Hiring in the Gig Economy: 5 Reasons You Need a Clear Employer Brand

Chuck Leddy

The war for talent, especially to attract specialized skills in technology, is fierce. The fast-paced landscape of change makes it challenging for organizations to even identify — let alone attract — the expertise needed to achieve their goals.

Some companies, however, are talent destinations, whether for full-time employees or contingent workers. Companies like this — the Googles and Apples of the world — have such clear brands that they’ve become magnets for talent.

Meanwhile, organizations like yours need talent management agility to grow and execute their business strategies. In other words, even if you’re not Google, you still need to attract top candidates with specialized skills in your industry.

Why would someone want to work at your company? Your employer brand answers this question. Here are five reasons your organization needs to develop a clear employer brand when hiring in the gig economy:

1. To create brand awareness.

When it comes to hiring in the gig economy, being an unknown commodity or organization is the worst possible strategy for attracting top expertise. Independent experts and boutique consultants, at the very least, should know your organization’s name and have a general sense of what you do and how it is to work with you. Creating your employer brand ensures more top-notch experts will learn about your business, and move on to considering whether they want to work with you.

2. To increase employee retention.

Much like any effective marketing campaign, your employer brand should begin with awareness and end with loyalty and repeat engagements. The goal of any talent management strategy is to retain your top employees. When your employees’ work experiences — both in house and on demand — align well with your employer brand, you start to build long-term loyalty. Increasing retention may be the most important reason to develop an employer brand.

3. To transmit positivity about your company values.

Ensuring candidates understand what drives your company can be especially challenging when hiring in the gig economy. Your employer brand for contingent talent should establish the values your organization lives and works by — in other words, the reason you exist beyond merely making money, which is especially important for attracting millennial talent. You can start to build your employer brand via social media by sharing stories, case studies and projects that express your purpose and values, letting potential candidates understand why and how you work. The more positive associations employees have about you, the more likely they are to help you when you need them.

4. To promote engagement and enhance collaboration.

When you establish an employer brand, on-demand experts have a chance to learn how your organization works before you even reach out to them. With this relevant knowledge, they can connect with you around your mission. Plus, they’ll be able to hit the ground running and immediately adapt to your organizational needs. Your employer brand thus enhances the process of employee onboarding.

5. To facilitate best-in-class brand ambassadors.

Once your employer brand has been established in a way that differentiates you from your competitors, on-demand experts can become your enterprise’s best brand ambassadors — ideal sources for spreading the word about your company. You should continue to integrate these ambassadors into your employer branding efforts.

Building agility into your talent management strategy requires you to develop an employer brand that delivers on its promises. This is especially helpful for attracting experts with specialized skills, who can solve your business challenges on demand, whenever you need them.

For more information about attracting and engaging on-demand talent to your organization, watch the webinar How to Get the Best Talent in the Gig Economy to Work for You.