Imagine there was something you could do for your business that would not only attract more candidates, but also encourage clients to seek out your services and help keep your company name front of mind?
The good news is, the solution is easier than you think: Employer branding. What once sounded like a buzzword for many industry players is now an integral part of any talent strategy. First defined in the mid-1990s, employer branding’s popularity ramped up in the mid-2000s and is now more important than ever.
For sales managers looking to attract the absolute best industry talent, it should be at the forefront of your planning and attraction campaign. Here’s why:
Your reputation is on the line
In essence, your employer brand is your reputation as an employer. It’s the answer someone would give to the oft-asked question, “What’s it like working there?” and provides a measure of how you’ve positioned yourself as a great place to work. Your competitors will – or should – be paying attention to their employer brands as well, so you need to differentiate yours and emphasise your USPs in order to stand out.
Attract and retain the right sales people
The statistics on how employer branding impacts your ability to attract top talent are endless. For starters, 75% of job seekers will consider an employer’s brand before even applying for a job, according to a 2015 study. The same research revealed the majority of candidates will seek out a company’s website and social media to find out more about a potential employer, showing how important it is to project an updated, positive impression of your brand and your work culture.
With that in mind, it’s apparent that a poor employer brand strategy will impact your ability to attract and retain the right sales people for your business. Glassdoor notes that 69% of candidates would not take a job with a business that had a bad reputation – even if they were unemployed. And with Career Builder revealing that 56% of job seekers rank employer brand as the deciding factor when choosing a new job, it couldn’t be clearer that you’ll attract more – and better – candidates with a stronger employer brand.
Understand what people want
Ask yourself what sales people look for in a great place to work. While money will always be an important factor in a role, sales people also look for opportunities to progress, a friendly, flexible work environment and a reputable brand name that is respected within the market. We know that the number one reason sales people join a company is an expectation of career progression, and a lack of development opportunities is also the number one reason for people moving on from sales roles. If you have great training and progression plans, sell these via your employer branding to help attract the right people.
Sales people thrive on open and clear communication, particularly when it comes to rewards and benefits. Make it obvious what your team need to do to receive bonuses and clearly detail incentives to candidates before they accept a role. Similarly, if you offer benefits such as flexible work conditions, company cars and social events, promote this during the application process and share details on your company website and social media. This all adds up to present a positive picture of your workplace.
Improve your candidate experience
Your candidate experience is all part of your overall employer branding. It starts when candidates first come across you and start interacting. How easy is the process from visiting your website through to applying for jobs and attending interviews? Are you communicating regularly and setting clear expectations? Can potential sales people find all the information they need on your careers site? With 83% of candidates saying a negative interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they had previously liked, it’s important you capture and maintain the interest and attention of sales people right the way through the application process.
Consider your existing employees
When it comes to attracting new talent, never underestimate the power of your existing sales people. Happy employees are your greatest asset and can go a long way in helping to develop your employer brand. Ask your top sales people to share positive reviews on online forums such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Glassdoor, and see if they’ll contribute to blogs, videos or testimonials on your site. Adding a human face to your careers information can significantly help with candidate attraction, and if your sales people can act as brand ambassadors in their own networks, that’s even better.
Take the next step
A strong employer brand can not only help to attract more candidates who are a good fit for your business, but also provide a point of difference to your competitors, improve your overall reputation on the market and ultimately build a stronger sales team. If you’re interested in learning more about how your employer brand can help boost your sales reputation, or indeed how you can attract better talent, contact the team at BMS here.