You’ve probably heard the term “Employer Branding” and maybe even plan to look into it more when you can find the time. Frankly, it can’t wait much longer.

Recruiting difficulties are among operators’ biggest concerns, according to this People Report TDn2K survey. The current economic climate is creating difficulty in staffing your restaurant, so you need to make recruiting a priority. But, what, exactly is Employer Branding, what can it do for you, and how do you even get started? The good news is you already have an Employer Brand. The bad news is it could be a negative image or a scattered and weak message, as it hasn’t been designed or controlled.

“Employer branding is the process of promoting a company, or an organization, as the employer of choice to a desired target group, one which a company needs and wants to recruit and retain.”

– Chris van Mossevelde, Insights

Happily, you are already an expert at branding! You’re running a restaurant that has a certain reputation, whether it’s a big chain concept or an independent eatery. When a guest thinks of your restaurant they have a preconceived notion of what to expect. You have a logo and a unique language you use in menus and ads, a décor or atmosphere your diners enjoy, and a level of service that your staff strives to attain with each customer interaction. Your employer brand isn’t so different, and in fact, they intersect often.

Your prospective employees have most likely been your guests, and they usually live within 5 miles of your restaurant, so they are your neighbors. They might know some of your employees, or have heard stories about what it’s like to work for you. And just like bad yelp reviews, negative applicant interactions can have an impact on your future applicant flow.

Creating and maintaining a strong Employer Brand will help you find staff that will stay longer, be more engaged and provide better service to your customers in several ways.

  1. A strong employer brand will attract applicants to you. If applicants have heard great things about working in your restaurant they will want to be a part of it. This opens up your applicant pool beyond people currently searching for jobs and helps lure “passive applicants” who are currently employed but seeking a better situation.
  2. A robust brand encourages employee referrals. When a worker is happier in his position he’s more likely to tell his friends and family. Conversely, unhappy employees will spread negative stories, discouraging applicants from applying.
  3. A clear brand will bring in like-minded applicants. Hiring people who honestly understand the brand, the position and the requirements allows employees to succeed and flourish under your brand, improving retention and lessening the time and cost spent searching for new hires.
  4. Millennials love brands. Younger employees, those sought after Millennials, are more attracted to positions that offer a good culture, room for growth, and feedback, oftentimes more so than higher wages. Since they are a brand conscious group as a whole, an attractive and positive brand will encourage them to see your organization as a good fit.

Want more? Next time we’ll focus on building and maintaining an excellent Employer Brand!