Get Your Message Right: Considerations For Your COVID-19 Employer Brand Strategy

The Coronavirus has radically disrupted the work of many businesses. While firms such as Amazon or Walmart make headlines with their hiring plans, others face a great deal of uncertainty, and it may not always be clear what to do next. Feeling like you’re stuck in the “Twilight Zone” can be very frustrating and unnerving.

Each employer will respond to the crisis by making decisions based on their specific situation. But whether you’re in the position to hire right now or are planning next steps, it is still important for employers and job seekers to build and maintain relationships. There are steps you can take, both to address the situation in real time and to prepare for when the world returns to the office. 

Let’s take a look at how we can do just that, with a special focus on messaging and its potential impact — positive and negative — on your employer brand. 

It’s not business as usual

Here’s one thing the COVID hasn’t changed: each day our inboxes are bombarded with marketing and sales messages. If you’re anything like me, you will have seen some pretty cringe-worthy stuff. Some are very superficial, and sound as if nothing has changed. The worst are clumsily trying to exploit the crisis for their own benefit. 

If you’re in the business of hiring, it’s critical to get your messages right. Remember — your employer brand is an investment; you may occasionally change your employer brand strategy, but you need to think long term. What candidates or employees see today could impact how they think about you months from now.

Failing to acknowledge the current work environment and limitations could cause a negative reaction from candidates and employees. So first ask: Is there any insensitive messaging that could seem inappropriate in today’s climate? Check your social, your website and your Company Page — anywhere you have a presence. If there’s anything that seems off, make sure you take it down.

Speak to all your audiences

Next, put yourself in the shoes of all your audiences. Think about how you could use your brand platform to assist those in need. Many people in different situations will be looking at the messages you put out there. Are you speaking to all of them? Whether or not you are seeking to expand immediately, the same rules apply.

Think of these categories of candidates and employees at this time:

    • Those who have been furloughed or laid-off due to corporate re-evaluation or necessity.
    • Those concerned that they may be furloughed. 
    • Those that have been considering other career options and suddenly find more time on their hands to act.
    • Those that are evaluating other companies because their company is not reacting to the situation as they think they should.

Even if you are not in a position to hire right now, the situation will change — and candidates share information with each other about how they are treated

Tell your story

Don’t be afraid to acknowledge the crisis, though. Is your organization doing something to help? Talk about it. Tell your story via social media, blogs, or on your Company…

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