“Candidates have the pick of the bunch.” That’s what we’re hearing almost every day from our clients right now at Evolve. With an array of pharmaceutical and healthcare job opportunities opening back up over the last few months, it’s accurate to say that this is indeed the case. The present challenge for our clients is finding the best way possible to secure the highest quality talent against tough competition. There are some fantastic organisations out there within our sector, each with their own unique signature. Now, more than ever, a company’s employer brand must be a key priority.

When recruiting; as well as potential employees selling their skillset, it’s just as important nowadays that companies sell their organisation to applicants. In today’s job market, there’s more to selling a business than meeting applicants’ needs on paper. Successfully attracting, placing and retaining the best possible talent, in a market where candidates have greater choice, has never been more important. It’s valuable to remember that your company’s employer brand may not actually speak for itself and neglecting this is likely to lead to the loss of great people.

Like any good marketing campaign, the success of any recruitment process starts at ensuring that the messaging is correct. Even if a company has a great culture and happy employees working there, if this is not evident to those on the outside, then it’s not a selling point. Applicants need to be able to tell an organisation apart from alternative employers with perhaps less attractive reputations. Any candidate who is taking their job search seriously is going to do their homework. As a potential employer, making it easy for them by being as transparent as possible helps to increase trust in your company, which is invaluable to applicants who are deciding to take a risk on your business. In short; reputation can make or break an applicant pool. An employer with great branding can attract enthusiastic applicants to an otherwise less attractive job, while an employer with poor branding can struggle to attract any applicants at all.

At Evolve, we’re finding that employer branding can have a huge ripple effect throughout a pharmaceutical and healthcare business. It doesn’t just impact the initial impression and talent pool; it has a significant influence on employee retention. In a competitive job market, this means employer branding is something that needs proactively managing and it cannot be put to the bottom of the priority list.

There is no one size fits all solution that makes up an individual employer brand. No two brands look the same, but when you break it down, it’s possible to get a better understanding of how an individual company looks from the outside. Employer branding starts with identifying the main objectives, both short and long-term. Building a strong employer brand doesn't happen overnight. Not only are there a number of different moving pieces involved, but it’s important to get colleague buy-in so that the team are on the same page.

Companies can cultivate and guide their employer brand through messaging. They can influence it, but they cannot totally control it. An employer brand boils down to what other people think and what employees say about the business, outside of the boardroom. Employer branding is generally reliant on 4 aspects:

Company culture – the mission, shared values and general personality of your workplace. It’s the collective behaviours and thinking that unify an organisation.

Employee opinions - How employees feel about working for the company and what they are saying to each other at work, or when they go home.

Candidate opinions - Job seekers’ first impressions when they go through the application process. Even if a candidate doesn’t end up working for a particular company, they will still talk about their experience going through the application process and whether they were treated with respect.

Corporate brand - A corporate brand is made up of consumer perceptions of your company. People who think a company treats its employees well, may give them more business and will likely choose them over their competitors.

Done well, employer branding can help organisations stand out against competitors and gain a competitive edge, attract higher quality candidates and boost their credibility and trust in the applicant base. As well as this, a successful employer brand will lead to a reduction in overall recruitment costs, improve employee retention and ultimately will create an internal team of ambassadors who will naturally promote an organisation.

Employer branding can of course seem like a minefield and it’s often difficult to know where to start! Evolve has successfully partnered with companies, each with their own individual branding requirements. We’ve seen some great impact from a recruitment campaign perspective as well as longer-term positive benefits, which make the investment in employer branding a worthwhile exercise. From our experience, a transparent employer branding strategy that positively and accurately reflects what it’s like to work for a company will attract higher quality candidates, lead to higher retention, and ultimately contribute to growth.

Contact our team to see how we can help you to evolve your employer brand!