We spend on average 92 120 hours on work in our lifetime. No wonder we want to have a job we enjoy. Spoon Academy sat down with Anna Dyhre, a ...

The real value of employer branding

We spend on average 92, 120 hours on work in our lifetime. No wonder we want to have a job we enjoy. Spoon Academy sat down with Anna Dyhre, a Nordic employer branding expert, to discuss why engaging employees is more important than ever.                       

Are you struggling to find the right talent for your company? If so, you’re not alone. It’s becoming more important for companies to be able to recruit and retain dedicated employees. Research from Glassdoor for Employers highlights this trend:

  • 69 per cent of job seekers would not take a job with a company that has a bad reputation – even if unemployed.
  • 64 percent of Millennials would rather make $40K a year at a job they love than $100K at a job they think is boring.
  • Increasing employee engagement investments by 10 percent can increase company profits by $2,400 per employee per year.

In other words, having a strong employer brand is worth a great deal.

Is your company standing out?

Employer branding can be defined as all the characteristics that you associate with a specific employer. The competition for top talent is fierce, and companies therefore need to stand out.

“I am impressed by the Swedish company Prisjakt and their ambition to keep a very inclusive culture, and that they dare to be different in a very competitive field of recruiting hard-to-find talent with knowledge of e-commerce and algorithms,” says Anna Dyhre, author and employer branding expert.

“To attract the right people, your chances increase if you can offer something that is attractive, true and unique,” she continues.

Companies must develop an attractive offer for their employees – also known as an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) – that they can deliver and live up to. Be clear on your EVP, and how it benefits current and future employees.

What’s unique about working at your company?

Commit to the whole employer journey

“One common mistake I see companies make is to only focus on attracting and recruiting new talents. Employer branding has to include the whole employer journey. Don’t just focus on employer branding when you want to hire someone, you need to work with it internally on an ongoing basis to motivate and develop your current employees,” she says.

Look at it this way: treat your employees the same way you treat your customers. That is, you commit all the way and provide support and guidance long after you’ve hired someone. That’s when you start to see the real value of employer branding, because employees will want to engage with the brand.

Living the brand: employees as brand ambassadors

“The best way to share your employer brand is through your digital channels, such as LinkedIn and Instagram, since they’re the most credible source. And it’s always a good idea to do research and see where your target groups are most likely to tune in,” Dyhre says.

Indeed, you want to involve your employees from the beginning. They give a voice and a face to your brand, which makes it easier for potential job candidates to get a sense of the workplace. After all, it’s your employees who live out your values and tell the story of who you are. They can become your biggest brand ambassadors, if you do it well.

A prime example of a strong employer brand is IKEA.

“IKEA communicates their values, mission and purpose through their own employees. They initiated a Talent Focus Week that takes place every year across the globe to ensure they don’t miss out on any employee who wants to grow – no matter what their current position is,” Anna Dyhre explains.

IKEA’s initiative highlights the organisation’s commitment to their staff. And it’s paid off. IKEA has long been ranked as one of the most attractive employers, in both Sweden and abroad.

Invest in your employees, and grow your employer brand

The need for companies to be able to recruit and retain top talent is high. Young employees, in particular, are looking for career growth, meaningful work, and flexibility. Employers will benefit from being responsive to various employee demands, and craft job offers that will speak directly to them.

By attracting the right people to your organisation, you can save a lot of money, resources, and frustrations. But above all, we’ll make those 92, 120 hours matter.

Want to know more about employer branding?

Download Spoon’s guide to employer branding