Recruiting research discovered that around a third of tech employees primarily use Google to research potential employers, with 18% preferring to research on company websites and a further 18% on LinkedIn. This suggests that SEO offers a huge opportunity, and you should make sure your website and LinkedIn presence are on point. Other channels often used are Glassdoor, with 9%, and Facebook, with 8%, so these are worth considering too.
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It’s also useful to know where techies are following employers – unsurprisingly, the highest scorers here are LinkedIn at 45% and Facebook at 24%, although Twitter comes in with a still significant 18%.
How can you get your brand across?
It’s vitally important that you’re able to communicate your brand and culture to potential employees, and this means regularly updating your social media channels and web properties.
If you’re sharing your employees’ individual posts, they’ll also feel positive about being part of your team and want to post more about work. Perhaps you can create a simple hashtag like #TodayAtDiceTowers, and then ask them to use it on all relevant posts so you can easily find posts to share and others can see what your staff are up to.