March 24, 2015
You’ve identified what to look for in your employer brand by reading Part 1 and Part 2 of the Employer Brand Audit series. But where can you go to assess and improve each of these characteristics without reinventing your marketing budget from the ground up? Here’s a look at tools that can help you improve your web presence, candidate experience and overall employer brand health.
Tools to Test: Website, Career Pages and Mobile
Part 1 of the Employer Brand Audit series focused on three technical brand assets companies use to identify and attract better job candidates: the company website, career pages and mobile presentation. Here’s a look at the top free and low-cost tools you can use to monitor and improve these assets.
Optimize your website for job seekers
Sometimes it’s hard to understand what’s really good or bad about your website because you’re so close to it. You likely had a hand in developing it, or perhaps it’s been around so long that you’re simply accustomed to its strengths and weaknesses. Overcome this oversight by using a tool like HubSpot’s Marketing Grader to get uncensored insight. This tool focuses on analyzing your website’s content marketing efforts.
Use a website evaluation checklist such as this one to evaluate three or four of your competitors, and then use it to evaluate your website. Compare all of the results to see if you are presenting your brand in the most genuine and unique way possible.
Evaluate your career pages for clarity and ease of use
Much of the above website advice could apply to your career pages, as well. If your career pages are hosted on a separate subdomain from your company website, use the Marketing Grader to perform a second, separate evaluation. If you’re concerned about optimizing your career pages for SEO, use tools like Screaming Frog SEO Spider and Page Authority Checker to zero in on ways to improve your SEO quality and attract more jobseekers.
Use the same website audit checklist to evaluate your company pages, too. Compare your pages not only to your competitors but also to the hiring pages of companies known for their HR efforts, such as Zappos and Amazon. Consider the differences and whether or not those changes would be appropriate (and authentic) for your brand.
Evaluate mobile access to your site
The first step in analyzing your website for mobile access is to use a cell phone and tablet to look at your website. What do you see? Is it easy to use? Or does it surprise you with how hard it is to navigate? Then use Google’s Webmaster Tools to see where your traffic comes from. Analyze the breakdown between mobile, tablet and PC users. You may be surprised to find out how many job candidates access your job openings via mobile phone. Enhancing that experience could have a direct impact on your recruitment numbers.
Tools to Test: Social Intelligence, Surveys and Reviews
Part 2 of the Employer Brand Audit series looked deeper into your marketing assets to consider your social reputation, the sentiment inside your company and the best way to look at external review and rating tools. The quality and authenticity of this digital relationship with current and former employees, word of mouth and overall Internet presence have a powerful impact on the candidates you can recruit. Here is a selection of tools that can help you monitor these three areas of employer brand health:
Social listening and intelligence tools
Start by selecting an appropriately-sized social media planning tool for your business such as HubSpot (enterprise-sized), HootSuite (medium-sized) or BufferApp (small and medium-sized). Each of these tools (and others like them) allow you to schedule your posts, monitor engagement and “listen” for particular words or hashtags that are pertinent to your industry. You can set alerts for mentions of you company, your competitors or topic hashtags that deal directly with your products or services. It’s very likely that brands such as Comcast use these tools to look for customers using specific positive or negative hashtags such as #ComcastSucks. Now there’s one problem you can be grateful you don’t have.
Once you’ve established a baseline social media strategy, you can focus on proactive social listening. Use platforms such as Social Mention, Tagboard and Tweetreach to gather data about a specific product, service, keyword or job opening. Each of these tools searches different platforms and can inform your planning and hiring strategy. Social Mention scans everything on the Web, Tagboard scans all hashtags across popular social media platforms, and Tweetreach scans Twitter.
Finally, consider tuning into a social intelligence service such as SocialRest, Datasift or TrueVoice. These services have an associated cost, but they can help you dig deeper than social “listening” to analyze the sentiment across the Web and tie your social and content efforts directly to the value of prospective customers and job candidates. These services offer varying levels of insights and products. Evaluate each with your own needs in mind.
Internal survey and assessment tools
Taking the internal temperature of your employee sentiment can be a time-consuming and awkward task. Using free digital tools can help make the process painless. Work with your HR team to develop a survey and deploy it to your company via email. Results will be anonymous.
Free online survey tools include SurveyMonkey, Zoomerang and SurveyGizmo. Each option allows you to customize a survey to include multiple choice questions, numbered ratings and open-ended essay answers. You can also set up automated surveys that go out each month, quarter or year to your entire employee database. Results are automatically organized into printable and digestible reports that can give you valuable insights into how your employees are feeling at each interval.
Review and ratings tools
The best tool for reviewing your company’s digital ratings footprint is the powerhouse search engine Google. Set aside time to comb the Internet for any mention of your company. Then narrow your search down to your company’s hiring reputation with the following keywords: “your company + hiring,” “your company + new job,” “your company + rating,” “your company + online review,” “your company + employee review.” The results might be eye-opening and allow you to carefully develop an approach for addressing these reviews. For a deeper dive, use a different browser—one you never or rarely use—to see if you get the same results.
Finally, exit interviews are a powerful defense against bad online reviews. Use them wisely. If you’re not getting a lot of negative feedback in your exit interviews, consider asking the employee to opt into an anonymous group survey 30 days after they leave the company. You may be able to extract more honest (and actionable) information when the employee has some distance from the position.
Have you had success with any of these online marketing and branding tools? Or perhaps we missed your favorite one. Let us know in the comments.