A Guide for Associations to Promote Employer Branding

Often associations' memberships comprise of companies of all sizes from startups and SMEs, to multinational organizations, which all have employees in the workplace. Not only does this make up a proportion of the local workforce, but it also implies that all employers need to tackle the challenge of recruiting.

According to the Employer Brand Research 2019 conducted by Randstad, 91% of employees in Hong Kong would check the reputation of a given employer. On this note, Eventbank and StartupCare have partnered up to suggest an appropriate guide for associations on this important topic of employer branding as a way to help you and your members recruit and retain the right people.

employer providing guidance to employees
What is employer branding?

Employer branding is essentially what makes you stand out from the crowd or what makes you unique. A company's ability to carve out and develop their own identity will help portray their own distinctive personality, and thus, allow them to attract and recruit their ideal candidates. Associations can also set up their own superstar team that has experience in employer branding and seek employee feedback as often as possible.

But why an association?

Associations are by far one of the best ways to target potential candidates, usually for industries with peer-to-peer engagement. This includes corporate members who encourage employees to engage with industry peers, and that usually means attending an event.

These events are usually great opportunities to not just spread the word about your employer brand, but also to help you size up the competition or partnerships, that you might not encounter in other circumstances.

Benefits for associations to promote employer branding to members
  • Topic provides values to members to enhance their competitiveness as an employer in the employment markets
  • Serves as a membership retention strategy
  • Topic is easy to develop into a series of trainings and seminars for consistent engagement with members
  • Opportunity for associations to build communities

Employer Branding Trends to watch out in 2020

Below is a series of topic ideas, which revolve around employer branding that will establish the credibility of associations and serve value for their members:

1. Employee wellness is the latest trend in employer branding
team having fun in outdoor area outside office

Today's world is an increasingly health conscious one where people are willing to pay top dollar to invest in their health, especially for the younger generation .

Employers who brand themselves as 'health-conscious' will attract a young millennial crowd who align with their company's values. Companies can therefore differentiate themselves by promoting their company culture and develop a strong Employee Value Proposition (EVP).

Having a workplace wellness programme can be a major part of employer branding. Healthy and happy staff members are a sign of a good employer, and most job seekers consider what healthcare benefits a job offers before committing. These are some tactics employers can implement right away:

  • Make sure your company website lists the health and wellness activities you provide to your employees. Include pictures so potential job seekers can really envision working at your company.

  • Job seekers can have a glimpse of what it is like to work for a particular company through social media, so employers should take advantage and actively promote their health and wellness activities online.

  • A fun team activity that will build your employer branding is to sign your team up for a 5k fun run, go on a hike, or just glamp for some fresh air outside the office. In Hong Kong, the annual Dragon Boat Festival offers a popular team-building activity of Dragon Boat Racing, in which the months of practice helps to create a sense of belonging among teams.

By investing in a sustainable wellness culture you will create a strong, appealing employer brand, and temporary monetary losses will be paid back over time by satisfied employees creating stellar work. StartupCare Hong Kong is an example that provides tailor-made corporate health benefits solutions that help employers and their teams in local startups and SMEs to live a healthier lifestyle.

2. Employer branding on Social Media Platforms
mobile phone displays social media apps

Employers' presence on social media platforms has become increasingly important, with 62% of candidates in Hong Kong using social media to research on companies before applying.

While we know that the majority spends most of their time on various social media platforms, social media habits vary across generations. Among all online and offline channels, here are the most prominent online channels used by each generation in Hong Kong to check the employer's reputation:

  • For generation Z (age 18-24), 39% used Facebook
  • For millennials (age 25-34), 28% used LinkedIn
  • For generation X (age 35-54), 47% used company website

Based on the information above, one should plan out the implementation of a systematic and efficient social media branding strategy. To begin with, the employer or the company should focus on the social media channels as shown above, and plan out tailored messages of promoting your employer brand for each channel. Each channel such as Facebook or LinkedIn would require different messages and designs based on the designated target audience, and it is therefore important to map out the ideal strategy accordingly.

With respect to the content of the promotions in the various social media platforms, there are several types of information that could be useful and different ways that it could be delivered. An overall run down on the company environment and culture can be an effective way to let job applicants have an indirect experience in what to expect when working in your company. Adding on, using a video format or photos to post short clips or pictures of your office can be a practical method to share the experience through social media. Many successful companies such as L'Oréal now have their own Instagram career page, in which they share photos and videos of the office to promote their outstanding working environment. Another crucial content to include is the unforgettable perks and benefits that one might be given if they work in your company. This information is certainly the most eye catching and is really what leaves a deep impression on potential applicants. The Marriott Hotel Group is an excellent example as they use social media to convey their special employee benefits of special priced luxury hotel rooms.

3. How to measure the ROI of Employer branding?
employee in front of business presentation

There are various ways of measuring your 'Return on Investment' regarding employer branding. Whether it is from the quality of your employees, the satisfaction level of these employees or the amount of applications you receive, certain data results can tell how well you are marketing your employer brand.

The number of applicants is a good indication of how well you are promoting your company and your brand to not only the jobseekers but also to the general public. According to Quartz, an international news organization, Google receives around 3 million applications on an annual basis due to a successful employer branding strategy. As your company image and reputation improves through positive company qualities such as adequate employee compensation and comfortable working environment, it is only natural for the number of applicants to increase due to the effectiveness of your employer branding methods.

Another traditional way to measure the ROI of employer branding is to build your Talent Promoter Score (TPS) through means of simple online or offline surveys. TPS is the measurement of how likely your employees are to refer your organization to others outside. Making your employees advocates of your brand can be a simple but efficient way of marketing your brand to the general public. A short survey regarding this topic would give you a general idea of both the satisfaction level of your employees and their likelihood of their positive word of mouth. As an employer, you should aim to increase the survey scores by providing a employee-centered working environment, which will then create a virtuous cycle and attract talented workers to apply to your company.

Last but not least, alternatives such as cost per hire can provide a financial perspective in measuring the ROI on employer branding. Cost is indeed one of the most important factors to consider when hiring a new worker. While many companies have reported losing large amounts of money from employer branding due to a wrongful hire, some said to have saved their expenses because they did not have to repeat the cycle of recruitment and bear the hiring cost as often. An overall statistic on the financial situation regarding recruitment may help you gain insight on how efficient your employer branding strategies are.

4. How to easily organize events and manage members?
networking event with people chatting

Whether you're coming from the position of a manager of an association, or a manager looking to join an association, events are helpful for all parties involved. Branding at these events benefit the members as much as it benefits the organizers, and the responsibility of brand awareness lies in the hands of the attendees that you have the opportunity to meet. It is important to take it upon yourself to join events as a company, so that you might find yourself in the middle of a particularly juicy conversation.

A simple metric for branding success is how many name cards you can give out. If you are the one running the event, you can simply associate your brand as an association of the organizer, and while you still need to apply proper practices in event management, you can still walk away knowing that attendees will generally associate your brand with the event and are that much closer to being seen as a pillar of your industry rather than an audience.

Another advantage of events is that one might be able to find their team or employees benefiting from the wellness growth inspired by others. Not always does a company need to take it upon themselves to empower employees internally. Events are a great way to grow and build branding externally, by simply exposing external benefits onto your workforce.

EventBank puts together this article that talks about the different kinds of values an association can provide. Whether it is through events or through their core membership benefits. These are some important ideas you can run with to inspire your company or association in new ways of engagement that can only end up helping your brand flourish.

Learn more about StartupCare's employee health benefits solutions by speaking to our team here or Whatsapp us at +852 5379 8911.


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