Beyond Post & Pray – Employer Brand and Job Posting Essentials

For employers in the digital age, hiring new talent starts with posting a job listing on your website or a job board. The content of your job listing can determine how many candidates decide to apply for your position. As a result, job listings directly impact your hiring pools and the talent you bring into your organization. Are you making the most of this opportunity?

Your job listings should introduce candidates to your employer brand, a.k.a. the mission, values, and day-to-day culture that make your organization a great place to work. A clear employer brand is crucial if you’re competing for talent in this tight hiring market. Why should candidates want to work for your organization? In order to attract the best talent, you need to have a clear answer to this question in every job posting.

In March, Boly:Welch Communications Coordinator Monicia Warner teamed up with Mac’s List to host a live webinar that discussed employer branding, job posting essentials, and more. Check out the recorded webinar on-demand here! And read on for a high-level recap of the essentials we discussed in the webinar.

The Context: How Candidates Interact

Digital Natives Will Hack Your Hiring Process

The digital age has changed the way employers hire. Before the era of the internet, newspapers were the primary way to find jobs. Companies received a regular flow of mailed resumes from qualified applicants. Hiring managers didn’t need to go scouring the earth for talent; in most cases the talent they were looking for came directly to them.

But things have changed, and your job posting process needs to change too. The internet has made the job search process easier and more accessible for job seekers everywhere. Job seekers can submit digital copies of their resumes, and fill out dozens of online applications daily instead of manually mailing information. And the flow of data online allows candidates to make choices about taking a job that fits their needs and expectations.

In Portland we have an increasingly tight labor market, with unemployment hovering between 3-4%. Portland is becoming a landing spot for young professionals, which is great news as Millennials are coming to the forefront of the labor force, and now take up the largest percentage of the adult U.S. population. However, Millennials have different work preferences than previous generations. Many Millennial employees seek out jobs that offer not just financial rewards, but a great workplace culture, a high degree of flexibility, and professional development or career growth opportunities. You can make your company more attractive to Millennials by developing and communicating an authentic employer brand.

Employer Branding

Define Your Employer Brand

Your employer brand is the essence of your company: what sets you apart from competitors in your industry. It also spans your reputation as an employer, and what your employees have to say about working for you. It is a direct reflection of your leadership, your candidate marketing, and your hiring team. And it needs to come through in every job posting!

Your employer brand is not to be confused with your consumer brand, which is communicated through your branded properties (such as your website, your social media, TV commercials, and other public-facing brand representations). The goal of your employer brand is to attract and retain talent. You want to build a brand that sends a strong, authentic message to job seekers that your company is a great place for them to work.

Essentials for a Solid Employer Brand

  • Manage your reputation.
    • In order to have a strong employer brand, you need to maintain a good reputation internally and externally. There’s growing evidence that your company’s reputation is becoming more important than ever. For instance, 79% of candidates use social media to research companies before they apply. And in a recent report, 55% of job seekers report avoiding certain companies after viewing negative reviews online.
  • Be authentic.
    • If your organization is promising candidates one thing and delivering another, job seekers will be able to tell. Take steps to ensure that your value proposition to job seekers is an accurate depiction of what’s actually happening internally once they are on-boarded.  
  • Highlight additional perks.
    • Candidates want to know if you are offering something different from your competitors. Out of all the employers in your industry, why should job seekers choose to work for you? What you can offer in return for their commitment and hard work? Call out unique benefits, how your culture stands out, your distinct work environment, and special professional development opportunities that you offer.

Why does my employer brand matter?

In case you still have doubts that your employer brand will actually make a noticeable impact on your hiring plan, here are some stats to back up the ROI of a strong employer branding:

  • According to LinkedIn, a strong employer brand has a significant impact on time to hire (1-2x faster), cost per hire (50% decrease), and quality of hires (50% more qualified applicants).
  • Employer branding affects your organization’s ability to retain talent. It’s been reported that new hires are 40% less likely to leave after the first six months if they believe in an employer’s values.  

Job Listing Essentials

Job listings are increasingly the most popular recruitment tool for employers and where most job applicants are discovered. But job seekers only spend on average 49 seconds reading a job posting before deciding if they want to apply or moving on to the next job on the list. Here’s a checklist for the job listing essentials you need to include to set your job listing apart from the competition.

Must-Haves for Every Job Description

  1. Job Summary

    • Your job listing should open with the core requirements of the position, and the capabilities for a candidate to perform successfully.
    • Get specific and include details on years of experience preferred, education, software/systems knowledge and other required skills.
    • Be straightforward and clearly articulate your needs.
  2. Company Details

    • This is where your value proposition comes into the job listing. Play up your company culture, mission, and values.
  3. Total Rewards

    • Highlight the rewards and additional perks that will attract your target candidates.
    • Additional benefits (beyond salary) like flexible schedules, healthcare, career pathways, and training programs are trending and becoming baseline expectations among Millennials and Gen Zers.

Best Practices

    • Salary transparency – Job postings with salary ranges get up to 30% more applicants.
    • Diversity & Inclusion – Create a diverse pipeline by making gender neutral word choices, including a diversity statement, and focusing on value-add instead of fit. Does the image you project encourage job seekers to imagine themselves on your team?

Want to dive deeper? View the recorded webinar presentation and group discussion on-demand. In this hour-long webinar, we explored job posting essentials, candidate experience tips, and more tactical strategies for employer branding. Plus, we discussed real-life HR questions in a group discussion featuring Boly:Welch pros Abby Engers and Monicia Warner, along with Mac’s List teammates Becky Thomas and Nichol Simpson.