At its simplest level, employer branding is defined according to Universum as the process of promoting a company or an organization as the employer of choice to a desired target group, one which a company needs and wants to recruit and retain. One important distinction not mentioned in this official definition, is that employer branding is developed from your employees. It is not created or developed by your executive leadership, outside consultants or marketing. An employer brand is developed and driven by the employee population, based on the characteristics, benefits, culture or nuances of the organization that are most important to them and contribute to employees deciding to remain working at your company.
What is Employer Branding?
Employer branding is an employee developed concept, however, it doesn’t mean that organizational leaders can’t work with the employee population to understand what resonates with either the employee population at large or the small segment you are looking at evaluating and measuring.
Universum, goes on to explain the employer branding process includes four distinct areas: 1) Understand, 2) Plan, 3) Execute, and 4) Measure.
Employer branding is a new concept and many of us are just like you, in the beginning stages, dipping our toes into the employment branding waters. Or maybe you are looking at re-evaluating your recruitment or employee engagement efforts. Surveys, focus group meetings and one on one conversations are all great ways to research as part of the Understand step of your employer brand process.
10 Employer Branding & Social Recruiting Questions to Ask Your Employees
At present, I’m currently in the Understand phase of building an employment brand with a client. We’re evaluating their social recruitment efforts to better understand the social media channels. I want to know how, why and when we should be engaging our talent, using social media platforms as part of the broader talent acquisition strategy. I also want to provide some context and direction for organizational leaders and individual recruiters as to what the channels and online communities their recent hires and current staff is spending time socially online.
The complete survey was 15 questions. There were 10 questions for employees who had worked for my client for more than 6 months and an additional 5 questions for new hires who had joined the organization within the last 180 days (6 months).
- What is your job role? Create a simple list of job categories to better understand where employees self-identify themselves in. This data is important once you being slicing and dicing your survey results by job roles to ensure the best candidate engagement and targeting online.
- What company value resonates with you most and why. This is a great way to further understand the importance of the employer brand and what value gets your team most excited about coming to work. Use this information in your retention strategy and company storytelling.
- Provide three words that best describe your employer. Ask your team for descriptive words. Pop these words into a simple word bubble tool like Wordle.com to get a nice visual representation of what your employer brand looks like directly from your employees.
- Rank what social media sites you are active on for PERSONAL USE from most to least. It’s important to understand the differences in the activity and use of social media by your employee population.
- Rank what social media sites you are active on for PROFESSIONAL USE from most to least. I what to know what social media sites my employees are using so I can determine if there are correlations between LinkedIn and sales professionals or Snapchat and administrative staff.
- Rank what social media sites you are active on for YOUR JOB SEARCH from most to least. In my survey, I created a yes or no question asking the employees if they had been hired in the last six months. If they answered yes, they were directly to a set of specific job search specific questions.
- My mobile phone was an important part of my job search. One of my job search specific questions to find out exactly how my recent hires were relying on their mobile during their most recent job search.
- How did you hear about our company during your job search? The source of hire question is always a tricky one. Depending on if you have a drop down menu versus cookies to track candidates activities, it’s hard to pinpoint where the candidate came from. Source of hire could be subjective especially if you consider that a candidate has a number of touchpoints before they complete a job application.
- I spend how much time using social media for PROFESSIONAL USE each month. I want to understand how much time theemployee population is spending time for professional use each month. This will help me determine usage based on their role.
- I spend how much time using social media for PERSONAL USE each month. The black and white personal and professional use is becoming more gray. I will be using this data to sit down and determine what employees consider personal versus professional time on social media channels.
I kept the questions short, sweet and to the point because I want to get the highest completion rate possible so that I can dive into the specifics in future surveys, focus groups or other in person conversations. Most importantly, I want to establish a baseline and framework in which to work; a starting point from which to build on employer brand, and a social recruitment strategy that I can grow.
The survey results are extremely important and I’m planning to present preliminary results to the leadership team as soon as possible. I want to begin developing a dialogue, and prepare for the challenges I might experience when we start making changes to the existing strategy and communication framework.
The final results from this short survey will be presented in the next 30-45 days at which time I will repeat the process again as my client has four distinct business divisions as part of the larger company.