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How to win the competition for tech talent with your employer branding

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Employer branding

If you think job seekers aren’t doing their homework on your company’s employer branding. Think again.

One in two candidates say that they wouldn’t work for a company with a bad reputation – even for a pay increase. The way in which your company brands itself is directly linked with your company’s recruitment process. After all, treating employees as if they were customers is a sure-fire way to attract the best and brightest tech talent.

Developers, in particular, pay close attention to the hiring processes of individual companies and whether they actually consider the candidate and developer experience. Stack Overflow confirms this.

When making a decision on where to apply for a job, 84% of job seekers say the reputation of an employer is important. And companies with positive brands get two times as many applications as companies with negative brands. What’s more, nearly 4 in 5 candidates say the overall candidate experience they receive is an indicator of how a company values its people. Food for thought, right?

Should you need any more convincing on how vital your company’s brand is for your recruitment process, a survey from McKinsey found that data analytics and IT are the two most under-threat industries from the global talent skills gap. In 2020, the global talent shortage totaled 40M skilled workers worldwide. It’s predicted to surge past 85.2M by 2030.

Though the space might be growing, tech talent is in short supply. The race to find the best of the best is a growing concern for HR professionals. Before you can offer them the assurance of progression, benefits, and a great working environment, candidates will look elsewhere. But where would they start? With your employer branding.

Employer branding

Source: Unsplash

The benefits of a positive employer brand

This survey by LinkedIn claimed that 72% of worldwide recruiting leaders agreed that employer brand has a significant impact on hiring. Needless to say, there is ample evidence to suggest that a great employer brand makes it easier to recruit.

For some companies, the financials equate to millions of dollars in savings and reduced time to hire.

Here’s what LinkedIn believe a strong employer brand will deliver you:

  • A 28% reduction in the company’s turnover
  • 50% cost-per-hire reduction
  • 50% more qualified applicants
  • 1–2x faster time to hire

Companies with a poor brand spend at least 10% more on salaries to acquire talent. Glassdoor reports that organizations that invest in their employer brand are three times more likely to make a quality hire.

When you have a strong employer brand, you also tend to have a more engaged workforce. A poor brand can lead to lower engagement. Randstad Sourceright’s Talent Trends survey found that 46% of HR leaders say a strong brand leads to stronger engagement and higher productivity.

To keep employees happy, employers must be aware of what developers want out of a job. Rather unsurprisingly, making more money and the opportunity to work with new technologies is what developers are after. Savvy employer brands use such knowledge to plan how they would like their brand to be perceived.

Developer experience

Source: Unsplash

How to deliver an enjoyable developer experience

Developers detest stone-age screening tasks such as algorithmic puzzles and whiteboard testing. They want their skills fairly and objectively measured, not asked to recite information they learnt at college—which usually has little practical application in their future jobs.

Part of delivering an enjoyable candidate experience is by screening them in a way which resonates with developers. A platform made by developers for developers sounds like a pretty good start.

DevSkiller TalentScore is exactly that. With our platform, you are able to verify your candidate’s skills through programming tasks that mirror the everyday challenges in your company. Developers appreciate the testing conditions, which are identical to real-world working conditions.

Over 9 out of 10 candidates complete a test they’ve started on our platform because they like the challenge. That’s what happens when you test skills that really matter.

RealLifeTesting™ helps you to find effective programmers by assessing practical coding and problem-solving skills that developers actually enjoy. They are not only assessed on the programming language but on their knowledge of the entire ecosystem of the technology (language, frameworks, and libraries). This means you get a more well-rounded report on their knowledge and role fit.

Technical candidates also appreciate the anonymized screening process where they are assessed in an unbiased environment. The test results are objective and the candidate reports anonymous, leading to a more positive experience for participants.

Best ways to communicate your employer branding to tech talent

The inclusion or absence of your employer brand can have a significant impact on a candidate’s decision to engage with your business. The #1 obstacle that candidates experience when searching for a job is not knowing what it’s like to work at an organization.

Maintaining an up-to-date and receptive online presence is as important as ever. Organizations that offer a free company blog with well-researched information, company culture videos, and social action stances can help make your brand more relatable. It is also the second most popular method for sourcing company information.

So where do most candidates go to find out more about a company’s culture? Almost 70% of them source further information through third-party sites such as Glassdoor or Blind. Adopting a company strategy on these platforms by responding to questions and queries is a proactive way to foster engagement.

Employer branding - Glassdoor stat

Source: Stack Overflow

Interestingly, candidates trust the company’s employees 3x more than the company to provide credible information on what it’s like to work there. Asking your employees to post and hashtag testimonials on LinkedIn, GitHub, Twitter and other types of social media can be an incredibly valuable tool to garner organic public exposure.

Whatever the message you’re sending, make sure it is transparent. 66% of consumers think transparency is one of the most attractive qualities in a brand. This includes transparency in materials, how it treats employees, and what it cares about beyond the profit motive. Remember that employees should be treated no differently to customers. Society is increasingly concerned about what happens behind closed doors, and brand transparency has never been more vital.

A controllable variable that can be managed in-house are the constructive discussions you can have with candidates post-interview or post-screen. Talent is four times more likely to consider your company in the future if you offer constructive feedback. Tied to transparency, people value candidacy and honesty. When you provide insight into your decision, it allows both the candidate and the recruiter to come to a mutual understanding.

If your organization is doing the right thing by way of current or future employees, word will spread pretty quickly anyway. Seeking information within friend/ family networks or by directly contacting past or present employees at the company are other popular ways for candidates to find out more.

Source: Unsplash

Adapt your hiring strategy to your employer branding

A great employee workforce is the basis of top companies around the world. Who companies hire and how they hire them helps determine employee retainment, employee satisfaction, employee accountability, and employee turnover.

Changing or improving the ways in which you screen, interview and ultimately hire new employees can be a real boost in your sales pitch to new tech talent.

Google has a dedicated blog to ‘life at Google’ which talks about their recruitment process and what it’s like to work at their offices. This kind of messaging is an example of how to effectively combine identity and employer branding into your recruitment cycle.

Some other interesting trends to come out of their hiring strategy is the transparency, simplicity, and achievement-oriented focus that their brand is known for:

  1. Google makes an effort to explain the process and the next steps, making it clear to the candidate what is required of them.
  2. By providing clarity for the applicant, Google encourages candidates to apply in a standardized manner making it easier to process and evaluate.
  3. Google is most interested in what you have done in the past and what experience you can bring to the team. This is reinforced by having a separate hiring section for students and recent graduates.

Being able to brand your company in a way that incorporates a few USPs (unique selling points) to distinguish itself from the competition will significantly boost your brand’s appeal.

Final thoughts

As it has with Google and many other successful businesses, the key to attracting top tech talent is engaging with your talent pool. Providing a positive candidate experience and working that into your employer branding is one of the best things you can do right now.

It may not reap rewards instantly, but laying the groundwork now will inevitably have a positive impact on your ability to hire great candidates and keep them happy.

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