We’ve all heard of B2B and B2C marketing, but have you ever considered B2E?
Sometimes referred to as Cradle to Grave HR, your organisation can use a B2E (Business to Employee) strategy to catch the eyes and interest of the best and most talented people out there. By creating a narrative around your organisation and the role you are hiring for, it helps you catch the eye of the talent you need. In our current, candidate-short market, this can make all the difference to your recruitment and give you an edge over your competitors.
How to begin?
The very first thing that you should thinking about when it comes to creating a B2E strategy is your company values and the key behaviours you encourage within your teams. What does ‘good’ look like to you, and what sort of employee would you like to attract? What behaviours and skills are good for diversity within your business? How are you helping your current employees achieve their goals?
Next up, think about your company’s ‘voice’. How would you like to be perceived by your audience and potential employees? Are you a caring, forward-thinking organisation, or authoritative industry-leaders?
Once you have identified these, it is time to start shouting about them and telling your company’s story. You want to present a snapshot of your company’s culture and work environment. What are the hooks, and why would someone want to apply?
Where do you do this?
Now you’ve worked out what it is that you want to shout about to your potential employees, where do you go to do it?
Your B2E strategy is about more than just PR. The occasional Facebook post or press release isn’t going to cut it - you need to be putting your money where your mouth is and going to where your audience is.
We recently explored how Instagram is a fantastic place to catch the eye of talent, and one that is surprisingly underused by recruiters and HR Teams alike. It is also a great way of showcasing what day-to-day life at your company is like. The more informal nature of Instagram and its multiple different forms of posting (feed, stories, and reels) means that you are able to get across a lot of personality and personability in your posts.
We have also found great success in creating ‘candidate packs’ for our clients. These are documents that we have been putting together for our clients after in-depth company exploration sessions, where we showcase the company and its values. This has proven to be a good way to engage potential employees who were not particularly looking for a new role.
It may also be an idea to look at putting on some live events, as this can often be a fantastic way to meet potential employees in a more informal setting. These can range from a structured talk and Q&A session on an industry-relevant topic, or a more relaxed networking event.
“What’s in it for me?”
This is one of the first questions that a potential employee will think to themselves when considering a role or company. Historically, salary has been one of - if not the - main attraction. However, today’s workers are looking for much more than just a competitive salary.
A healthy culture, good ethical values, and work/life balance are all high on the agenda for today’s talent.
You need to differentiate your company from your competitors in the labour market. Whatever it is that makes your company stand out in the crowd, ensure this unique selling point is reflected in your communications.
Money where your mouth is
It’s all well and good coming up with ideas to engage potential and current employees alike, but unless you are willing to put a budget behind it, you are unlikely to see rewards. You don’t need to splash huge amounts of cash, but by trying to do it ‘on the cheap’ you may end up causing more harm than good.
You need to show your audience and potential employees what you believe in, and what you are doing to support those beliefs. Do you say that you are a diverse and ethical company? Well then, what are you doing to back this up?
Events are a good way of doing this. For example, a client of ours recently invited the George House Trust to do a presentation and Q&A session for their employees about HIV and the stigma surrounding it. Not only way this an eye-opening, important talk for the employees, but it showed the outside world that our client was willing to continue the development of their teams.
And don’t neglect your current employees in favour of wooing potential employees! Regular check-ins with your teams are essential to make sure that you are still on track and providing the type of environment that you say you are. Are they also bought in to what you are putting out there, or are they going to see your communications and think that you’re full of it?
Don’t let it go stale
If you have found a strategy that is working for you, it can be tempting to copy and paste that strategy for years to come. However, it is important to make sure that not only is your message not becoming stale and unimpactful, but that you are still on track.
You can do this is many ways, but your employees should always be at the heart of it. After all, they are the ones who are experiencing it. Employee research will help you analyse and refine your offering, keeping it up-to-date and engaging.
There are many ways in which you can do this, and we recommend regular engagement surveys, and making sure to gather feedback from recent recruits. After all, they have just experienced the whole process from start to finish and are best placed to let you know what you got right and where you missed the mark.
As tempting as it may be, don’t exaggerate your company’s qualities to try and attract talent – this will only end up backfiring on you and leave a sour taste in the potential employee’s mouth. This is likely to affect your employer reputation, too, making it even more difficult to attract talent in the future.
Instead, be authentic! It may seem like a no-brainer but being open and honest with your potential employees will pay off dividends. They will appreciate your honesty and it is likely to leave a good impression on them. If you have problems within your culture that need to be addressed, try not to shy away from them. Instead, talk about what you are actively doing to improve these issues.
It is also important to remember to make sure that your ‘external brand’, the one your present to your clients and customers, should line up with what you are presenting to potential employees, otherwise they may begin to smell a rat…
At the end of the day, your B2E strategy should be tailored to your business. A copy-and-paste approach will not work here! Whilst it will be useful to study how your competitors are approaching it, it’s important to remember that what works for them may not work for you.