According to the Society for Human Resource Management, an employer brand “is essentially what the organization communicates as its identity to both potential and current employees. It encompasses an organization’s mission, values, culture, and personality.” Your benefits brand is part of your company’s identity, as it helps dictate what job seekers and employees think about you as an employer.

With the battle for talent getting fiercer by the day, employers must adopt winning recruiting and retention strategies, including branding their benefits program.

The Talent Shortage: A Pervasive Dilemma

From retail to transportation to construction to manufacturing to professional and business services, U.S. employers across many sectors are feeling the talent pinch. To attract and retain qualified people, employers must stand out.

A study by Glassdoor found that “details on benefits packages” is the second top piece of information that potential employees want as they are researching prospective employers. (“Details on compensation packages” came first.) Also, 69 percent are likely to apply to a job if the employer actively manages its brand, such as by sharing updates on the company’s culture.

The employer with the most impactful brand experience is almost certain to win the race for top talent.

Three Steps to Branding Your Benefits Program

Design a competitive benefits plan. The plan will, at least partially, serve as the face of your business, so it must be well thought out. Even a small benefits program, with the bare minimum of medical insurance, needs to be properly researched, benchmarked and developed. Your business size, location, industry and budget and your employees’ needs (what’s important to them and their families) are all factors to consider.

Brand your employee benefits portal. A centralized online platform for benefits is crucial to driving employee engagement and boosting administrative efficiency. Keep in mind that in order to create a branded platform you’ll need to do more than slap your company logo on the site. Your content (including the tone and style), the color scheme, the images you choose and the navigation and accessibility of the site should all be reflective of your brand.

Don’t be shy — communicate, communicate, communicate. The objective is to connect job seekers and employees to your benefits brand. Therefore, you’ll need to leverage a variety of communication strategies.

In job descriptions, state the benefits that will be provided. On your website, describe the incentives that make your company such a great place to work. Transform your employees into brand advocates by engaging them year-round, in various formats — such as email, benefits portal, newsletter, video, etc.

Does your company provide only one or two benefits? There’s still an opportunity for branding. For instance, identify the unique selling points of the benefit and promote them accordingly. The goal is to focus on reinforcing the value of the benefit and making that asset part of your company’s identity.

© 2018