by Olly King, Founder
Meraki HQ, Totnes, UK
Created 13 days ago
Veterinary Employer Branding: Top 10 Tips To Get Started
Experiencing high staff turnover? Struggling to recruit talent? You might have a credibility problem. Take action to build your authentic employer brand and swing the door wide open ready to welcome the right people.
Utilise the power of recruitment marketing
Your employer brand is your reputation as an employer both inside and outside of your organisation. The act of sharing your reputation with others using marketing to raise awareness of your employer brand is widely known as recruitment marketing, and serves to showcase a clear impression of what you are like to work for.
In a fiercely competitive recruitment market, the goal, irrespective of your recruitment status, is to always be visible ready to excite, engage and nurture relationships with curious job seekers to fuel your talent acquisition funnel (Table 1).
But with only 12% of employees trusting what employers say about themselves (Weber et al. 2018), workplaces must work hard to authentically communicate the employee experience you offer.
Table 1: Recruitment marketing fuels your talent acquisition funnel
Are we over invested in and reliant on traditional job advertisements that are failing the needs of our exhausted teams as you strive to overcome your business’ recruitment challenge?
Transactional, impersonal, ‘recruitment-as-sales’ approaches are fast becoming of questionable value. Gone are the days of being able to rely on posting an unengaging job advert on a generic jobs board and expecting to receive any meaningful interest. Job seekers are tired of this poor candidate experience.
You are competing against hundreds of other job adverts in the UK, and thousands globally. Eye-tracking software has shown job seekers spend as low as 14 seconds, 50 seconds on average, reviewing your job description before dismissing positions as a poor fit. Then factor in that pre-COVID only 12% of vets were even reportedly using career sites and only 30% of these applying to more than one job (Weller et al., 2019).
The take home is clear – employers need to do more to stand out and get your workplace noticed and job seekers engaged with your job adverts.
Figure 1: Build your employer brand using a joined up digital strategy across your social media channels to take control of your recruitment.
Changing job search habits
People want to know about the employee experience you offer and hear the employees perspective. Driven by experiences and stories of too many candidates being bitten by false employer promises and accepting what turned out to be the wrong role, complete transparency is fast becoming the new recruitment standard and expectation.
Job seekers are wanting navigate their career with considered intention. They will invest considerable time researching your workplace before they apply to make more informed ‘evidence-based’ decisions where they work to decide if you are a perfect match for their needs.
As an employer, your role is to share this worklife insight as evidence of the great workplace that you have to excite and motivate job seekers to take action. This modern recruitment approach requires workplaces to act like marketers. Employers must innovate and adapt their approach to an always recruiting mindset so that they are ready to forge relationships with curious or active job seekers at any moment.
“Candidates are 1.8x more likely to apply for a job if they are familiar with the company.”
First impressions are critical. The lack of information is a top cited reason for a poor candidate experience. If your future talent cannot easily find the information they want to know about you then you risk, at best, being overlooked or, at worst, risk negative word of mouth, perhaps even with a review on an online forum.
“84% candidates would consider leaving their current jobs if offered another role with a company that had an excellent reputation.”
The decreasing popularity of career sites has been replaced by an increasing popularity of review sites, such as Glassdoor. This only serves to re-enforce the importance of building your employer reputation and to emphasise the take home that the way you can take back control is to embrace ‘recruitment-as-marketing’ strategies.
With 56% of vets using internet research and personal recommendations to find roles how does your business’ recruitment strategy align with the strategy candidates are using to find their next role (Weller et al., 2019)?
Driving your talent acquisition funnel
Put yourself in the shoes of prospective hires, can job seekers learn what they want to know about you?
Glassdoor reported that 80% of Millennials look for people and culture fit with employers, followed by career potential. These findings align perfectly with veterinary surveys, reporting that the practice team was the number one reason why vets stayed in a particular role and the lack of career development was the joint number one reason why vets left a particular role (Weller et al., 2019).
Equally, what is it you want job seekers to know about you?
Invite your people to be your brand ambassadors and show the people at the heart of the employee experience you offer. Ambassadors promote your workplace through authentic experiences, to show what you are all about, helping people envision growing as a person and their career with you.
Top 10 tips to getting started – transform intention into action!
To better understand the employee experience you offer, time needs to be spent with your team getting clear on what makes you a great place to work and what makes you different to other workplaces.
Consider these 10 things to help you achieve a more authentic employer brand that will help curious job seekers learn what being part of your team is like. Schedule action you and others need to take in the next day, week and coming months as part of this to integrate into your wider recruitment marketing strategy:
- Unearth your cultural facades
- Has your team’s workplace experience lived up to their expectations?
- Consider doing a Meraki’s Employee Experience Survey….received great feedback from your team? Be sure to share that!….received feedback on stuff you need to improve, great, that makes assembling your priority action plan easy!
- Culture matters
- Be clear on your vision, mission and values – have you articulated how these translate into how your people “get stuff done”?
- Knowing this, what the makes you unique and different to other workplaces?
- How is trust, psychological safety re-enforced and interwoven into normal day-to-day activity?
- This knowledge is core to building your employer brand. Once you are clear on this, show what it looks like in practice.
- Show personality through your people
- Are your people able to bring their whole-self to work?
- How do you enable you people to belong and form meaningful workplace relationships?
- Let your people do the talking
- Share stories of your workplace experiences. What do your people love best about their job?
- How do you support their career ambitions?
- Share testimonials of those leaving or of recently left team members.
- Show behind the scenes
- Capture engaging photos of the team enjoying work, personable relationships with colleagues, work days out, work socials…you get the gist.
- Use video to capture the heart and ethos of the team. Well planned video on mobile is arguably the most effective mass communication format ever.
- Activate your ‘social recruiting’ strategy
- Build your omni-channel digital marketing approach to share your content using Meraki, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn (Figure 1)
- Learn to interweave your customer and employer brand to show how your values show up in the work that you do everyday
- Strive for ultimate transparency
- Be clear on salary, avoiding wide salary ranges in job adverts.
- Be honest about retention rates and why people have previously left your workplace. If you are unclear on this, exit interviews are a powerful learning exercise and another opportunity to unearth frustrations and ill-feelings that you may not have been aware of.
- Show what the future looks like
- What can someone acheive with you? What does success look like at your workplace? Show insights into the success stories that your workplace supported.
- What attainable goals are you working to achieve as a business? For example, workplace awards or accreditations, upgrading of equipment, integrating digital technologies etc.
- Get the marketing skills in you need
- Do you need to increase the resources you invest in recruitment marketing?
- Do you need to buy in digital or marketing support or upskill internally?
- Is your practice website up-to-date, easy to navigate, mobile responseive, branded to engage, packed with links to your social channels and Meraki workplace profile?
- This is an essential business activity and job role – it cannot be an after thought.
- CREATE A MERAKI WORKPLACE PROFILE
- Your ‘go to’ business tool to kick start your recruitment marketing to share your employer brand with the profession. Use copy to portray your employee experience and evidence using photos, a video and blogs to ‘show, not tell’ that you are great place to work.
- Integrate links to your website and social media to interconnect all your digital channels in one place to make it easy for people to learn all about you.
- Embed and share a link to your Meraki profile on your business website, in job adverts on 3rd party platforms and in posts on social media.
Bridge that credibility gap
Building an authentic, transparent employer brand gives your business a competitive recruitment advantage, serving as better long term strategy to improve the holistic health of your business. Even if you do not have any recruitment challenges now, it is a great way to future proof your business. Done well, recruitment marketing will empower you to attract better matched talent, enhance engagement, improve patient care, increase retention and enhance business performance.
Get in touch to learn how we can help evaluate your employee experience and start building your employer brand.
Banner image: A happy team @ICR Vets, Loanhead, Scotland
Glassdoor. 50 HR and Recruiting Stats That Make You Think. A Statistical Reference Guide for Talent Acquisition Professionals. Available online at: https://b2b-assets.glassdoor.com/50-hr-and-recruiting-stats.pdf
Weber Shandwick and KRC Research (2018) Employer Brand Credibility Gap: Bridging the Divide. Available online at: https://www.webershandwick.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/EmployerBrandCredibilityGap.pdf?_ga=2.125074060.785978623.1657223917-1302049079.1655977800
Weller, R., Kinnison, T. et al. (2019) BEVA/BSAVA Recruitment and retention in the Veterinary Profession Survey. Available online at: https://www.beva.org.uk/retention-survey. Accessed 18th May 2020
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