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The Importance of Employer Branding for Animal Health Employers

by Stacy Pursell | The VET Recruiter | Feb 05, 2020

You might be familiar with the term personal branding, which applies to professionals working within the employment marketplace. But what about employment branding? If you haven’t, then you need to know about it. And if you have, then you need to know how important it is for employers, especially Animal Health employers.

So what is employer branding? Essentially, it’s how an employer is perceived by job seekers and candidates within the marketplace. And the rule of thumb is this: everything that a company or organization does and does NOT do brands it in one way or another.

I have a story that illustrates this. An organization reached out to me to ask for help filling a position that had been open for six months. They had been trying to fill the position on their own without success. Now the hiring manager called and wanted to hire me to help fill it for them.

The trouble began when I reached out to a potential candidate for the role. When I spoke with the candidate, he asked, “Hasn’t that position been open for six months? Why can’t they fill it?” The problem was his perception, and as I just mentioned, perception is the foundation of branding. In short, the candidate believed there must be something wrong with the position, the employer, or both since the position had remained open for six months.

So, despite the fact that the candidate had never spoken to anyone at the company, the candidate had a negative perception of it. The organization had branded itself in a negative way, and company officials didn’t even know it happened. The problem was that the organization was not viewed by the candidate as an employer of choice. And when you’re trying to brand your organization in a positive way, your goal should be to brand it as an employer of choice.

You might be asking, “What exactly IS an employer of choice?” Basically, it’s an employer that offers a great workplace environment and company culture, and as a result, it’s able to attract, hire, and retain the top candidates in the marketplace. Candidates will join your organization because it is recognized as an employer of choice, and they will continue to work at your organization for the same reason.

In terms of becoming an employer of choice, the first step is to ask the following questions:

  • Have all of the candidates you’ve extended an offer to during the past three years accepted that offer?
  • If they haven’t, what’s the percentage?
  • How many employees have quit working at your organization to pursue another employment opportunity during the past three years?
  • What are the reasons those employees left?
  • How do top candidates currently view your organization in the marketplace?
  • How are candidates treated during the interview process?
  • How do you want your organization to be viewed by job seekers and candidates?

One of the problems that organizations run into is they don’t manage their brand very well. An initial assessment like this one creates a realistic starting point, especially in regards to which direction you should go first.

There are two main types of criteria for becoming an employer of choice: tangible criteria and intangible criteria. The tangible criteria involves everything that the employee does concerning their job. This includes their duties, responsibilities, and the actual work they do on a daily basis. The intangible criteria, on the other hand, involves other, less noticeable things, such as the company culture, the way in which the employee interacts with their co-workers, their relationship with their boss, etc.

In terms of intangible criteria, candidates typically seek an opportunity that they consider to be personally satisfying and professionally meaningful. Personally satisfying encompasses the following:

  • The relationship that the employee has with their manager
  • The relationships that the employee has with their co-workers
  • The sense of accomplishment they enjoy as a result of their job
  • The relationships that the employee has with their co-workers
  • The sense of accomplishment they enjoy as a result of their job
  • The recognition they receive from the company, their boss, and/or their co-workers
  • The positive feelings they have due to the fact they know they’re pursuing their passions

Professionally meaningful also encompasses the following:

  • Whether or not the organization’s core values are in line with their own
  • Whether or not the organization is socially conscious and “gives back” to the community
  • Whether or not the organization stands for something more than just making a profit
  • Whether or not the candidate or employee can envision staying with the company long-term

Believe it or not, the intangible criteria often play a larger role in determining which organizations are employers of choice and which ones are not. Ultimately, as an Animal Health employer, your company should strive to provide both tangible and intangible criteria to job seekers and candidates. The reason is simple. When you do that, you’re actually providing more reasons why those job seekers and candidates would want to work for your organization.

In this current market, candidates have the leverage. As a result, it is critical for Animal Health employers to recognize the importance of employer branding, identify the employer brand they currently have, and take the steps necessary to improve their brand for the purpose of successfully hiring the best candidates.

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