“I hate the company I work for!” – How to turn employee insights into best practice talent attraction

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The amount of times I hear candidates say they hate their current employer is frightening.

  • Do employers know this?
  • Do they care?

In today’s saturated, highly competitive market place, employer brand is not to be underestimated; Linkedin reports that companies with a strong employer brand spend an average of 43% less per hire.

When competing with other organisations for the same talent, you must stand out for the right reasons

  • But what makes you stand out?
  • What makes you the best company to work for in your industry?

There are so many ways to improve your employer brand but trust me when I say, posting pictures of you playing pool with employees at 5pm on a Friday or having dress down days isn’t enough. I come across lots of companies who promote themselves on social media as a fun, friendly and relaxed organisation and then I speak with their employees who ‘hate’ working for them.

It’s all very well presenting a glossy exterior, but as hiring processes become increasingly peer-led it’s important that your current employees are valued and nurtured to ensure continued growth and success. Potential hires are no longer content to just look at your website and read your job description; a credible candidate considering a place within your organisation will look at the company’s LinkedIn profile, Instagram feed, Glassdoor reviews, facebook page, twitter. They want to gain a better understanding of your team and the office culture, all the while considering would they fit in? For global conglomerates with an entrenched PR strategy this is no problem – for a SME this can present a challenge.

“Everything a candidate has ever heard, read or witnessed about your company will enter into the decision of whether to work [for] your company” - Will Staney, former Head of Global Recruiting at Glassdoor.

It’s essential to not only present the right image, but to fully commit to building a culture around the values that project this image. Having a CSR policy written on your website is one thing, actually demonstrating your commitment and showcasing this on social media will engage both current and prospective employees.


How to develop a positive culture and environment that people want to join

Stay on track – a strong and consistent brand message is key.

Know your employer value proposition (EVP), your reason for being. Your EVP forms the bedrock of your employer brand, outlining your company’s values and the benefits to both your target market and employees.

When defining an EVP, organisations need to address three questions:

  1. What does our current employer brand say about us?
  2. What types of people do we want to attract? What are their motivations and values?
  3. How can we create and showcase an environment that caters to the above?

Once you know your EVP, you can develop a strong brand voice reflecting your brand and engaging your target audience.


Improve your content across social media platforms

44% of people are more likely to engage with brands who post pictures*

It’s true, images are the way forward. Whether it’s a groovy infographic, a photo of your team at an industry event or a job ad, images have the upper hand in catching our eye. The average Joe, scrolling through LinkedIn on his commute home, is far more likely to pause to take in an infographic than read a lengthy article. We’re oversaturated with information – images are a quick communication shortcut.

Instagram is the unequivocal poster boy for the rise – and success – of image-based communication. With 200 million Instagram users actively engaging with business accounts on a weekly basis, it’s never been a better time to start hash-tagging.

All social media platforms are a great way to engage your audience and employees, and to attract new traffic to your page. Sharing industry insights on your website is great, but unless you’re a SEO mastermind, social media is the best vehicle to deliver that blog to the masses. Delivering high quality, insightful content on a regular basis is the key to building a strong employee brand online.


Get your team involved to support talent attraction and ensure employee retention

Candidates trust employees three times more than the employer to provide information on working at the company*

Asking current employees what they would tell a friend about working at your company is probably the easiest and most effective way to understand how your business is perceived and how to attract new talent. Your employees are the best placed to tell you what potential candidates will be looking for and what will help attract them. Using this core knowledge to develop an accurate picture of what it’s like to work at your company is invaluable; it’s important to have a concrete understanding of how your employees experience each aspect of your business. If you can take this a step further and create content around employee insights, the return is twofold; this sort of direct and honest communication will not only enable you to draw in future talent, but also to improve employee retention.


Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience, find out what they want to see from you

Organisations are increasingly embracing AI to streamline recruitment processes, but that shouldn’t mean all personality is lost. If anything, it should be quite the opposite.

To really deliver through your employer brand, you need to start thinking like a candidate. Put yourself in their shoes and understand how their interactions with your brand shape their perception of your business. It’s critical to understand how you can hone your process to not only be efficient, but also to deliver a high quality of service exemplifying your EVP. Your candidates need to feel valued and to understand the values at the core of your business.


Before you focus on recruitment strategies, improve your employer brand, it will make recruitment a lot more efficient.

* Want to learn more? 10 employer branding statistics you need to know.


Written by Michael Robinson, Team Leader, Elitegroup Recruitment