It isn’t a stretch to say that 2020 has been a challenging year for all of us. The COVID-19 pandemic has sent a shockwave across all industries, presenting challenges for both employees and employers.
Job cuts have brought record unemployment numbers, while social distancing guidelines have required organizations to innovate in order to accommodate a new way of working.
But while the coronavirus has certainly brought challenges, it’s also brought opportunities for HR managers. The employee talent pool is larger than ever and, with a vaccine on the horizon, employers will soon begin to reopen and bring workers back.
Now is the time to strengthen your employer brand and tailor your messaging to fit the current climate so that, when that happens, you’ll be well placed to attract the top talent on offer.
Here are our top tips on how you can strengthen your employer brand post-COVID-19 and position your brand image to reflect the changing desires of jobseekers.
1. Keep your available positions up to date
Imagine this: the pandemic has meant you’ve been out of work for months. Your savings are running low, the pressure to start earning again is high, and you’re urgently trawling the web looking for available positions.
You find an open position advertised online that’s a perfect fit for your skillset and spend hours making sure your application is perfect, only to receive an automated reply letting you know the position has already been filled - you’re not happy.
If you want to strengthen your employer brand post-COVID-19, ensuring you keep your job vacancy information up to date is more important than ever. Avoid confusing or disappointing jobseekers or risk damaging your brand.
2. Advertise job openings on social media
According to a study from IZEA Insights, 66% of consumers expect their social media usage to increase while confined to their households due to coronavirus, and many users are increasingly spending their time on social media researching job opportunities.
The upshot: better candidate reach on your social media job advertisements.
The type of social media content that resonates with your audience is also shifting, given the current climate. Research shows that more people are looking for support and reassurance than before, with millions of users joining covid-19-related support groups.
Take advantage of this trend by spending more of your time and budget getting your message out there on Facebook groups and job boards - just make sure it’s the right kind of messaging. And on that point, let’s move onto tip number 3…
3. Think carefully about the tone of your messaging
With emotions running high, it’s important not to be tone-deaf in your advertising strategy. The keyword here is appropriateness. Ads that might previously have worked may now come across insensitive.
For example, imagery of close-knit teams, colleagues laughing, or managers shaking hands with happy employees might not have quite the intended effect. Images like these - designed to position your employer brand as friendly and inclusive - may just make potential applicants wary that you don’t take social distancing in the workplace seriously.
Similarly, humorous posts that might have previously helped humanize your brand may now come across as tone-deaf and ignorant.
Unsurprisingly then, research shows that imagery involving human connections has dropped by 30%, while hand washing imagery is up by 600%.
If in doubt, focus on positive messaging and practical advice around what your company’s doing to support employees during these difficult times.
4. Highlight flexible working options & COVID-friendly benefits
For obvious reasons, the demand for flexible working arrangements is soaring right now. The pandemic has forced many companies to allow employees to work remotely and this has caused a dramatic shift in working culture.
Promoting in-office perks as part of your hiring strategy is going to be less effective during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jobseekers aren’t interested in company gym access, table tennis tables, and a collaborative office environment. They want safety, security, and peace of mind.
Instead, focus on highlighting COVID-friendly benefits like healthcare insurance, sick leave, flexible schedules, and work-from-home options.
5. Showcase your brand’s diversity and inclusion efforts
While COVID-19 has dominated headlines across 2020, it hasn’t been the only big news story this year. Perhaps equally relevant were the Black Lives Matter protests. This movement has made it more important than ever for employers to put their D&I initiatives front and center.
Showing your support and commitment to equality in the workplace on your career pages, press releases, and social media posts can help to strengthen your brand as we head into 2021.
For more help with your recruitment efforts, get in touch with Bear Staffing.
Our team of industry experts has substantial experience connecting organizations with top-tier talent across multiple industries. Call us today to learn more.