It is easy to assume that in desperate times, job seekers will take anything they can get, but that’s not necessarily the case. No matter what is happening with the economy, it is important to remember that candidates choose you. Even during this period of unprecedented unemployment due to COVID-19 lockdowns, candidates have choices.
Talented and experienced job seekers can and will be selective, even in a pandemic. In fact, it could be argued that many people will be more selective than usual as they must weigh their personal health and safety above all else when re-entering or moving about the workforce.
That’s why it is extremely important to focus on building and communicating an employer brand right now.
Employment branding is about defining your staffing company’s unique value proposition to candidates and proactively taking charge over how you are seen. When done well, employment branding makes your advertising and social recruiting more effective, even amid unprecedented circumstances like a global pandemic.
Define Your Employee Value Proposition
Do you have an employee value proposition (EVP)?
Your EVP tells people the unique value that you bring to the table for employees and is a powerful magnet for attracting candidates.
As you think about your EVP, ask yourself, what your staffing company does differently for your candidates, temporary workers and employees that your competitors do not? What are some of the positive things that candidates and employees say about working with you? Why do happy employees continue to work with your company?
When you determine what makes your firm different, showcase it. Talk about your EVP in your social media marketing, your company website and in your job postings. Remember, job descriptions are typically the first step in attracting applicants, so it’s important to stand out right away by showing how you are unique.
How Did Your Company Navigate The Pandemic?
Until a reliable treatment or vaccine are available, COVID-19 will continue to threaten people’s health and livelihoods. This means that for the foreseeable future, the pandemic will influence the way candidates perceive your staffing company.
Applicants will want to know how you took care of your employees throughout the pandemic. How did you treat laid-off employees? How did you keep essential workers safe? Did you provide any additional resources for employees that went above and beyond? Did you remain in contact with out-of-work temporary employees?
If you have real examples of steps you took or are taking for your associates, share them on social media, your company website and in job postings.
You can make your job posts stand out to job seekers navigating a pandemic by:
- Highlighting that a job is able to be done remotely (Learn more about remote job postings here)
- Advertise the fact that you or your client provides PPE for employees on site
- Talk about other measures the clients provides on-site as far as safety, cleanliness and social distancing
- Showcase jobs that offer healthcare benefits
If a client you are recurring for has done an exceptional job keeping workers safe, share it. Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn or the horns of your clients – these are the things people will be looking for as they re-enter the workforce.
What Did Your Company Do To Respond Or Help Throughout the Pandemic?
Since the beginning of this public health crisis, people have sought out stories of companies helping people or aiding in response and relief efforts.
What did your company do to help? Think both large and small:
- Did you recruit for companies that shifted operations to manufacture PPE and other critical resources?
- Did you help out-of-work employees navigate unemployment filing or PPP filing?
- Did your recruiters try to help out-of-work people enter new industries that were hiring?
- Did any of your associates, internal employees or company leaders volunteer in their spare time?
- Did your firm donate money or resources to local relief efforts, food banks, hospitals, etc.?
- Did you extend benefits?
- Did you offer job training for people looking for work?
Corporate responsibility has been important criteria for candidates for several years. In the wake of the pandemic, this is likely to be more true than ever before. Candidates will be attracted to companies that stepped up (even in small ways) to help people who were struggling both economically and physically.
A Disgruntled Employee Left A Bad Review After Getting Laid Off…Now What?
The pandemic has left millions of people unemployed and looking for someone to blame. Unfortunately, that blame is often heaped onto the employer. It’s never been more important to stay on top of your reviews on Google, Facebook and Indeed to see what people are saying.
When a business has less than a 5-star rating, 80% of consumers lose trust according to ReviewTrackers. If you start to see negative reviews popping up, it is important to act on them.
Have a plan for how your team will respond to bad comments and negative reviews. A good rule is to respond with understanding and empathy; then find a way to talk with the person offline to hear them out and work through the disconnect privately. (You can learn more about this on our InSights podcast episode). If you satisfactorily resolve the individual’s issue, they may even be willing to take the negative review down – or at least amend it.
But if they won’t, don’t worry. You still have options.
Nearly 70% of consumers have more trust in a brand when they see both good and bad reviews. Follow up with negative reviews in a mature, professional manner that is true to your brand as soon as possible. Also encourage happy employees and associates to leave 5-star reviews.
If you have 20 different 5-star reviews, and one one-star review, people will take the low review with a grain of salt. You can consistently receive positive, authentic testimonials from happily placed candidates who loved working with you, those reviews will help to cancel out the angry review left by a laid-off employee.
Be Consistent, Be Authentic
The key to building a great employer brand that attracts candidates is to be consistent and authentic. By regularly sharing and showcasing positive testimonials and the positive things you’ve been doing for your employees during dark times, you’ll be able to keep yourself top-of-mind as an employer of choice.
Everyone wants to work for a company that values them, and as people re-enter the workforce in the face of COVID-19, they will demand it. By authentically showing the world that you care about the people you employ, you’ll build a powerful employer brand.
Are You Ready To Build Your Employer Brand?
Haley Marketing is here to help. Contact our team today to learn more about the ways we can help you build a strong brand so that you are poised to help your clients fill their most critical job openings.
And for more advice on business strategy and marketing ideas that help staffing agencies survive and thrive, please check out our COVID-19 Resource Center.