In September, I attended Hubspot’s annual Inbound conference in Boston, a massive convergence of marketers and Hubspot users from around the World. While I was entrenched in learning the latest and greatest marketing techniques to apply here at Stories Inc., I found that many of the sessions I attended had useful lessons for employer branding and recruitment marketing professionals as well.
One of these sessions was led by Molly Hayward, the founder of Cora, the ‘Toms’ of feminine products. She spoke about how to build a brand that women will care about and buy from…and how could these lessons not also apply to employer branding?
How to build an employer brand that women will care about:
As Molly pointed out, women control a lot of buying power as consumers, and this is also reflected in the working world. Women make up 47% of the US workforce, with about 74 million women in the civilian labor force. That’s a lot of women currently working and potentially looking for new jobs. In a time when candidates are more and more being treated like customers, it makes sense to build an employer brand that women and female candidates are attracted to when they’re looking for an employer or new place to work.
It’s been proven that women value many of the same things as their male counterparts when they’re looking for a job, but there are also a few factors that they value far more than men, such as access to mentorships that allow for more internal growth and development. While offering benefits such as these is important to attracting more women applicants for open roles, it’s equally important to have a culture and employer brand that women can support and believe in when they join the team.
Three pillars of a successful employer brand for women:
1. Purpose + Story
This goes beyond your company mission statement (which is still important) and gets into what it means to work for your company. Your employer brand should tell a story with true purpose, aligned with the company culture, to better create connections and foster genuine relationships with prospective female job candidates and of course, female employees as well.
No, this doesn’t necessarily mean having the most beautiful website ever. But instead, ‘design’ here refers to the idea of having a clear and well-planned manner of communicating your company story. This can encompass everything from cultural moments, to spotlights on jobs – whatever it might be that paints a full picture of your company and brand.
You can have the best brand story and employee experience around, but if you aren’t communicating culture in a clear way, and in the right places for candidates to see, they’ll never know what you stand for and if they could fit in on the team.
Start with the heart of your company – your employees – and tell their stories to best illustrate the employee experience.
In the traditional brand sense for consumers, innovate implies creating a product that improves the customer (woman’s) life. Why should it be any different for an employer brand? Innovating within the company to improve the lives of all employees should be a no-brainer, but are you taking the next step and finding ways to ensure women are also getting attention?
Ask female employees what they need or want, and go back to the research we cited up above on what female candidates value in a new company and find ways to improve upon that. Is it providing better mentorship programs or lunch and learns? Use your current team as a sounding board to build out the best (and most innovative)
Build a better employer brand for all
Building an employer brand that attracts women doesn’t necessarily mean excluding men from the process or create a company where men wouldn’t feel aligned with the mission. But, by recruiting more women, it creates a more diverse culture, and a more diverse company, makes for a more productive company. The process starts with better recruitment marketing in telling your company story and communicating your employer brand.