Two major events of 2021, Covid and the Black Lives Matter protests, led many businesses to go down a path of reflection with many taking the time to think about their meaning, mission and brand. Having a memorable visual identity—a ‘human’ face—suddenly seemed important at a time of uncertainty and a widespread need for connection. But having an approachable and likeable brand has been key for some time. Now, as we emerge out of lockdown, employers looking to hire must think carefully about how they come across through design and text.

It’s cheaper

Hiring through traditional means costs money. This is one of the main reasons we founded DirectlyApply—so that employers and job seekers could find each other directly and the costly and complex process of recruitment could be made simpler, cheaper, and more effective. A good brand promotes itself; you do not need to invest heavily in advertising and marketing to get the message out.

A good reputation is (almost) worth its weight in gold

Contrary to popular belief, salary is not the most important thing to job seekers. Perhaps that is easy to say, but in an increasingly small world in which much of your life and choices are on display, reputation matters a lot. A well-paid position at a company notorious for its unethical policies or ways of operating is simply less appealing to most people than a role that is not remunerated as well but is at a company widely admired for the way it treats its people and its clients and customers.

Culture counts

A good brand is a reflection of the business, and an excellent branding professional knows that something as simple as an image and some text can speak volumes about the company culture. Colour and font can convey authority, openness, or something else. Young people especially understand the value of culture, and will be looking at brands through that lens.

You stand out

Unless your company is highly unusual, there will be others in your space competing not just for business but for talent. A strong brand helps you to stand out in that crowded theatre and impress yourself onto job seekers. It may sound basic, but all things being equal, the company with a bold, memorable brand is more likely to snap up a talented job seeker than one that doesn’t.

The data says so

If you disregard everything I’ve written above, it is hard to ignore the wealth of data showing that a strong brand has a significant impact on attracting and retaining the right job seekers. LinkedIn has found that companies with a stronger employer brand than its competitors spent 43 percent less per hire. They see 50 percent more qualified applicants and hire more quickly. CareerBuilder has found that 67 percent of candidates will accept lower pay if the company to which they were applying had very good reviews online; and Corporate Responsibility found that 75 percent of Americans would not take a job with a company that had a bad reputation, even if they were unemployed.

A final thought

The case is settled. A strong employer brand is vital for any ambitious business owner hoping to appeal to the best talent available. At a time like this, when there are many people looking for work and companies need to fly out of the blocks once restrictions are lifted, it matters even more. Now is the time to scrutinise your brand, refine it where necessary, and put yourself in the best possible position to find and be found by job seekers.

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