Business owners spend a lot of time and resources attempting to create a positive reputation when it comes to clients and potential new business. But what about employees? Does it matter what your people think of you? It should. Companies like Yelp have made small businesses think harder about how they serve their customers, and increased usage of social networks like Twitter and Facebook means you should probably think about managing your employer reputation.

You’re probably already using social media in some capacity to attract younger workers, but bad news spreads quickly if you’re not creating a positive brand strategy as an employer. Alexander Mann Solutions’ report “Understanding Emerging Talent” shows 87 percent of candidates will likely to turn to their social networks to share a bad hiring experience.

But studies show that organizations have been slow to respond to mounting evidence that how they treat their potential hires might affects their online reputation. A study by Bernard Hodes Group shows that only 51 percent of employers have created an employer brand strategy, with another 24 percent working towards developing one. What’s more, LinkedIn has found that 83 percent of global recruiting professionals believe that employer branding is key to their ability to attract and retain top talent.

So how can you build your online reputation as a tool to attract the best and the brightest?

Start thinking strategically about how you want to come across to potential hires, and start building from there.

Enlist your employees’ help. The most affordable and effective way to create a powerful employer brand is to give your employees a great experience. Recruit your top performers to create video testimonials that talk about why they love to work at your company, and why others should want to work there too. Your employees are your best brand ambassadors when it comes to hiring. Once they’re on board, encourage them to use their social networks to spread the word. 

Build a strong message. What is it that you have to offer your employees? Go beyond the typical list of benefits and craft a message that today’s top talent will remember — then use it at every touchpoint along the hiring process. For example, Herman Miller uses the messaging “Speak up, solve problems, lead others and be an owner.” This message speaks directly to millennials, and ties the corporate branding with the motivation to take control of your career. 

Show potential hires what you look like. Open your corporate culture to potential candidates and create a video that showcases all the great things about your organization. Not only will your current employees feel like they are an important part of your business, but new hires will come through the door having a much better idea about your business and how they might fit in your culture. 

Allow for back-and-forth communication. Make a commitment to respond to social network inquiries within 24 or less. Responsiveness in our 24/7 culture is key, because it shows how much you care about people and that you value their time. Additionally, one of the best things about social media is that when you respond positively to a single person, a whole network of people witness it. 

Using social media in all aspects of your business allows you to not only attract great customers, but great people too. Spend some time with your HR department making sure that you’ve got all the bases covered when it comes to your online reputation.

Want to learn more? Contact us today, we’re happy to help.