3 employer branding questions to help you attract and retain technical staff

Employer branding is a great tool to help you attract and retain the best technical employees.
Here are the questions you need to ask to kick-start your branding strategy.

Employee retention is becoming a major problem for modern companies.

In June 2016, the ‘quit rate’ of employees voluntarily leaving their jobs reached 2.1%. If this continues, just over a quarter of private employees will have quit their jobs by the close of the year.

One of the causes for this is the increase in employees who are part of the millennial generation – those born between 1981-2004. Millennials like to change jobs regularly. When asked whether employees should remain at the same job for at least 5 years, only 13% of millennials agreed. When asked the same question, a whopping 41% of baby boomers said yes.

These numbers represent a wider trend in employment among younger employees towards greater career flexibility. And this can make hiring a real challenge for employers. According to recent research, it takes an average of 29 days to fill an open position. That’s a lot time not spent on product development and other essential areas of your business.

The time you take to hire a new employee is even more significant if you’re hiring for a technical role, such as an engineer, software developer, or R&D professional. They are typically more difficult and time consuming to find than sales, PR, and marketing staff. And losing them can lead to a lull in product development. This leave you at risk of getting left behind by the market and your competitors.

This is why it has never been more important to have a strong employer branding strategy to help you retain your technical staff and attract new talent.

Here are three questions you need to ask yourself when formulating an effective employer branding strategy.

What makes your company unique?

There’s surely something that sets you apart from your competition.

Maybe you have a unique product, or you’re the leader in your market. Maybe it’s a reputation for innovation.

What makes your company special is what will make technical staff want to work for you. It’s also what will make them want to work for you and not your competition.

Communicating that sets your company apart and is a surefire way to help improve retention and bring in new staff.

What do your technical employees want?

You can offer employees all the benefits in the world and advertise them everywhere, but if you don’t understand what they want, you’ll waste your time and money – and you won’t improve employee retention or attract new employees.

Before you roll out new benefits schemes for your technical staff, talk with them to find out what they value most. They might not care about a free gym as much as the freedom to work on a personal research project while at work. Or maybe what they want most is the time to learn new skills.

What your technical staff values might be different from what’s important to the rest of your staff. It’s vital that you understand what motivates them so that you can offer them benefits that complement what they value. Once you know what’s really important to them, you can incorporate what you’ve learned in an effective employer branding strategy.

What’s your reputation?

One of the main components of any employer branding strategy is company reputation. So what’s yours like?

With the growth of social media and websites like Glassdoor, where employees share insights into what it’s like to work at their companies, it’s never been more important to manage reputation.

These forums can tell you what your staff really think of your company – both in terms of what you’re doing right, and more importantly, what you can do to improve your reputation inside and outside the company.

Once you’ve answered these three questions, you should have a better idea of what new and current employees value most in your company. Now you can build a successful employer branding strategy around these values to attract the best technical talent and decrease your quit rate. 

ResearchGate Scientific Recruiting

ResearchGate is a social network for experts with 15+ million research professionals, technical staff, scientists, and academics.

If you’re looking to attract and retain technical talent, increasing your presence on ResearchGate should be key to your employer branding strategy.

You can advertise jobs on a dedicated network of scientists and researchers, and establish your company as an important part of the technical and research community.

To find out how ResearchGate Scientific Recruiting can assist you with finding new technical employees, schedule a demo.


Header photo courtesy of Heisenberg Media.

ResearchGate Scientific Recruiting

Schedule a demo today