Chances are when you think of branding you immediately call to mind iconic companies like L.L. Bean, Apple, or Google. The reality is everyone and everything has a brand. A brand is your image. It is what people remember about you. It is the message about you that people convey to their friends. Some brands get their start by being expertly manufactured by marketing professionals, but ultimately a brand is determined by the general public and their belief of who you are and what you stand for. It is that organic brand that can make or break your company.

For years, HR Leaders across the country have been talking about the power of employment branding – and of course, outlining all these cost-prohibitive, pie-in-the-sky ideas to help make every company the employer of choice. From onsite gyms to unlimited PTO and napping pods, employers are pulling out all the stops to be the best – and realistically, you can’t compete with monetary perks like that at this time. Truth is, so much of that sizzle is little more than flash, and what actually has the biggest impact on your employment brand is the simple, everyday stuff.

Here is a look at a few areas you can work on to make sure people think fondly of your of your company when they consider places they want to work at

Set the Tone by Treating People Fairly

Whether they are simply a guest, an applicant, or your most senior employee; every person wants to be treated fairly  and with respect and dignity. Set the expectation and hold everyone in your company, from management down, accountable for treating people as your organization expects. Building a culture of respect in your workplace will do wonders for your reputation.

Enforce a No-Workplace-Drama Policy

The majority of people simply want to have the ability to go to work, do their job, and go home. They do not want to get caught up in office politics or inflated egos. Don’t allow yourself to be the middleman for internal conflict; set the expectation that your employees work together to settle their disagreements, and you are simply there to mediate and document when necessary.

Show Them They Are Valued

It begins with offering a fair and competitive compensation, but it doesn’t end there. Employees want to have the confidence that their work is appreciated, their ideas are considered, and that they are valued. Develop a way for employees to pitch their ideas to the company and ask for feedback on upcoming initiatives as appropriate. This helps employees buy-in to the overall mission of the company.

Develop a Pathway for the Future

It’s unlikely that anyone will go out their way to sing the praises for what they feel is a dead-end job. Not every employee wants to progress to the level of management, but having levels within a specific position along with expectations and training to get to said levels can make a huge difference. It will encourage employees to skill themselves up and become masters of their work. 

Address Your Branding Issues Head-On

If you are having a hard time filling your jobs openings, you might have a branding problem. If you don’t have employees filling up your recruitment pipeline with referrals, you might have a branding problem. If you have great candidates turning down your jobs offers, you might have a branding problem. When hiring gets tough, it is time to explore the root causes. Ask employees. Refer to your exit interviews. And take action.