Employer Branding and Purple Cows

Companies serious about upgrading their employer brand and employer branding strategies generally start with reputation sites like Glassdoor and Indeed, and rightfully so, seeing as those sites aggregate reviews and ratings that generate a star ranking, much like a restaurant, on the desirability of your firm for prospective employees.

But what if you want to do more?

Certainly you can invest in an optimized career site (jobs.yourcompany.com) complete with flashy images of your associates at work and at play.  That should help you convert a few more prospective applicants who navigate to your job board, and make a better impression on those considering employment with your organization.

At Referagig, we believe that the best and most proactive way to grow your employer brand is through investment in your employee referral program.

A well-designed and executed referral program will get your employees talking about your company in ways they never would on review sites like Glassdoor.

And it’s not just offline conversations with people they know or might have worked with in the past.  With a solid referral strategy in place, employees are given the ability to share jobs and employment-related content across their social media networks, creating impressions that function similar to display ads.  Think about it:  you’re scrolling through your LinkedIn news feed and see a post from one of your non-HR/recruiting connections at company X describing how great it is to work there, what kind of employment brand impression does that make on you?

But getting your employees to put the content out there (both online and offline) isn’t enough.  It’s what’s contained in the content that matters.

Seth Godin, the influential marketing guru and speaker, has his “purple cow” theory, which says that nobody pays attention to cows when they drive by them on the road, but if they were to see a purple cow, well that’s  “remarkable” and will get them talking.  And that’s how you get ideas to spread – by making them remarkable.

So, building your employee referral program is step 1 towards generating employee advocacy which will yield unprecedented employer branding.  Step 2 is crafting a remarkable message that will get people talking, applying, and coming to work at your company.