By Jessica Miller-Merrell

I believe that the key to developing a great community and conversation with your intended audience starts with understanding the information and resources that your community truly needs. This understanding is called perspective and is the key to a successful long term employment branding and recruiting strategy.

At the heart of every good marketing campaign, it starts with research. Research can be accomplished a number of different ways through surveys, in person meetings and focus groups to understand the information and value that your intended candidate audience really needs.

Employment branding is more than just surveying prospective and past job seekers. More importantly, it is about understanding how your employees view your company’s brand. What value or benefit of the organization is most important to them? This is where the real power of your employment brand is. Defining what aspects of your brand you should be communicating with potential job seekers and candidates takes effort and time. Here are a few steps that you need to follow in order to start off on the right foot.

It first starts with your employees. In order to deliver exceptional quality and content that truly defines your brand, it’s important to understand how your employees feel about the brand and what they think are the strengths and weaknesses. With sites out there like Glassdoor it’s important to understand and communicate internally the benefits of your brand and to keep your employees happy and engaged or they’ll make your job as a practitioner or recruiter more difficult. Ask what they feel like the company needs to work on from an employer branding point of view and conduct routine employee engagement surveys in order to maintain a high level of engagement and happiness in the workplace.

Secondly, you need to put your results in action. Doing research is just research without a plan or action to improve the shortcomings of your employer brand. If you start with new job seekers and candidates you’ll be able to set the bar high for these candidates while improving conditions with current employees. Most of the time a candidate will reach out to anyone they can at a company to understand the company and how they function a little more before accepting a job offer. This is why it’s important to listen to your current employees and start making the effort to improve conditions within the workplace.

Lastly, what’s you surveyed your employees and put your research into action, it’s time to starting branding yourself outside your internal culture. Show your brand to potential job seekers and candidates within a talent community. In order to attract the right candidate it’s important that you’re not only proud of your brand, but you’re able to put it into words.

Blindly improving your brand gives you so many chances to miss the mark and waste not only time, but money while risking your employee’s happiness if investing in the wrong ideas. Employment branding is powerful with the right perspective because it allows you to build upon your existing characteristics and strengths within your own company.

How are you using your existing employees to strengthen your brand?

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell

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