The Role of Managers in Building a Strong Employer Brand

While many elements contribute to a compelling employer brand, one of the most influential factors is the role of managers. Managers are not just leaders and supervisors; they’re also ambassadors of your company’s values and culture. By living the employer brand promise, engaging in recruiting everyday, maintaining an updated online presence, and fostering a positive candidate experience, managers can significantly enhance the employer brand. But how? Here are six ways managers can effectively contribute to building a strong employer brand.

 

#1. Living the Employer Brand Promise

The strength of an employer brand starts from the inside. It is crucial for managers to live and embody the employer brand promise, which includes the company’s vision, mission, values, guiding principles, and defined Employer Value Proposition (EVP). By doing so, managers play a critical role in shaping an engaged, happy, and trusting culture, and here’s how:

  • Vision: Managers must clearly communicate the company’s vision to their team. Ensure that every team member understands how their role contributes to the broader goals of the organization. This alignment helps foster a sense of purpose and direction.
  • Mission: Emphasize the company’s mission in everyday work. Managers should remind their teams of the larger mission and how their work directly impacts the organization’s success and growth.
  • Values: Manager must model the company’s core values in their daily actions and decisions. When managers consistently demonstrate these values, it sets a standard for the entire team to follow.
  • Guiding Principles: Uphold and promote the guiding principles that direct the company’s operations and decision-making processes. Managers should ensure that these principles are not just words on a page but are reflected in the workplace culture.
  • Employer Value Proposition (EVP): Actively promote and uphold the EVP. This includes highlighting career development opportunities, work-life balance, and the supportive culture your company offers. By doing so, managers can ensure that the promises made to employees are consistently delivered.

 

By living the employer brand promise, managers can create a work environment where employees feel valued and motivated. This positive internal culture becomes evident to potential candidates, enhancing the overall employer brand.

 

#2. Enhance Online Presence

A strong online presence is a cornerstone of modern recruitment. Candidates often research hiring managers before an interview, making it crucial for managers to maintain updated and professional profiles on platforms like LinkedIn. Here are some steps managers can take:

  • Update LinkedIn Profiles: Ensure their LinkedIn profile is current, including a professional photo, detailed job description, and career achievements. A well-maintained profile reflects positively on the organization.
  • Regular Posting: Share relevant industry content, company achievements, and personal career milestones. Engaging content can attract potential candidates and demonstrate your commitment to your professional community.
  • LinkedIn Groups: Managers should join and participate in relevant LinkedIn groups. These groups provide a platform to share knowledge, build a personal brand, and connect with potential candidates who are already interested in your industry.

 

#3. Foster a Positive Candidate Experience

The hiring process is a critical touchpoint for candidates and can significantly influence their perception of the company. Managers play a vital role in shaping this experience. Here’s how to ensure a positive candidate experience:

  • Enthusiastic Tone: Managers should maintain an enthusiastic and welcoming tone throughout the interview and follow-up process. Candidates should feel valued and excited about the opportunity.
  • Role Contextualization: Position the role within the larger context of the company. Managers should explain how the candidate’s contributions will make a difference and the types of projects they may work on.
  • Career Development: Managers need to highlight the professional development opportunities available within the organization. Candidates are often looking for roles that offer growth and advancement.
  • Team Fit:  How the candidate will fit into the team and the company culture will be important for the manager to discuss. Providing insights into the team dynamics can help candidates envision themselves in the role.
  • Follow-Up: After interviews, Managers should follow up with a positive note that reinforces key points discussed during the interview. This not only shows professionalism but also keeps candidates engaged.

 

#4. Recruit Everyday

Recruiting should not be confined to formal job postings and career fairs. Managers can integrate recruiting into their daily activities to build a robust talent pipeline. Here’s how:

  • Industry Contacts: Managers should inform their industry contacts, such as suppliers and partners, about open roles. These contacts can refer qualified candidates who might not be actively seeking a new job.
  • Community Involvement: Share positive work experiences with friends, family, and neighbors. Personal testimonials can significantly influence potential candidates.
  • Educational Outreach: Managers should connect with local schools, secondary and post-secondary, to discuss career opportunities. Engaging with students early and recent graduates can help identify future talent.
  •  Social Media Sharing: Share company content on social media networks. Managers should create or share posts about the company culture, employee testimonials, and job openings to reach a wide audience and attract passive candidates.

 

#5. Building a Network

A strong professional network can be an invaluable resource for attracting talent. Managers should actively build and leverage their networks to promote the company as an employer of choice. Here are some strategies:

  • Networking Events: Managers can attend industry conferences, seminars, and networking events. These events provide opportunities to meet potential candidates and share insights about your company.
  • Referrals: Managers should encourage their network to refer candidates for open positions. A robust referral program can significantly enhance the quality of applicants.
  • Content Sharing: Regularly sharing job postings and company updates within the Managers professional network. This keeps their contacts informed about opportunities and developments within your company.

 

#6. Community Engagement

Active participation in community events and initiatives can bolster your company’s reputation as a great place to work. Managers should engage in community activities that align with the company’s values and mission. Here’s how:

  • Career Fairs: Managers can participate in local career fairs and recruitment events. These events are excellent opportunities to meet potential candidates and promote the company.
  • Volunteer Work: Managers should encourage team members to participate in community service and volunteer activities. This not only benefits the community but also enhances the company’s image as socially responsible.
  • Partnerships: Managers should develop partnerships with local organizations and institutions. Collaborative efforts can lead to mutual benefits, including access to a broader talent pool.

 

Summing It All Up

Managers are the linchpin in building a robust employer brand and a thriving workplace culture. It’s imperative that they understand their pivotal role, receive the necessary training to embody the company’s values, and are held accountable for fostering a positive work environment and delivering a great candidate experience. When managers are equipped and motivated to champion the employer brand, they create a ripple effect that enhances employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention. This, in turn, attracts top talent and strengthens the organization’s reputation in the market.

As management expert Peter Drucker famously said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” The culture shaped by managers is the foundation of a strong employer brand. By investing in and empowering managers, companies can ensure a vibrant and enduring organizational culture.

 

Written by Colette O’Neill, Chief Employer Branding and Founder of Advance Human Capital Solutions