Nothing resonates with candidates quite like real photos of real employees at work, particularly if they aren’t actually working. You can’t accurately convey your culture with everyone back in their cubicles or sitting through a meeting to plan more meetings, or really any part of work that looks like work at all, really.
So, make sure to take advantage of isolated events like an annual holiday party or the requisite “Community Service Day” (don’t mention the tax write-off) to showcase that you’re really a pretty cool employer for a few hours each year. Of course, you don’t actually need to offer these to capitalize on employer branding best practices. Just get a couple of “diverse” employees together in a well-lit space and give them some stage direction as you snap away.
These “brand ambassadors” don’t have to be top performers, but should look like they could work in pharma sales, have good teeth and are generally photogenic. No one wants to look at the guy in accounting with the oily hair or the operations manager with the slight hunchback, even if they are among your most reliable and consistent employees. There’s a reason they call them the “back office.”
You don’t need to be Ansel Adams to get workable photos, but the quality of your created stock art clearly represents the quality of employment opportunities. Good news is, one of your workers probably has a passion for photography, and more importantly, a nice camera. Get them involved, so that you can also subtly send a sign you allow employees to pursue their interests at work, even if you then impound the camera for the rest of the day so it doesn’t become a distraction after the shoot.
Of course, finding a good in-house photographer means actually talking to employees, so you can always ask one of the admins in the C-Suite for the name of the professional photographer who took the Olan Mills style headshots for the Leadership section of the company website.
At the end of the day, stock photos shouldn’t be a part of employer branding; your goal should be to replicate what’s readily available on iStock (or Google image search; what's the worst that could happen?) as closely as possible with your own workers in your own workplace. Because it’s all about people.
Best Practices in Action: Real Photos from Real Career Sites
Good thing that the HR industry is setting the way, showing that these products and services truly practice what they preach by providing compelling imagery which clearly differentiates their employer brand while showcasing their company culture - and what's unique about it.
Instead of sounding like most companies, these vendors add compelling content to the amazing imagery to create an employer branding masterpiece that's a clear sign their recruiting teams are on the same page as the sales guys they're hiring. Their copy clearly shows they made a better choice than had they said the exact opposite, which is of course closer to the truth for most of their competitors - and a completely differentiated employer value proposition.
It just so happens they all kind of look and sound a lot alike - but then again, doing what everyone else is doing is called a best practice, so behold the template for success:
Try This: "We hire talented professionals that are passionate about the work they do. We’re high-performers. We believe in balance. We think work should also be fun."
Not This: "We don't hire untalented, unprofessional people who don't care about the work they do. We're low performers. We don't believe in balance. We don't think work should be fun."
Try This: "Oracle’s work environment is diverse, flexible, and inclusive, and our development locations have great perks and benefits."
Not This: "Our work environment is not diverse, it's inflexible and exclusive, and our development locations have terrible perks and no benefits."
Try This: "Strong values, ethical standards and a commitment to openness, diversity and work-life balance are at the center of our workplace culture, but it's our employees who make Ceridian come alive!"
Not This: "Complete lack of values or ethics and a commitment to lack of transparency, impersonalization and working our people as hard as possible are at the center of our workplace culture, but it's our employees who make our company feel dead!"
Try This: "What distinguishes Monster from all the rest? Vision, energy, creativity, and the fact that we encourage every employee to unleash their potential."
Not This: "What distinguishes us from all the rest? Lack of vision, laziness, love of status quo, and the fact that we discourage every employee to unleash their potential."
Try This: "In exchange for our employees' hard work, we provide great benefits and exciting perks."
Not This: "In exchange for our employees hard work, we provide no benefits and a :30 unpaid break every shift."
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