Mental health of freelancers: advice and resources

Becoming a freelancer is challenging. Being excellent at what you do is a prerequisite, but it is not enough. Simply being good at your job is not enough; you also have to manage every other aspect of the business, most of the time on your own. Drumming up leads, promoting your business, administrative tasks, invoicing... All these tasks fall to you and are just as important as delivering your product/service to your customers. But as a freelancer, you are often the only one in charge. During slow periods, difficult times, or in the event of a dispute, loneliness can weigh heavily on you and erode your mental health.

In this article, we give you all our tips and resources to preserve your mental health as a freelancer.

Why freelancers should look after their mental health

Good mental health is an issue for any worker, whether salaried or independent. And yes, the life of a freelancer may seem idyllic with it much sought-after flexibility and freedom, but it comes with its fair share of stress and uncertainty.

Freelancers need to pay special attention to their mental health for the following reasons:

  1. Isolation and solitude: Working as a freelancer often means working alone, which can lead to feelings of isolation. The absence of regular interactions with colleagues can have a negative effect on a person’s emotional and psychological state.
  2. Financial pressure and uncertainty: Freelancers often juggle with unpredictable income streams, which can transform financial management into a constant source of stress. Without the security of a regular salary, every day of work without pay can feed your anxiety.
  3. Work-life balance: Freelancers can find it hard to establish a clear separation between their work and their personal life, especially when they work from home. The risk of taking on too much is real, which can lead to burnout.
  4. Managing every aspect of the company: As a freelancer, you are a CEO, accountant and CRM rolled into one. Wearing all these hats, if poorly managed, can lead to a considerable mental load.
  5. A less accessible support network: In contrast to office colleagues, freelancers don’t generally have access to company resources such as psychological support programmes, and they often have to face their problems alone.

The challenges of freelancing on mental health

As we have seen, taking care of your mental health as a freelancer is not an optional extra. Among the challenges that are specific to freelancers, we note the emotional rollercoaster, stress related to the different roles you take on and solitude. Let’s take stock of these 3 aspects that are an inseparable part of the freelance package.

  1. The good old emotional rollercoaster

Name one freelancer who has never mentioned the emotional rollercoaster. There are none.

Because that is the life of a freelancer.

It is a series of cycles of euphoria and doubt: a direct reflection of the professional instability related to this status.

Success can lead to euphoria, but quiet periods when projects are few and far between can throw many independent workers into anxiety and questioning.

These intense emotional variations not only affect your morale; they have a direct impact on productivity and motivation.

Learning to manage these emotions is essential if you want to maintain mental stability and avoid exhaustion.

Stress related to managing several aspects of the company

Simultaneously managing marketing, invoicing, negotiations with customers and project delivery can be highly stressful.

This necessary versatility is a source of constant stress, because it requires you to constantly juggle between various skills and responsibilities.

In fact, 41% of independent workers say they have temporarily been prevented from working due to stress, anxiety, or mental health issues (source).

The absence of clear boundaries between the different roles can also complicate the hierarchy of tasks and time management, thereby increasing the risk of overwork and mental fatigue.

Social isolation and lack of professional support

Working as a freelancer can often mean working alone, without the everyday support of colleagues or a stimulating work environment.

This isolation can make it difficult to manage professional challenges and accentuate feelings of solitude.

Also, the absence of regular feedback and professional support can reduce the opportunities for personal growth and learning. This can lead to professional stagnation and feelings of uncertainty when it comes to making decisions.

Recognising the signs of distress

Vigilance is essential if you want to prevent mental health problems, especially when you are a freelancer. Here are the tell-tale warning signs that you should not ignore:

Mood swings: Increased irritability or sadness that does not seem to go away can be the first sign that something is wrong. Frequent or unusual mood swings, especially if they affect your personal or professional relationships, deserve special attention.

Lack of interest: If you notice that the projects that you were formerly passionate about no longer give you the same sense of satisfaction, or if you lose interest in your hobbies, this could be an early sign of depression.

Problems with focus: Persistent difficulties focusing can compromise your ability to meet deadlines and maintain the quality of your work. This phenomenon is often related to stress or anxiety.

Changes in sleeping or eating habits: Sleeping too much or not enough, or sudden changes in your dietary habits are often physical responses to stress or anxiety.

Social isolation: If you find yourself avoiding interactions with your friends, this can be a sign that you are spending too much time on your own. This can aggravate feelings of solitude and isolation.

Reduced motivation: A significant drop in enthusiasm for your daily tasks or increased procrastination may indicate some form of burnout.

Feelings of despair: Regularly expressing feelings of uselessness or excessive pessimism may be a sign of underlying depression.

The magazine Freelance Life points out that freelancers, in particular new ones, may experience a great deal of anxiety due to financial insecurity and the pressure of having to motivate themselves to perform every aspect of their work. Rapidly identify warning signs for damage limitation

Now let’s look on what you can put in place to look after your mental health as a freelancers.

Strategies to preserve your mental health

Here are some efficient strategies to maintain a healthy balance:

  1. Set up healthy routines and limits:
  1. Practice time and stress management:
  1. Find your work-life balance:
  1. The importance of social connections and networking:
  1. Encourage physical activity and relaxation:

These proven strategies, enhanced through concrete practice, are powerful tools for any freelancer who cares about their mental health.

By integrating them to your daily life, you can not only improve your mental well-being, but also boost your productivity and your professional satisfaction. This will allow you to thrive as a freelancer and maintain good mental health.

Essential employer branding trends in 2024

Employer branding has become essential for companies that want to stand out in the war for talent. In 2024, your employer brand should be authentic, embrace diversity and be flexible to attract the best profiles.

The boundaries between work life and personal life are blurring, inciting companies to rethink their strategies to align with workers’ current expectations. From supporting diversity to adopting hybrid work practices, not forgetting serious commitments to better mental health and professional development, this article explores the dynamics that make an employer brand shine these days.

We are going to break down how leading companies build environments in which every employee feels valued, offering a company culture that attracts talent and retains them in the long term. Read on to discover the winning strategies that define successful employer branding in 2024.

What makes employer branding so essential?

The employer brand, often described as all of the perceptions and attitudes that a company arouses with potential candidates and its own employees, has become a fundamental part of organisations.

Focus on the 4 main benefits:

  1. Attract talent: A solid employer brand attracts the best talent on the job market. Candidates are looking for companies with a reputation and values that match their own professional and personal aspirations.
  2. Hold onto talent: A good employer brand is not satisfied with simply attracting candidates; it also wants to make existing employees loyal. By offering a positive work experience and by valuing their contributions, companies strengthen the sense of belonging and reduce the rate of staff turnover.
  3. Company image: The way a company is perceived as an employer can have a significant impact on its overall reputation. A positive employer brand not only attracts talent; it can also strengthen the confidence of its clients, investors and sales partners.
  4. Competitive advantage: In a competitive job market, a strong employer brand can make the different between a company that is a magnet for talent and another that is at pains to find talent.

In short, employer branding has become an essential strategic element for companies that seek to prosper in 2024. By investing in their employer reputation, companies can build talented and committed teams that contribute to their long term success.

Trend 1: Authenticity and transparency

In the digital age, where information circulates freely, candidates and employees are more than ever on the hunt for companies that demonstrate authenticity and transparency.

This goes beyond simple values displayed on a careers site. It involves showing how the values are integrated to the company’s policies and everyday life in a concrete manner.

For example, Shine openly shared its salary scale and pricing structure to promote transparency, strengthening its employer brand and improving in-house confidence.

Companies that adopt this trend do not just state their intentions; they demonstrate them with visible and measurable actions, thereby attracting talent that value honesty and openness.

Trend 2: Diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI)

In 2024, the commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion has become an essential criterion for talent seeking employers that are aligned with their values.

Companies that excel in this field adopt concrete policies such as targeted mentoring programmes and recruitment initiatives that aim to eliminate unconscious bias. For example, certain famous brands have set up diversity training workshops for all their employees, strengthening a culture of inclusion that is reflected in the brand image.

These efforts translate into a better climate inside the company, as well as improved performance, because studies show that diverse companies exceed their peers by 35% in terms of profitability.

Trend 3: Flexibility and remote working

The pandemic accelerated the transition towards more flexible working models, and this trend continues to prosper.

Offering remote working options is no longer a benefit, but a necessity.

Companies like Google, who announced a permanent hybrid work model, demonstrate the importance of this flexibility (Source: Forbes).

To remain competitive, organisations now have to create environments in which collaboration and productivity thrive, whether at the office or remotely.

Trend 4: Well-being and mental health

Companies that place the emphasis on the well-being and mental health of their employees stand out.

Psychological support programmes, such as coaching sessions or counselling services are becoming commonplace. Meanwhile, initiatives for physical well-being, such as in-company gyms or yoga classes, promote a healthy lifestyle.

Companies that invest in these aspects see their productivity increase by 12 to 25% according to a study by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Trend 5: Career development and lifelong learning

For employees today, professional development is much more than just an aspiration; it is a requirement. Companies that recognise this necessity and invest in the on-going development of their employees stand out on the market.

In fact, according to a study by Deloitte, 84% of employees consider career development to be a deciding factor for them to remain committed to their work.

Personalised training programmes, opportunities for internal promotion and dedicated mentors are means by which companies can feed into a culture of professional growth, thereby strengthening their employer brand to attract ambitious talent.

Trend 6: Commitment to sustainability and social responsibility

Candidates increasingly hold in high esteem companies that make clear commitments in matters of environmental sustainability and social responsibility. Concrete actions in these areas can therefore considerably strengthen employer branding.

Initiatives such as reducing carbon emissions, adopting fair supply chain practices and support for local communities strengthen not only the brand image, but also the attraction for employees.

According to a Deloitte study, 75% of Millennials and Gen Zs say that they are more likely to work for a company that is socially engaged.

Trend 7: Technology and innovation

In 2024, smart integration of technology and innovation is a key pillar in employer branding.

Companies that adopt technological tools and solutions to improve the employee experience demonstrate their commitment towards the future of work.

From intuitive internal communication platforms to applications that monitor employee well-being, technology is shaping modern work environments.

And don’t forget tools like LinkedIn to strengthen your employer brand with programmes such as Employee Advocacy for example.

According to a Deloitte study, 64% of companies use digital tools to improve employee engagement (source: Deloitte, "Global Human Capital Trends 2023").

Trend 8: Personalise the employee experience

Recognising that each employee has unique needs and expectations and adapting policies and benefits in line with them can greatly improve your chances of attracting and holding onto candidates.

Companies like Google, with its personalised career development programmes, illustrate the positive impact of this trend (Source: Harvard Business Review).

2024 employer branding trends reflect the changes in the professional world towards more flexible and inclusive environments focussed on employee well-being. From authenticity and transparency to personalising the employee experience, along with a commitment to sustainability and technological innovation, every aspect contributes to strengthening a company’s employer brand.

Building an attractive employer brand for freelancers

Employer branding is more than just a picture of your company. It represents a promise, a commitment towards the values and experience you have to offer. It plays a vital role in making you attractive to candidates, especially on competitive markets.

To that end, have you considered calling on freelancers to address your recruitment needs, just like 57% of French companies? Whether you want to tap into specific technical expertise or you need some extra support during peak business periods, this is increasingly common practice in 2024.

And yet, despite the demand for freelancers, they are notable for their absence in employer branding strategies. Companies rarely genuinely adapt their value proposals to build an attractive employer brand for freelancers.

This is precisely what we are going to talk about in this article: we will explore concrete solutions to enhance your company culture and make it inclusive to independent profiles.

Employer branding basics

Your employer brand is the way that your company presents itself and communicates. It encompasses your values, the benefits you offer and your company culture. The goal of employer branding is not only to attract new talent, but also to build your reputation as an employer. Your reputation should precede you and inspire confidence in your candidates, employees, clients, suppliers and partners, basically your entire ecosystem.

A good employer brand will appear as being reliable and attractive.

In other words, it will allow potential future candidates to feel confident in the fact that your company is the place to be, a great place to work. By communicating clearly about what you represent and emphasising your understanding of candidates’ needs, there is no doubt that you will be a magnet for all the matching talent. And that includes freelance profiles.

Here are the benefits of adapting your employer branding to freelancers.

The benefits of not forgetting to include freelancers

It is no secret that the number of freelancers is on the rise every year and that companies are calling on them more and more regularly.  Actively including them in your employer branding strategy can offer some considerable advantages:

  1. Improve your company’s attractiveness by laying out values such as flexibility, independence and creativity
  2. Position yourself as an employer of choice that values and understands the specific needs of freelancers
  3. Strengthen in-house diversity and inclusiveness, thereby enriching your company culture and stimulating innovation.

By rethinking your relationship with freelancers to strategically include them in your employer brand, you are not only making a smart decision for your company's adaptability and growth, you are also creating a more inclusive professional ecosystem.

How to build a company culture that is inclusive for freelancers That is the purpose of our next point. Without further ado, here it is.

Build a company culture that is inclusive for freelancers

If you want to attract freelancers, you need to meet their expectations.

Firstly, flexibility.

Independent workers value the freedom to choose when and how they work. Offering flexible work hours and organisation is non-negotiable if you want to convince them to work with your company.

In concrete terms, this flexibility should be supported by tools that facilitate remote collaboration (such as a company Slack, for instance). This allows freelancers to feel integrated and efficient, no matter where they are.

Above and beyond flexibility, you need to reach them in terms of values.

A company that clearly communicates its values and demonstrates their concrete existence will resonate with freelancers.

For example, a company that promotes sustainability and implements practices that respect the environment will attract freelancers who share this commitment. Similarly, a company that promotes equality and diversity through mentoring initiatives or support for under-represented communities will strengthen its attractiveness.

Your mission is to turn these values into concrete actions, integrate them to the daily life of your company, the policies and all your initiatives.

For example, an inclusive company culture for freelancers can be:

  1. Freedom of communication: Create channels where freelancers can share their ideas and feedback as freely as salaried employees.
  2. Value their contribution: Ensure that the efforts and results of freelancers are recognised on the same level as those of full time employees. This can be in the shape of mentions in internal newsletters, rewards for successful projects, or simply by public attributions of merit during team meetings.

Access to professional development resources: Offer freelancers training and development opportunities, such as access to online courses or workshops that will allow them to improve their skills while working for your company.

Doing is one thing.

Spreading the word is another.

You can have the best practices on the market, but if nobody knows about them, your efforts will have been in vain. Let’s look at how to use LinkedIn to promote your employer brand.

Use LinkedIn to promote your employer branding

LinkedIn is a powerful tool to shape and promote your employer brand.

The first step will be to optimise your company’s profile page. Ensure that every element, from the cover photo to the company description is a clear reflection of your values and in-house culture.

To take things further, we encourage you to create content to hold your public’s interest and engage them. Share case studies, testimonials and behind-the-scenes that illustrate your commitment to innovative work practices that are suitable for freelancers. Highlight the significant contributions from freelancers who already work with you.

Not only should this content inform, it should also inspire, demonstrating how freelancers can thrive and improve in your working environment. In this way, you continue to attract talent while creating a community around your shared values, thereby strengthening your employer brand on LinkedIn.

By strengthening your employer brand and adapting it to your freelancer targets, you will successfully attract them. It involves excellent understanding of these profiles, and adapting your promise accordingly.

Faster and Streamlined hiring : Where Bulk Resume Upload meets AI Parsing Power!

In the ultra-competitive world of recruiting, staying ahead of the curve is essential. But let's face it, the traditional methods of manually reviewing and inputting candidate data can be a productivity black hole. With mountains of resumes piling up and precious time slipping away, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and lose sight of the real goal: finding the best talent for your organization.

But what if there was a solution to turn this chaos into an optimized and efficient process? Introducing the Bulk Resume Upload feature – a game-changer that will redefine how you manage candidate information.

Wiggli :  Your way to Mastering Resume Management :

Imagine a world where you can say goodbye to the tedious task of individually uploading candidate resumes. With the Bulk Resume Upload feature, you can effortlessly drag and drop multiple CV files, instantly populating your candidate database with ease. But but there's more.

Powered by cutting-edge AI technology, our intelligent parsing system automatically extracts essential personal information from the uploaded resumes, ensuring accurate and consistent candidate profiles without the need for manual data entry. It's like having a team of virtual assistants working tirelessly to organize and streamline your recruitment process.

How does it work ? 

  1. Single Uploads: Upload a single resume, and our smart system extracts all the necessary information within seconds, creating a detailed candidate profile in your database.
  2. Bulk Uploads: Bid farewell to the tedious task of individually uploading candidate resumes. Simply drag and drop multiple CV files to quickly populate your candidate database.
  3. Spontaneous applications: Candidates can apply and upload their resumes directly. Our system extracts all the important information instantly, creating individual profiles that seamlessly integrate into your Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

Why Bulk Resume Upload is a Game Changer?

  1. Eliminate Manual Data Entry: Say goodbye to the mind-numbing task of manually entering candidate information. Our intelligent parsing AI handles the heavy lifting, ensuring accurate and consistent candidate profiles.
  2. Centralized Candidate Database: With our modern Applicant tracking system, candidate data is securely stored and managed, adhering to data protection regulations like GDPR.
  3. Faster Candidate Screening: Our integrated AI and parsing technologies quickly extract relevant information, allowing you to effortlessly search, filter, and evaluate potential hires based on their qualifications, experience, and skills.
  4. Background Task Processing: Don't worry about interruptions. Candidate creation happens seamlessly in the background, allowing you to continue using the platform for other tasks.

Conclusion

In the fast-paced world of recruitment, time is your most valuable asset. With the Bulk Resume Upload feature, you can conquer the chaos and stand out from the crowd. Free yourself from tedious data entry tasks and focus on what really matters: finding the best talent for your organization.

By adopting this innovative technology, you'll save valuable time, reduce operational costs, and provide an exceptional experience for your candidates. Don't let mountains of resumes slow you down. Unleash the power of Bulk Resume Uploads and take a giant leap towards efficiency and competitiveness.

Ready to experience the future of recruitment? Sign up today or request a free demonstration with our experts!

13 employer branding metrics to monitor to measure the effectiveness of your strategy

It is essential to monitor employer branding metrics to measure to effectiveness of your strategy. Unfortunately, nearly 20% of HR decision makers state that they do not analyse the results of the employer brand actions they undertake.  How do you go about it? What metrics should you monitor? We explain everything.

What makes a positive and strong employer brand?

Employer brand is all about attracting, engaging and retaining talent. Nowadays we consider a company to have a strong and positive brand image when it meets these three characteristics: good attractiveness, strong engagement and loyal employees.

Attractiveness

61% of companies judge recruitment to be difficult (Labour force needs study 2023). Why? Lack of candidates (85%) and unsuitable profiles (79%). An organisation that rapidly recruits the right profiles and receives qualified applications is therefore a sign of a positive employer brand.

Strong employee engagement

On a daily basis, engaged employees adopt some specific forms of behaviour:

Loyal employees

Once we know what a positive and strong employer brand looks like, we can identify the useful metrics to monitor to measure the effectiveness of your employer branding strategy Here is a list of 13 KPIs.

What employer branding metrics should you monitor?

The careers site KPIs

The careers site is a showcase for your company where talent can discover job opportunities and the company culture and ambitions. To assess the performance of your careers site, here are the metrics to monitor:

Where can you view this data?

If you have ATS software such as our Wiggli solution, you have access to an Analytics feature to monitor the performance metrics: source of traffic, visitor profiles, rate of engagement, page views, unique visits… If not, then you can use tools such as Google Analytics.

Recruitment KPIs

Recruitment metrics are essential employer brand indicators. Here are the main ones:

Where can you view this data?

You can access automated reporting through your ATS. If you do not have recruitment software, you can view these metrics on Google Analytics.

Social media KPIs

The effectiveness of an employer brand strategy is also measured on ****social media: LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, X, Tik Tok… Here are the metrics to scrutinise:

Internal brand image KPIs

The employer brand includes an internal aspect. The more positive the employee experience, the more positive your employer brand. A certain number of indicators should be monitored to measure the effectiveness of your internal image:

Reputation KPIs

Before applying to a job offer, talent find out about the company’s reputation by looking at the reviews and recommendations of former and current employees on job sites like Glassdoor. A company with a poor reputation dissuades talent from sending their application. Be sure to consult your online reputation.

So now you know: there are many employee branding metrics. To keep you from getting lost, we advise you to start by targeting 2 or 3 key indicators.

Choose the priority metrics to monitor in line with your employer branding goals

Developing a singular and positive employer brand takes time. You cannot work on all fronts at the same time, so you need to identify your priorities. To do this, we suggest starting with your goals. In concrete terms, what are your motivations? Do you want to refine and strengthen your employer image to attract new qualified talent? To gain the loyalty of your best employees?

Depending on your goals, identify 2 or 3 indicators that allow you to measure the effectiveness of your actions in the short- and long-term.

To sum up, in the same way as any strategy, it’s essential to measure your employer brand to make the right choices. KPIs related to attractiveness, engagement and loyalty offer you some insight into the results of your actions. A simple approach with 2 or 3 monitoring indicators remains the best option when you are launching your employer brand strategy.

How to implement your employer brand strategy in 7 steps

Employer branding is a marketing concept that is essential for any company that wants to support its attractiveness and promote loyalty among its talent. While the reasons to build a solid and positive employer brand are clear, you cannot simply wave a magic wand for it to be successful. It requires a series of actions.

Discover the 7 steps to follow to implement your employer brand strategy.

#1- Assessing the current state of play is the first step in the employer brand strategy

As with any strategy, assessing the current company culture is a necessary step towards building an appropriate and effective employer branding plan of action. In concrete terms, this advance work should allow you to identify the practices, rules and operations that add value for your employees and are desirable to candidates. To structure your audit, you can split your questions into three categories: identity, internal image and external reputation.

Over the course of the audit, remember to adopt both a macro and a micro approach by analysing your HR KPIs (turnover, recruitment time, eNPS, ratings for your company, comments on your socials, etc.) AND by carrying out surveys and studies/interviews with employees on employer brand topics: recruitment, onboarding, management, working environment, QWL...).

In principle, the person in charge of this overview is the HR manager. However, for more objectivity and precision, we encourage you to create a working group composed of employees and managers. Another, more optimal option consists of outsourcing the audit to a HR marketing company.

#2- For an outstanding employer brand strategy, identify your key messages

Your employer brand messages are the backbone of your future communication actions. Therefore, defining them is key. How do you go about it? Base them on the findings from your audit. What are your values? What is your purpose, your ambitions? What are your social benefits, your strengths and your points to improve? What goals did you define further to the audit? Do you want to develop your employer brand to improve your recruitment processes? To attract more qualified candidates? To engage your employees?

Your messages need to serve your objectives. For example, if your goal is to attract more candidates and your target is particularly open to working remotely and/or CSR themes, highlight messages that promote these things.

#3- A positive employer brand involves improving the employee experience

Did your audit reveal some areas for improvement in terms of employee engagement and loyalty? Is management failing? Are employees dissatisfied and the quality of work life sub-par? If so, you are going to have to work on your employee experience to improve your internal image before you can communicate about your employer brand.

As a reminder, the employee experience is focussed on how employees feel about their daily professional life and the key moments in their career path.

For example, if disengagement and the rate of turnover are up because your employees complain about overbearing management and a lack of flexibility in how their organise their time, it might be a good idea to change your managerial practices to move to a hybrid organisation?

#4- Get employees onboard with the employer brand

Once your employer brand is clear, you are ready to start communicating. To kick things off, we recommend holding a seminar to mark the occasion. The idea behind this is to introduce and (re)affirm your identity, your DNA, your purpose, your ambitions, your values and the company culture to employees to get them on board. This way, your teams will be clear about what makes you stand out from your competitors and the reasons that incentivise them to commit to your company.

To maintain this momentum, remember to bring your internal communication to life! For example, carry out HR communication campaigns through newsletters, a monthly gazette in which you talk about the latest news. Facilitate your internal social network, hold coffee mornings or fun activities related to your purpose to unify teams around your employer brand.

#5- Attending to your external e-reputation is a pillar of the employer brand strategy

Having an optimised and well-kept online and social media presence is essential to attract talent, especially when you are operating in a business sector that is taut. Proof of this:

So it is in your best interest to have a fully-fledged careers site that is up to date and easy to navigate. The talent should be able to find information about your company such as your purpose, your careers, your company culture, benefits, job offers and advice.

When it comes to your presence on social media, you can count on inbound marketing to improve your notoriety and make your employer brand shine. To do this, start with content that your target candidates are interested in: daily life, purpose, setting, workplace organisation, etc.

To be even more effective, remember to mobilise your employees using the employee advocacy method! This method consists of turning your employees into your employer brand ambassadors by sharing about their professional life on social media. It is used by many companies, big and small, such as Shine, Starbucks or Décathlon.

#6- Work on the candidate experience, an essential step in the employer brand strategy

Did you know that 60% of job candidates have already had a poor candidate experience (source: la superagence)? This is not without its consequences on the company brand image. 1 in 2 candidates will share their bad experience (YAGGO/CAASK X IFOP study), which can represent a significant financial cost.

The example of Virgin Media is frequently given to illustrate this. Graeme Johnson, the head of recruitment, wanted to know what image of the Virgin Media brand unsuccessful candidates retained. By looking at the post-interview questionnaires, he came across one from Louise, a hairdresser from Manchester, who had cancelled her Virgin subscription after a poor recruitment experience. So Johnson wanted to find out “How many Louises are out there”?

The answer was: 18% of unsuccessful candidates were customers. He went on to look at their NPS (Net Promoter Score), which measures whether the person is prepared to recommend the company. Around ⅔ of unsuccessful candidates were brand “detractors”; in other words, they were not inclined to recommend Virgin Media to the people around them. Johnson took his analysis further by identifying the number of candidates who cancelled their subscription. Then he worked out the loss of revenue further to a poor candidate experience: 5 million dollars per year!

The conclusion is that it is crucial to pay attention to the candidate experience.

#7- Measure the performance of your employer brand strategy

Finally, remember to include a performance analysis step in your plan of action for your employer brand strategy. If your goal is to strengthen your external notoriety, remember to monitor indicators like how often your company is mentioned on social media, the quality of the comments, evaluations from candidates and former employees how many unsolicited applications you receive.

If you want to strengthen employee loyalty and engagement, pay special attention to your eNPS (employee Net Promoter Score), to the turnover rate or to length of time spent with the company.

To summarise, your employer branding should follow these 7 steps if you want it to be effective:

From 20k to 150k: what is the cost of bad hiring?

From €20,000 to €150,000: this is the cost of bad hiring according to studies carried out on this subject. Recruiting the wrong candidate can be very costly for a company. But what is the reality behind these figures? How can one bad hire jeopardise the entire recruitment policy … or even the company?

Let’s explore this subject.

What is bad hiring?

Before we talk about the cost, we need to understand what failed recruitment entails. It is usual to consider a recruitment to be “bad” when the person who was hired leaves the company within 12 months of their arrival, or if their departure takes place during or after the trial period. It turns out that this situation is far from unusual: 45% of resignations take place in the first year (Workelo study).

But what are the concrete reasons that cause a newly hired candidate to take off? Obviously, they are many and they are personal. While management and a lack of freedom push one new recruit to abandon ship, for another it can be the gap between the perceived vision of the job and the reality.

Whatever the case, the reasons for leaving will involve one or more of these situations in general or in particular:

What is the impact of bad hiring?

Recruiting the wrong person is not without consequences. Above and beyond the financial aspect, a casting mistake can have repercussions on other areas:

The company image will be damaged

An employee who leaves the company shortly after being hired is not a good sign. On one hand, there is a significant risk that they will share their poor experience. In fact, one study revealed that one in two employees share with the people around them. On the other hand, this event opens the door to mistrust and questioning. External talent will rightly question the employee experience. They may prefer not to apply to a job offer.

Colleagues’ working conditions will deteriorate

When a hire ends with the departure of the new arrival, this is generally unexpected. The team then has to take on an additional workload, reorganise with one person missing, perhaps independently when the person who leaves is in a management or supervisory position. This situation is a source of stress, worry and annoyance for the employees. The workplace atmosphere is degraded.

Performance will suffer

How can monthly or quarterly targets be met when there is one employee missing? How can service quality be ensured when a company is understaffed? Recruitment takes several weeks or several months depending on the skill set and rarity of the profile being sought. During this time, service and business do not function optimally.

What are the concrete costs of bad hiring?

Any hiring mistake involves direct and indirect costs. Here they are:

Direct costs of failed recruitment

On the front line, we find costs related to the departure of the new employee. They fall under three categories:

>Costs related to hiring the employee. This is the time spent by the internal recruiter, as well as the means undertaken. In concrete terms, we can take the hourly salary of the internal recruiter dedicated to looking for the right candidate into account, as well as the costs associated with using an ATS and advertising the position on one or several job sites. In the case where the company outsources the recruitment, the cost is increased by 15 to 25% of the annual gross salary of the future employee.

>The remuneration of the employee being hired. Remuneration includes the salary, benefits in kind and bonuses. Add to this employer charges of around 25 to 42% of the annual gross salary. Obviously, the higher the salary, the higher the cost of the failed recruitment. Another factor to take into account is the duration of the collaboration and the value created by the employee. When they resign within 6 months of being hired, the return on investment is low. Therefore, the cost of the recruitment is heavier.

>Costs associated with hiring a replacement. If one employee leaves, then a new employee will have to be recruited. Sometimes, this involves starting the entire process from scratch. In this case, the costs are similar to those related to the bad hire. If you can find the replacement on the short list, then you should seize the opportunity! The costs of the recruitment will be lower in comparison to the predecessor.

Indirect costs of bad hiring

Indirect costs related to a hiring error are more difficult to measure, but they are just as important as the direct costs. Among them are:

>Costs associated with onboarding the employee. A onboarding failed process costs around €7,000 (Workelo study). Among the costs are the time spent by the manager and employees to integrate the new recruit (IT, admin and HR, etc.), training on internal tools.

>Loss of revenue related to the employee’s departure The workload is spread among the different members of the team. But as we have seen, it is hard to maintain a high level of performance and service quality when employees have to take on an excessive workload. This usually leads to a drop in revenue for the company.

>Costs related to the employee’s departure A departure during the trial period, resignation or termination... Depending on the way the contract ends, the costs will vary. Leaving during the trial period is not costly compared to a termination which takes time and entitles the employee to termination compensation. The higher the employee’s salary, the higher the cost of their departure.

>Costs associated with the employer brand. Failed recruitment can have an impact on the company’s brand image. In this case, attractiveness is diminished and the entire recruitment chain is called into question.

5 steps to successfully recruit the right person

Hiring the wrong person happens. What counts is to take action to prevent it happening again. By following these 5 steps, you

Step 1: define your candidate persona. What is their personality? What are their soft skills? What are their expectations in relation to the position and the working conditions? What are the main problems they encounter in their job search? What is their past experience?

Step 2: mention the recruitment context Be specific: are you planning to develop a new service? To develop internationally? Are you restructuring a department? Contextual elements will allow the candidate to better understand the reasons you are hiring and picture themselves in the position more easily.

Step 3: communicate about a salary range. 9 out of 10 candidates want to know the salary before applying to a job offer.

Step 4: give details about the tasks. What are the goals/projects of the position? Which people will the employee be in contact with? What are the work tools and rituals? The more precise your description, the better candidates can picture themselves.

Step 5: play the transparency card when it comes to your company culture. With a careers site, candidates can judge how they would fit into your company.

Now you know, the costs related to bad hiring are many! Thankfully, with a well thought out recruitment process and good communication, you will increase your chances of hiring the right person.

Employer branding: Make employees want to become your ambassadors!

14% of companies use ambassadorship to promote their employer brand. This approach is appreciated by candidates, who trust the word of employees more than management. But ambassadorship only works if it's voluntary and part of a 'win-win' strategy. Let's dive in.

Forced ambassadorship? Beware of the backlash

Promoting the advantages of a company in their own name is a decision that commits people. When boasting, for example, about the flexible working conditions or the organisations’ CSR commitments, employees expose themselves publicly. But if the company has tasked them to take on this role of ambassador without “genuinely” having their own say in the matter, it won’t have much chance of exuding authenticity and fluidity. In this case, how can we give them credit?

By placing people in an uncomfortable position, their messages will go unnoticed. Worse still, their words could be called into question by the simple fact that the talent will sense that they are uncomfortable. What was meant to be a technique to develop the company brand notoriety and attract the best profiles turns into an unfortunate bad buzz for the company! Its sincerity could be challenged, which will in the long run affect the organisation’s reputation and employer brand.

Voluntary and win-win: two conditions for a successful ambassadorship

To serve the employer brand, the ambassador programme must be built on a volunteer basis. Only employees who want to speak in public and share some information about their daily life and their company can become ambassadors.

Those in charge of the programme – generally HR decision-makers – are invited to inform interested parties about what being an ambassador involves, the limitations of this role and what is at stake. Some topics, such as managing emotions when faced with trolls, provocations or unwanted solicitations, as well as sharing sensitive information should be tackled from the outset (as part of the integration and training programme) so that the volunteers are fully informed before making the commitment.

As this is a time-consuming commitment, a company is advised to set up a “give and take” system. In order to recognise and encourage their participation, rewards can be offered, such as exceptional bonus payments for the best ambassadors or gifts.  When it comes to rewards, volunteer employees should see the role of brand ambassador as an opportunity to boost their visibility on the job market.

Becoming an ambassador is a means of personal expression that boosts the employee’s profile

Should you write your ambassadors’ LinkedIn posts so that all they have to do is press “Post”? For Caroline Mignaux, marketing expert and LinkedIn Top Voice, who recently expressed herself on this topic in a LinkedIn post, it is preferable to avoid this practice as it can give the impression that it is orchestrated and soulless. On the contrary, authenticity should be promoted by encouraging the employee ambassadors to share their points of view, their ideas and their experience. Because each one has their own unique voice, what they say on social media must stand out in its form, as well as its content, so invite them to suggest ideas for content.

And when you look at those who apply this method, the results are plain to see. Camille Goni, Head of Talent at the start-up Shine, has more than 34k subscribers to her LinkedIn account after 4 years of sharing content to the network. Every time she goes public, the careers page of the company sees a boom in visits. For the ambassadors, it is a good way to be more visible, to develop their personal branding and their desirability on the job market.

Posting on social media is a learning process (it is up to the company to train its ambassadors)

Another advantage for the employees is that by joining the employee advocacy programme to promote the company image, they develop their oral and written communication skills on social media. While it is usual to select employees that have a taste for and are comfortable expressing themselves on and using social media, some good ambassadorial practices should be instilled in them.

For example, the company Décathlon trains its network of ambassadors internally on how to use LinkedIn. Similarly, after refreshing its EVP (employee value proposition), Mars France wanted to strengthen its Associate Advocacy and Leader Advocacy programme by implementing training on LinkedIn to promote Associate public posts. The HR department that leads a community of ambassadors in charge of answering questions from candidates on the website also has the ambition to grow and to support ambassadors to increase their interactions on social media.

Note: the bigger the community of ambassadors, the more important it is to have an employee advocacy tool to oversee the programme. This is a tool that can centralise marketing content (graphics, posts, videos, white papers, etc.), to more easily monitor the results of the strategy and optimise the distribution of all digital content.

No volunteers to become ambassadors? It could be time to question your practices!

The prerequisite for becoming an employer brand ambassador is to share the company values and be in alignment with the company purpose and culture. Without this, the results on attractiveness will be negative. If there are few employees willing to join the programme, question your HR practices and your employee experience.

An in-depth audit of your HR metrics (workplace satisfaction, eNPS, turnover, etc.) and a campaign of managerial interviews should allow you to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the employee experience and the managerial culture. As an example, if your employees ask to switch to working from home and more flexibility to have a better work/life balance, but their requests are not heeded or not followed by actions, the employer brand image will be negative and the company will attract few new candidates. It is therefore important to correct this by implementing actions that meet their expectations before envisaging the deployment of an employee advocacy programme.

To sum up, ambassadorship is an opportunity for the company to boost its visibility and its e-reputation.

Employee commitment to company values, purpose and culture is essential before embarking down this path. Training the employer brand ambassadors prepares them to take on this role and personal commitment as an influencer.

For more on this, read our article to discover how to set up an employee advocacy programme and thereby attract qualified profiles!

4 onboarding processes that improve a company’s employer branding

As onboarding is the starting point for the employee experience, it has a direct impact on a company’s employer branding. Unfortunately, with 45% of resignations taking place in the first year (Workelo study), we can see that the integration processes deserve to be rethought.

In concrete terms, how can onboarding improve the employer brand? Let's look at 4 concrete examples to illustrate this.

Onboarding, a key driver for the employer brand

Onboarding is an important stage for the employer brand, as it allows the new employee to assess whether the image conveyed by the company during the recruitment process matches the image that is generally perceived after hiring is confirmed.

The way in which he or she is integrated has an impact on company image, internally and externally. From the point of view of the internal image, sloppy onboarding has a negative effect on teams’ working conditions. This is the case, for example, when the goal of the recruitment is to reduce the employees’ workload. In the event of a premature departure, the team finds itself back at square one, which can lead to employee disengagement and make them want to leave the company.

In terms of external image, if the company does not pay attention to its integration process, it can expect new recruits to share their negative experiences with their network and on review sites such as Glassdoor. The result? The company's attractiveness is compromised!

4 onboarding examples that improve a company’s employer brand

Structured onboarding: the example of Axa

As a step between the moment the new employee accepts the job offer and the first official day of work in the company, pre-onboarding is important in that it sets the tone for the future working relationship. It is during this period that the new employee will form his or her first impressions of the company.

In practice, pre-onboarding is a time to handle administrative tasks (employment contract, health insurance, etc.) and launch the introduction to how the company operates, its values, history, teams and company culture. In short, a structured pre-onboarding process reassures the future employee and supports the company brand image.

Among the pre-onboarding initiatives that have a positive effect on the employer brand, we can mention the one used by Axa France. The company has created an onboarding process called “Welcome @Axa” that includes various in-person and digital approaches:

With a satisfaction score of 9.25/10, the Axa onboarding journey has been given the seal of approval by the new employees!

Client focused onboarding, an initiative that strengthens the employer brand: the example of Automattic

What if employees were onboarded in the same way as customers with product onboarding? Wouldn’t this be an appropriate way to strengthen the employer brand? For some companies that place customer satisfaction at their core, the answer is yes.

This is the example offered by the company Automattic. At this software publisher, the integration process begins with a visit to the WordPress customer support department for three weeks, before you even get close to studying your role and the business objectives. From the marketing team to the production team, not forgetting the administrative team, all employees take part in this immersion. For new arrivals, this stage of the onboarding is an excellent way to appropriate the product offered by the company, and therefore to embody it in their future missions.

Company culture at the heart of onboarding: the example of Zappos

Company culture is a key element in the organisation’s identity. As this is a (very) important criterion for talent, there are companies willing to build an integration journey focussed on company culture. This is especially the case with Zappos.

For Zappos, recruiting new employees does not just consist of attracting the best talent. The goal is also to build a strong community and brand image. Zappos considers the way its employees feel about the company to be the best advertising it could possibly share with the outside world. Its integration process contains one 5-week step in which the new employees are made aware of the 10 company values.

At the end of it, if the new recruits are not aligned with the company culture, its values and way of operating, then Zappos offers them the chance to leave the organisation for the sum of $2,000. This strategy appears to work, because just 1% of new hires accept the offer! So, it is no surprise that the company's brand image is much appreciated.

Fun and educational onboarding for a stronger employer brand: the example of Société Générale

The integration process is not always boring or tedious. To create a strong employer brand that looks to the innovations of tomorrow, the bank Société Générale decided to break the conventional image of the banking sector and set up a mobile application named WelcomeSG intended to introduce the company in a fun way to new employees.

Throughout their integration journey, the company offers new arrivals the chance to perform challenges, quizzes and role-playing games in which the employee is the hero of their own integration. Each game brings them closer to the company.

In concrete terms, the games tackle all the key onboarding topics (history, values, careers, key figures, diversity and inclusion, work/life balance, etc.). This initiative is an excellent way for the company to remain true to its values of innovation and to stand out from the competition.

Would you like more inspiration to take your onboarding strategy to the next level? Read our article “7 best practices to integrate your new recruits well”!

Storytelling in employer branding communication: definition, goals, steps

Storytelling is a technique borrowed from the world of marketing to promote and develop an employer brand. The idea is to use storytelling to attract and retain talent. But how exactly does storytelling fit into your employer brand strategy? When should you use it? And what steps should you follow for successful employer brand storytelling? We break it down for you.

Storytelling as part of the employer brand: what is it?

When it comes to employer branding, storytelling is the word we use to describe the narrative techniques used to illustrate the company purpose and DNA. The end goal is to attract the attention of target people (specifically talent) by arousing emotions that are strong enough to create a bond and convince them to carry out the desired action (e.g.: send in an application to a job offer, subscribe to the company page).

As part of an employer brand strategy, storytelling is very interesting in the following cases:

What are the goals of using storytelling as part of the employer brand strategy?

Storytelling serves the employer brand. Based on this, this HR marketing technique is used to achieve the same goals, namely:

The steps to follow for successful employer brand storytelling

Step no. 1: Know your target talent

As we have seen, storytelling aims to promote the employer image, develop notoriety, attract potential candidates and foster loyalty among the best talent. You therefore need to be familiar with them in order to adapt your pitch, the format, pace and messaging. Before you get into the screenplay and narration, start be establishing portraits of your target persona by identifying the following characteristics:

The main fear among companies that may persuade them to skip this step is that they are afraid they will be reduced to a certain kind of profile and will miss out on other talent. Unfortunately, this is a mistake, because by trying to speak to everyone, the message get swamped. Having a persona means that you can direct your storytelling to capture the attention of talent that match some or all of the characteristics. Let’s take a concrete example.

Green-Got is a young start-up in the financial sector that stands out from other banks because it finances the ecological transition. As part of its recruitment strategy, it looks for people who share the same values and the same commitments, aged between 25 and 45, who want to learn and move rapidly up the ranks of a CSR company experiencing strong growth. On the basis of this persona, the start-up builds a scenario that reaches its target: transparency in the funded projects, images and videos of the financing results.

Step 2: Identify the messages you want to get across

8 seconds. This the average attention span that internet users give a post on social media. That is why companies need to engage in the battle for attention. Starting with the photofit portrait of your audience, identifying the right messages you want to get across through your employer brand communication campaign is key.

Let’s take the example of a growth company that needs to recruit a large number of talented people with experience to move to the next level. Its talent audience is aged between 35 and 45. They are mainly young parents. So the storytelling will be built on the advantages of working for the company: membership of the Parent Act, remote working, flexible hours, company crèche.

Step 3: Choose the nature of the story

You have your target audience and your key messages. At this stage, you need to choose the nature of the story you want to tell. Here are a few examples you can use as inspiration for your employer brand communication:

Step 4: Select the narrative format

Once you have settled on your target, the message you want to get across and the nature of your story, the question of the narrative format arises. You have several available choices:

Note that the use of video is becoming increasingly common in the employer brand marketing strategy. It is a way to pass on information, specific feelings and emotions and this format is especially popular among talent and candidates. Feel free to make use of it to introduce your teams and careers, for example.

Step 5: Decide on your goal

Storytelling is going to serve an objective. Ask yourself this: what action do you expect from your audience once they have read, watched or listened to your story? It could be:

3 examples of employer brand storytelling

To illustrate what we are saying, here is a list of inspiring employer brand and branding storytelling examples.

Innocent

The company Innocent sells fruit juice and smoothies and is known for its sense of humour and optimism in its inbound marketing content and its HR communication. To talk about their values and commitments in matters of recycling, the company posted an Instagram video to present the opening of the Innocent recycling centre.

Watch the Innocent video: https://www.instagram.com/tv/CYomJqioUWY/?hl=fr

Tediber

To attract and promote loyalty among potential candidates and current employees, the mattress seller Tediber uses storytelling that is a breath of fresh air in the bedding market. The company uses a relaxed, friendly tone that is far from conventional, testing transparent communication: behind the scenes of mattress manufacturing, testing, tote bag, interactive fun facts, Tedibermag, team portraits…

Lego

The world renowned Lego company bases its storytelling on family values. This is a sensible choice because the background story to the brand is one between a father and his son and Lego sells building blocks for children. To embody this value, the group offers new parents improved and paid parental leave. Carer employees are also entitled to specific paid leave.

Watch this short film that came out to coincide with Lego’s 80th anniversary retracing the company’s early years: https://youtu.be/qr_dTySMl7s

To summarise, employer brand storytelling is essential to attract, engage and foster loyalty among talent once you follow these 5 steps:

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