Another Audience for Your Higher Ed Brand?by mStoner Staff
ESTIMATED READING TIME: 2 minutes
Every mStoner client engagement is about brand, and every brand is about audience. Brand strategy is an important topic and our blog and other thought leadership activities demonstrate our commitment to helping clients engage with key audiences and move them to action.
Let’s face it: Your integrated communication strategy already requires you to communicate across many platforms with a large number of audiences. Your magazine, website, social channels, email campaigns, viewbook, and more are your opportunities to connect with prospective students, parents, donors, alumni, legislators, current students…and the list of audiences goes on.
Frankly, the work is complex, and you don’t need another audience to add to an already-long list. But there is: prospective employees. Consider the idea of an employer brand — your reputation as a potential employer to the talented people who could work at your institution.
Campuses are like small cities, and you are recruiting for all types of positions needed to offer a solid experience for students and to make things run smoothly. Your reputation as a place to work can influence the decisions of faculty members who are the best teachers and researchers, IT professionals who have many private sector choices, nationally known student affairs leaders who are willing to relocate, and skilled individuals who live within commuting distance of your campus.
If your brand strategy project is already underway, be sure to develop messaging for the prospective employee audience. I recommend these articles about employer branding to inform your thinking:
- Harvard Business Review: CEOs Need to Pay Attention to Employer Branding
- Monster: Attract Millennials with Your Employer Branding
- Glassdoor: Top HR Statistics
Review the digital content on the HR site.
Short of an employer brand project, I have a few suggestions for getting started. Consider partnering with your institution’s human resources team on digital content:
Conduct a careful review of the information architecture on the HR website.
Let the content serve as the way to navigate the HR site. Remove lingo and reduce the number of acronyms. Use clear language to help prospective employees explore web pages that explain the application process. Boise State University’s How to Apply page works well.
Consider a landing page for prospective employees.
Nearly all .edu website footers include a link to some variation of Jobs, Careers, or Employment. From that footer link, a landing page for applicants can represent an employer brand. Here are a few examples:
- Working at NYU
- Kansas State University is a great place to work.
- Working at Princeton
- MIT: Come for a job, stay for a career.
- Why work at JHU?
Talk about what people care about.
Content on the HR employment pages should focus on the benefits of working on your campus. Mission statements aren’t personal enough to connect with prospective applications. The Benefits page on the Johns Hopkins University site and Elon University’s About Our Region are strong examples.
What is the employer brand of your college or university?
Are you thinking about your employer brand? Does your .edu website include content for prospective employees? Perhaps it should.